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Christian creates smashing pumpkins.

Byline: DAVE HIMELFIELD @Dave_Examiner

TURNING a pumpkin into a jack o'lantern is something many of us do for fun at Halloween.

But for master pumpkin carver Christian Russell it's much more than a hobby.

Christian, from Skelmanthorpe, has turned pumpkin carving into a bone fide artform.

And he's so skilled at his craft that pumpkin carving has become a part-time job alongside his 'day job' as a computer games artist.

His works include characters from sci-fi, horror and fantasy films, including Jabba the Hut from Star Wars, Pennywise the clown from Stephen King's It and one of the dragons from Game of Thrones.

He also makes personal commissions plus his own scary creations.

And while our shopping bags may struggle to take home some of the pumpkins we buy from the supermarket, Christian has worked with pumpkins weighing almost as much as a small car.

Most notable was a 2,013lb pumpkin he carved into a creepy creation for York Maze. The carving took a day-and-a-half with little rest.

Christian, who works under the name All Carved Out, started carving pumpkins in 2011 but business took off in 2013.

The dad-of-one said: "People said they were really good. I phoned a supermarket and asked if they wanted a display and the response was really good - so it started from there."

Christian, 45, added: "Pumpkin is a lovely material to carve. If it dries out it's like soft balsa wood."

Christian's tips for the perfect jack o' lantern 1. To make the carved pumpkin last longer carve the lid from the base, leaving the stem intact.

The stem will continue to supply nutrients to the rest of the pumpkin, maintaining its overall freshness for a day or two longer.

2. A metal ice-cream scoop makes short work of scooping out all the insides. Try to remove all the pulp to retain a nice smooth inner wall. You can usually see the back wall of the pumpkin through the eyes, nose and mouth holes. So the cleaner the inside walls look, the more effective the overall design will be.

3. To obtain a brighter pumpkin glow Christian uses small LED lights purchased from any reputable DIY store.

Placed inside they really illuminate the detail brighter than a tea light, plus they are safer.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2018
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