Pumpkinnovators: From Gourds to Ghouls

By Suzanne Woolley - 2013-10-25T17:14:06Z

Photograph by Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

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The Pumpkin Whisperer

Ray Villafane of Arizona has been called "The Picasso of Pumpkin Carving." "The Wes Craven of Pumpkin Carving" might be more fitting given the demonic, fanged faces that often emerge out of his pumpkins. Of all the pumpkins he's carved in the past 15 years, he's partial to one with a much softer subject. It's one where "the pumpkin appears to be drowsy and is leaning against a smaller blank one," he says. "His cheeks appear soft and malleable. It's always been one that I enjoyed making and, after learning it was my little boy's favorite, it immediately became mine as well."

Left: Villafane, right, and Chris Vierra review their carving of what is to become the head of a "carnivorous creature," during the New York Botanical Garden's "Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend" in New York.