Houdini Jack-o’-Lantern 2017

By Tom Interval

Last year I skipped my annual ritual of carving a Houdini jack-o’-lantern, but on this day—the eve of Halloween and of Houdini’s 91st death anniversary—I’m pleased to share a few photos of the one I made this year. (View jack-o’-lanterns from previous years.)

Houdini jack-o'-lantern


And a little closer:

Houdini jack-o'-lantern


And a little farther:

Houdini jack-o'-lantern


And here are a few pictures for those who are interested in the process of carving our man’s magical face into a pumpkin.

1. I created simplified, high-contrast artwork from the famous Strobridge litho, dubbed by magic collectors as “Houdini for President.” The white parts of the high-contrast image represent the sections cut out of the pumpkin, so I had to be sure all the black parts were interconnected so the finished jack-o’-lantern was stable (i.e., so pieces of the face—especially the eyes and mouth—didn’t fall off).

Houdini jack-o'-lantern template

2. I imported the artwork into Word, lightened it, and printed it as a light-gray template.

Houdini jack-o'-lantern template

3. After hollowing out the pumpkin, I trimmed the template, taped it onto the pumpkin, and traced the lines with pokes of a safety pin to transfer the design.

Houdini jack-o'-lantern template with pinpricks

4. If you look closely, you can see the pinpricks.

Houdini jack-o'-lantern pinpricks in pumpkin

5. With small pumpkin-carving tools, I sawed away for quite a while, being particularly careful around the more delicate areas, such as the eyes, ears, and mouth.

The finished jack-o’-lantern could have turned out a bit better, but I’m happy with it overall since Houdini’s likeness came out fairly well.

Houdini jack-o'-lantern

Happy Halloween!





This entry was posted in Anniversaries, Art, Death, Halloween, Holidays, Sculptures and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Houdini Jack-o’-Lantern 2017

  1. Pingback: Houdini Jack-o’-Lantern 2017 |

  2. Pingback: Houdini Jack-o’-Lantern |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s