Pumpkin Lady carves Halloween niche

Sooke artist puts new spin on jack-o-lanterns

Nothing says Halloween like an impressively carved pumpkin.

Master sculptor Karen Webb, Sooke’s self-proclaimed Pumpkin Lady, works tirelessly at this time of year creating that oh-so-special jack-o-lantern.

But with a twist.

“I do not carve pumpkins like other people. Other people carve pumpkins by cutting into them into them. I do not”, said Webb in an interview with the News Mirror last week.

“I carve just the skin. The exposed flesh from the carving dries, forms a secondary skin and that pumpkin will last as long as it would sitting in the field.”

Once the pumpkin is carved, Webb applies acrylic paint to bring out the pumpkin’s inner jack-o-lantern.

Webb came across her talent for pumpkin art almost by accident.

Six years ago she was renting a home in Ontario and her laundlord put out a pumpkin before Halloween, and Webb had a whim to do something with it. The landlord said go ahead – and Webb found her passion for pumpkin art.

That first pumking had a simple message: We Wish you a Happy Halloween. From that start six years ago, she has created pumpking art for a variety of businesses and individuals, and ramped up her efforts two years ago when she moved to Sooke.

She’s created her pumpkin masterpeices for such businesses as The Stick Coffee House and Ayre Manor Lodge and even carved out the Burger Family for A&W last year.

Webb has always loved art.

She took art lessons at the age of nine at the urging of her grandfather and over the years has done portraits and woodcarving. Many of her carvings can be found in Ontario towns and churches.

“The pumkin carving all falls into my artistic ability and passion,” Webb said. “I just have so much fun doing it.”

It takes her on average about 19 hours to do each pumpkin and she charges $60. Purchasers must supply the pumpkin.

Webb, a Christian, doesn’t like mto depict gory or horrific scenes, but she adds: “There’s no reason I can’t do something connected with Halloween in a good way.”

Webb can be reacher at 778-679-7944.


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