Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Carving is a Good 3D Learning Activity

Pumpkin carving isn't "Art" but it is certainly a long-standing part of our Visual Culture and so it has a place in a complete Visual Literacy curriculum that includes (1) visual communication, (2) design, (3) visual culture, and (4) art. Pumpkin carving is a holiday folk tradition that is part of visual culture carried on by people for recreational purposes.

Students can use the design process to develop their pumpkins.
(A) Ideation: Identify and clarify the idea behind your pumpkin design. Research other pumpkin designs. Look at your pumpkin carefully to see what designs are suggested by the particular shape of the pumpkin. Perhaps you will see a completely different viewpoint (left) than the traditional jack-o-lantern design.
(B) Visualization: Do a bunch of thumbnail sketches to find as many possible pumpkin carving ideas as you can. Remember that the first ideas will usually be common and unoriginal so keep sketching until you start to get some really creative ideas.
(C) Prototyping: Before starting to carve, do a life-size sketch and apply it to the pumpkin to see how it works. Take some pumpkin pieces and practice using the tools to see if you can master techniques before working on the finished product. Explore different tools that will allow you to get special effects. (right)
(D) Implementation: Then go ahead and carve the pumpkin using your best craftsmanship skills, but don't stop there. What kind of setting, lighting and special presentation techniques can you design to really make your pumpkin stand out.

Click on the heading above to go to the Pumpkin Gutter website with a complete tutorial on carving the most amazing pumpkins.

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