Carving time.

Post Questions or Tips on Carving REAL Pumpkins
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korguy
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Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:37 am

This is more geared towards the mods (Doh, Looney, Gretchy)

How long do these real kin shades normally take you?
I know most are pumped out like it's nothing (or it sure seems that way :!con_p_smile: )

Just curious. I don't know where you all find the time lol.
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Doh
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Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:15 pm

To be honest I just don't do too many realkin shadeds.

The ones I do take maybe 2 to 3 hours.
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Gretchy
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Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:24 am

Yah, it depends.... Shading is the easy part if you ask me. Also, you know I put my patterns on days ago and exacto'ed Out the shaded parts first. That saved me a ton of time when I was ready to actually start carving. Most of the ones I've done this year I'd say like 1-3 hours. There's always distractions it seems like, so I've never actually timed one.
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helenkate
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Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:49 pm

I'm beating myself up about my carving time... I started on the sexy mermaid yesterday morning and it took me about 8 hours to do: pattern blow-up & printing & placement, then I outlined all the cut-throughs and shaded areas with the X-acto, picked off the cut-through paper and then did the cut-throughs, then picked off the shade paper. By the time I was done with all that my pumpkin was pretty dried out and too floppy in sections to do the shaded areas (plus I was burned out and frustrated that it was taking me SO long). Please tell me it's a practice-makes-you-faster thing? Am I just overthinking or doing too many steps?
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helenkate
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Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:36 am

Looney wrote:Do not beat yourself up on the time it takes! :!con_p_cryiing: It sounds as if you are taking a few more steps then I do. That all has to do with what carving method you are using, and there is no real wrong method! I am guessing you glue your patterns on? That is a good method, but there are added steps that go with that (X-actoing, peeling and such). When using this method and getting a wee tired, put your kin the fridge to keep it a wee fresher.
I myself am a huge Saral user. I draw the pattern on, shave the shaded areas, cut out what needs to be cut, period.
I do not need to x-acto because the blades run crisp thru the carve, and that is a time consuming task (BUT nothing beats it either).
Saral is great EVEN for what I would call "cry-baby" pumpkins (leaky wet ones) AND if I do get tired or something comes up, I can toss it in the fridge with out worry.
Seriously I would not worry about carving time! It took me YEARS upon YEARS to even half way consider myself fast, or at least NOT tearing my hair out slow! I still Have some carves that it seems as if time stands still!

I just Love Saral!
Thank you Liz!! I've been using sticker paper so far this year. I have some blue Saral (white looks so much crisper!) from last year but it seemed to slide around so much. When you use the Saral, do you just trace the lines and then use a reference pic of the pattern to know what's cut-through and what's shade? I've been trying to read through your older posts for tips & tricks but a LOT of your posts got eaten by server migrations & other site glitches I think. What type of blades do you use for realkins?
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helenkate
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Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:43 pm

Looney wrote:I have professional speedball type knives and regular speedballs, both are great! For the speedball,I do change my blades out after 30 carves.
Sometimes I still think that is too wasteful, because they always seem sharp to me.
I trace and outline everything, the cut outs, I make a notch where it goes-roughly the shape of the cut.
I then outline everything, then shade, then cut.
Speedball makes knife tips??? I've been using my fingertrace cutter for everything and I don't know that it's ideal. The cuts are smoother than those dang kit saws though, which are usually too clunky to even get through the delicate pattern lines.
fingertrace.jpg
Maybe I don't thin the pumpkin walls enough? Usually the blade tip *barely* pokes through to the inside of the kin. How thin do you take the walls of your realkins?
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Gretchy
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Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:25 am

I use that orange fiskars knife, too! I'm not nearly as fast as Liz! Let me tell you, I think it's just you get faster with time. I remember a couple years ago trying this Drogo and Daenerys pattern that took me a few days. I was ready to throw that one out! So, don't be discouraged. Just be you! I'm a perfectionist, so I think that's why I spend a little more time. When most ppl call it done, I probably scrutinize and spend an extra hour... Idk. I'm completely envious of these guys that carve anything in 2-3 hours. That's not me, and while I would love to carve that fast, I've just accepted that I'm not there yet.
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helenkate
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Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:55 pm

For all of the things. I use it for outlining the pattern through the sticker paper and then for cutting through the pumpkin too. Same blades as X-acto but my hand doesn't cramp as much. :-)
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helenkate
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Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:04 pm

Looney wrote:The walls of your kin should be at about an inch, maybe a tad more, but not much. This makes for easy cutting.
The speedball V cutters are what I use to shade.
For the small and tiny cut outs that Stoney has in many patterns, I use a tiny drill, when the cut it is not circular you can also manipulate the tiny drill up and down to produce the final desired shape.

These are my tools----They are ALL the same! Speedballs on the right, and the same but upgraded professional tools on the left :!con_15:

Image
OOH. SO pretty! I think I need more handles, it does eat time to keep changing the bits out.

When you mentioned tiny cut outs, it clicked!! I think I realize what the BIG issue is, and it's pumpkin size. I'm trying these great patterns on TINY pumpkins. Even the micro-bits that I have won't work for some of those mini holes, because the pumpkin I'm using is too tiny and I'm not blowing the pattern up enough. I did the sexy mermaid on a jumbo pumpkin and it turned out pretty well. For how much I love this craft, I'm worth an $8 jumbo over a $4 standard pumpkin. If it keeps me from tearing my hair out over microscopic cut throughs then it is even more worth it...wigs are pretty pricey. :!con_p_Laugh2: I gave myself permission to give up on a badly matched pumpkin and pattern - I will take a pic with a ruler to show you what I mean. Until I have more practice I'm not up for that level.
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helenkate
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Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:35 pm

Here's the one I bailed on, maybe slightly bigger than a basketball:
IMAG0964.jpg
These tiny cut-throughs are what gave me pause. Even if I thin the inside walls down to just a half inch or less, you're barely able to see the glow. I could use the micro-teeniest drill bit that I have which would fit the stencil, but it wouldn't be noticeable once lit.
IMAG0967_1.jpg
I might be brave enough to try stuff this intricate next year. Maybe foam would work at this size but I'm still not bold enough for the foam...yet.
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