Spooky shapes, creepy smiles, and creative carvings welcome

Carvers are invited this Halloween season to submit pumpkin pictures to the Langley Advance Times

With Halloween just around the corner, local carving expert Bruce Waugh wants to see Langley’s best pumpkin designs. From the creepy to the creative, Waugh will be judging pictures sent in of people’s carvings, which can be submitted to the Langley Advance Times.

Waugh, a 58-year-old Langley City resident, certainly knows a think or two about making art out of the big orange gourds – something he undertakes every fall.

“It’s a hobby blown out of proportion,” Waugh said about his designs. “It started out small and cutesy, and now it consumes me.”

Starting in 1988, Waugh competed in sand-sculpting competitions in White Rock and Harrison Hot Springs, a lark that lead him to the world of pumpkin carving. Under some mentorship and after a lot of practise, the size of the pumpkins Waugh tackled began to increase.

“It came very naturally to me,” Waugh recounted, rounding out his repertoire with snow sculpting at Grouse Mountain. “I’m very lucky, I can’t quite make a living at it yet, but now I get to travel around doing it.”

From freaky and famous faces, to animals (such as owls and squirrels) and creatures from his own imagination, Waugh’s work has appeared throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond, including Metrotown Mall in Burnaby and VanDusen Botanical Garden’s annual Halloween attraction.

Waugh says there are a few tricks to the trade that he’s picked up over the years to be able to create such unique shapes.

“You want to start with a pumpkin that has thick flesh. Atlantic Giants grown in Nova Scotia are bred bigger,” he said.“That’s what I typically use because you get three- to four-inch thick skin for deep relief.”

Once the pumpkin’s picked, inspiration is what’s needed to make the right monster.

“I do a lot of looking around and get inspiration from Halloween masks – scary eyes and teeth,” Waugh said, suggesting carvers roughly sketch out their idea with black marker. “I’ve been doing it so long, I can sculpt right off the bat without marking, but that comes with time.”

For clearing away the innards, the inside scoop to carving the perfect pumpkin is that the top might not be the best place to start.

“Lot’s of people don’t open the top, they cut the backside of the pumpkin for easier access and to get a light in properly so there’s no cord hanging out if you’re using an LED light,” Waugh added.

An arsenal of tools is imperative, Waugh noted, suggesting every carver have a grater, a paring knife, multiple-sized ribbon tools, and even melon ballers to slice away and clear out the inside guts.

A V-groove tool is also a slick and more controlled way at shaving off pumpkin pieces, one bit at a time – all of which Waugh said are sold, and often packaged together, in most hardware stores.

“There’s no real magic to it – carve away,” he added. “When it comes Jack-o’-lanterns and people are just cutting holes, really, and the biggest error might be cutting a little further or accidentally making one eye bigger – but the ‘mistakes’ are what makes the pumpkin more original or creepy.”

Read More: Local ghost stories and eerie encounters return in time for Halloween

Waugh is now waiting for people’s pumpkin carving submissions.

The winner, a Langley Advance Times reader, will win free admission for four to Aldor Acres Family Farm and pick of a pumpkin from their vast patch.

Pictures of people’s pumpkins, plus a contact name, email, and phone number can be sent to entertainment@langleyadvancetimes.com or as a message on the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

Deadline for submissions is midnight on Monday, Oct. 21.

Winners must be from Langley and be okay with being photographed for a follow-up story. No Black Press Media staff or their family are eligible.


Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter



Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants toppled by visiting Hurricanes

Sunday afternoon play at Langley Events Centre saw a team from Lethbridge defeat Vancouver, 6-0

VIDEO: Spartans men’s volleyball coach Josephson records 200th win

Former player with Langley-based Trinity Western University team has a .763 winning percentage

Statistically, Trinity Western Spartans women’s volleyball team played a great game against Manitoba. Also, they won

Langley-based team started with an opening set by hitting .731 and committing just one error.

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

Extreme weather alert issued for rain-soaked Langley

Homeless who are sleeping outside urged to seek shelter at Gateway of Hope facility in Langley

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read