With Halloween just over a month away, pumpkins and pumpkin carving will soon become a popular pastime. However, one Southeast Idaho Artist has the ability to take a pumpkin and turns it into much more than a Jack-O-Lantern. His name is Paul Benson.
“Well, I’m kind of an art nerd, you know and a couple years ago I was like I’m going to carve the best pumpkin and just show everybody else up. And so I just decided to start experimenting around and it turned out to be a fun thing that I do every year now,” Benson said.
Paul Benson has a talent. A knack for taking a large seasonal fruit and turning it into a garden variety Picasso.
“Ok let’s see how can I make this this fun. Like this one here it has sort of a unique twist to it. And so I think ok how I can use that, incorporate the natural curvatures of the pumpkin and so on,” Benson explained.
Paul noted that the key is to find the types of pumpkins that many would reject.
He said that, “Typically your perfect pumpkin, your perfect jack-o-lantern is not a very good pumpkin to carve in this style because usually the flesh is too thin and you can only go so about that thick is all and they you get through and you need something that’s a lot thicker that is really heavy for its size and just something that isn’t your typical perfectly, round perfectly oval pumpkin.”
The process of carving this organic art takes a few hours.
I’ve spent anywhere up to five or six hours on one I could spend more but I usually end up having to do something and usually my fastest ones are one to two hours,” Benson said.
Paul’s favorite part of his pumpkin art has been the reaction that people get when they see the finished product.
He explained the people’s reactions. “It’s classic. Just that look of oh-wow. It’s so fun and so fulfilling when you can take something ordinary like a pumpkin and turn it into a piece of art and people are just amazed and its really fulfilling to bring a little joy into somebody’s life that way. “