Pumpkin arts

For some it’s only a pumpkin, for others it’s the most versatile food in the world. Daniel Herrguth, laboratory development assistant at OSRAM in Berlin, loves carving. And loves bringing pumpkins to life.

For Daniel Herrguth, fall cannot come quickly enough. It’s his favorite time of the year because it’s pumpkin time. Time for creativity, time for carving. The DIY enthusiast discovered his passion only six years ago. “My first piece was a swan fashioned from an apple,” says the 43-year-old from Potsdam. “Then I tried it with other materials – and that’s how I ended up with pumpkins. They’re the ones I have most fun with.” And fun has many faces: with incredible finesse, Daniel has created likenesses of famous characters such as E.T. and the Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland” from this Halloween favorite. Daniel takes his inspiration from social media channels, finding ideas for new carvings on Pinterest and other such websites.

“You have to look closely at the pumpkin and also listen to what it has to tell you.” Daniel Herrguth, Laboratory development assistant at OSRAM

He is meticulous in selecting just the right shape of pumpkin for his next subject. “You have to look closely at the pumpkin and also listen to what it has to tell you,” he says with a smile. With a combination of a trained eye and judicious tapping on the skin, he can quickly find the ideal raw material.

Each intricate carving takes him between three and six hours. First, he scrapes away the outer layer of the pumpkin and then makes a rough sketch of his subject. “I can do all the preparatory work pretty quickly, but then I get totally absorbed in the detailed work,” says Daniel.

The finished work of art is ephemeral – the pumpkins generally last no more than a week. But that doesn’t bother the amateur sculptor. “For me, it’s more about the process itself and the fun I have doing it.”

He has now taken to growing his own pumpkins in his garden. But there’s one place they won’t be found, and that’s in the kitchen. “I really don’t like pumpkin soup,” says Daniel. “I prefer to carve them rather than cook them.”

There’s even more to see on Daniel’s Facebook page at

Make it creepy for yourself

Halloween is coming soon, so it’s high time to cut a gruesome pumpkin face. Daniel Herrguth, laboratory development assistant at OSRAM in Berlin and a pumpkin artist in his spare time, explains how this works.

Orange-coloured Ghost Rider pumpkins, for example from the supermarket, are easy to process and can be stably placed on the ground. There are special carving sets available in craft shops and on the Internet that make finer and more elaborate work and filigree patterns easier to handle. They are also recommended when children carve along. Sharp and serrated small kitchen knives and a spoon do the same. But please be careful!

All you need:

  • Pumpkin
  • submission
  • Rice, needle or felt-tip pen
  • spoons
  • knives
  • Possibly Vaseline / Hairspray
  • Candle or LED

Here we go:

  1. mark the contours on the pumpkin with a felt-tip pen or ballpoint pen. If you don't dare to draw freehand, you can even find free patterns on the Internet to print out and stick on the pumpkin. Make sure that the pattern matches the size of the pumpkin! With a drawing pin or a needle you can pierce the motive on the pumpkin.
  2. Cut out the circular lid with a sharp knife. Do not place it vertically, but slightly obliquely. This will create a support for the lid and it will not slide into the pumpkin later.
  3. use a spoon to hollow out the seeds and fibres from the pumpkin and scrape it out to a thickness of two to three centimetres - until the light of a flashlight shines through.
  4. Now it's the turn of the grimace: Cut with a sharp knife along the outlined and dotted contours, remove a little less flesh than outlined. Start with the more filigree areas so that nothing breaks out later. When reworking with the spoon or the scraping tool from the carving set, go over some areas again so that the light shines through them only slightly later.
  5. let the pumpkin dry after the carving. To make it last longer, you can apply a thin coat of Vaseline on the inside and spray it with hairspray on the outside.
  6. Finally, the creepy highlight: I used to put it with a classic candle, but now I have modernized my Halloween pumpkins - inside they now have LED lights.