Lundy Cupp carves amazing portraits in pumpkins
By Taylor Calta
Lundy Cupp accidentally discovered his talent for carving in 2005. “I was relaxing in the woods at my fire pit one evening, winding down from the stress of being a criminal fraud investigator, and picked up a piece of wood that I found interesting,” said Lundy. “I brought the wood inside and within a few days I had surprised myself by carving a vase in the shape of flames. I then tried to carve a face and it turned out better than I expected.” He was hooked.
Lundy is a carver and sculptor from Kingston Springs, Tenn. He carves gourds, squash, and sweet potatoes, but he is best known for his pumpkin carvings. His love for fall and Halloween enticed him to enter the world of pumpkin carving in October 2009.
Using ribbon tools, surgical scalpels, and occasionally gouges and chisels, Lundy carves faces that are inspired by people’s expressions. “Since I mostly carve faces, my inspiration comes from all the wonderful and expressive faces I see around me every day,” said Lundy. “Every face is unique. There is so much one can do with a face and the emotion from subtle expressions.”
The fact that Lundy’s creations don’t last long doesn’t bother him. Actually, he believes it makes it more interesting. “I think the ephemeral nature of carving pumpkins and knowing they are temporary adds to the fascination,” said Lundy. His pumpkin carvings often take several hours to complete, with the fall season obviously being his busiest time. “During the pumpkin season I probably carve 40 or more pumpkins,” said Lundy. “To be honest, I’ve never counted. When I do pumpkin carving demonstrations for events or parties I generally carve at least three pumpkins and always have at least one pre-carved for folks to look at while I’m carving.”
Lundy performs demonstrations of his pumpkin carvings for private events or parties, occasionally including A-list celebrities, where he loves to interact and answer questions with the audience. “Famous or not, we always have a blast because I’m doing what I love and they are engaging in something they have likely experienced as a kid but never seen done with this technique before,” said Lundy. “They are always fascinated and intrigued.” He relates carving a pumpkin to “instant gratification” due to the easiness of the material itself. But the joy Lundy receives from the reactions of the people he carves for, rather than the actual carvings themselves, is why this accidental skill was a blessing in disguise.
See more of Lundy’s carvings at his website HERE.
Learn Lundy’s techniques in his new book, Realistic Pumpkin Carving, available from Fox Chapel Publishing or wherever books are sold.