now ready to carve. The skin can be tough, so cut
carefully, using good control. Be sure to never
place fingers in front of the blade. (This is especially
important for young carvers to remember.) Start
with small cuts, removing v-shaped slivers; grow
bolder in your cuts as your confidence increases.
It's a good idea to stop carving at regular intervals
and place the pumpkin in the area where you plan
to display it. This will give you an idea of how
the completed jack-o'-lantern will look. Don't
forget to take the all-important lighting into
consideration. And don't be too hung up on your
designthese things tend to take on a life of
their own during the carving process.
Make It Last
The life of a carved pumpkin is rather shortit begins to dry out and discolor almost immediately.
To slow this, keep the jack-o'-lantern in a cool,
dry place. It helps to cover it with a paper bag
to reduce the drying effects of moving air. Don't
use a plastic bag since mold will grow in less
than a day. The carved surface can be sprayed
with a polyacrylic finish, which is available
at craft stores.