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November 5, 2012
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Waka Poem Pumpkin by johwee Waka Poem Pumpkin by johwee
The first pumpkin of my big theme group for the year, which was inspired by my trip to Kyoto this spring. The experience changed my life, so I knew I had to carve some pumpkins based off it.

The waka poem here is one of the Autumn poems from the Kokin Wakashū, number 187, book 4. The author is Anonymous, and it translates to:

There is deep sadness in autumn's every aspect.
Only consider how leaves fall and meet their end still flaunting their brilliant hues.

A lot of Japanese poetry has to do with the beauty in transience, and the feeling of sadness for impermanence. There's even a term for it: mono no aware. I've always seen pumpkin carving in the same way; they're beautiful but they fade away, and that adds to their appeal.

I think this took about 6-7 hours. It's a big pumpkin. I tried to learn from the mistakes I made with the last huge pumpkin I carved, and thinned it out a lot more so that the shading really shines through. I left it intentionally rough since I liked the look.

Thanks to ~TamIsMyFather for helping me look through poems and figure out the layout and generally putting up with my pumpkin craziness.

Light Version: [link]


Poem is from the Kokin Wakashū
Pattern and Carving © Me
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:iconyagamiseven:
Yagamiseven Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
this is nice
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:iconjohwee:
johwee Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmeow-woof:
meow-woof Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I hate to ask a question that's probably been asked a lot.... what tools do you use?
Reply
:iconjohwee:
johwee Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I've got a semi-full list of them at the beginning of this tutorial: [link]
Reply
:iconmeow-woof:
meow-woof Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah yes! Added to favourites! ^_^ Thanks!
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:iconbluecreekphotography:
bluecreekphotography Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
This is so, well, elegant is the word that comes to mind. And I love the poem. Thank you for sharing this lovely piece!
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:iconjohwee:
johwee Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yay! I'm glad you like it! I was trying for a more artistic piece than my usual fanartish stype stuff :D
Reply
:icontamismyfather:
TamIsMyFather Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
Jesu Cristo, this is gorgeous. Those leaves! I love that you put a darker border around them. Seriously, this pumpkin makes me feel all the things.
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:iconjohwee:
johwee Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks! Yeah I felt they needed the border to stand out more. I'm really liking the technique of leaving those borders now that I figured it out.
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