Who knew that watermelon carving was such a hot art form?
Around here we tend to think in terms of pumpkin carving – especially at this time of year, with harvest winding up and Halloween just looming on the horizon.
Well, heck, why not watermelon carving too?
Of course, we’re entranced by the whole carved-radish culture of Mexico’s Night of the Radishes, naturally… and other weird and wonderful fruit and vegetable art makes an appearance from time to time, so the watermelon as a medium for artistic expression is not a big leap…
“My style of watermelon carving lends itself well to the beginner, where you are guided by a pattern and it is more structured and easy to follow,” Jay Ball explains. “And, unlike pumpkins, the insides make an instant delicious treat while you work.”
Jay Ball has even published a book on the topic, You Too Can Create Stunning Watermelon Carvings!
Of course the watermelon industry itself is full of crafty suggestions for their produce, with a particular eye to kids — cookie cutters, anyone?
And if you’re looking for even more inspiration, here (below) are some of the most elegant examples of watermelon art you’ll ever hope to see this week. Take particular note of the overblown chrysanthemum flower, all done in fresh watermelon!
I keep finding these pictures all over the interwebs in different places, but so far without a note about the artist – my best dectective work suggests that these are the work of Japan’s Takashi Itoh, who certainly deserves lot of credit for his art!
Takashi Itoh says his watermelon sculptures are inspired by the art of Thai vegetable and fruit carving, which originated at the Loi Krathong (floating lantern) Festival in Thailand about 700 years ago. You can see more at his Watermelon Special Fruit Carving site, but here’s a sample of the artist’s work:
I don’t know that most of us are likely to reach these heights of watermelon sculpture… but Jay’s book is a good starting point. You Too Can Create Stunning Watermelon Carvings guides you through preparing the melon for carving, and transferring the pattern.
Jay even includes 32 carving patterns, with themes around most of the major holidays in case you feel the melon decorating urge as part of your celebration — as well as different ways to sculpt a watermelon, by hand or with the aid of power tools.
And then, when you’re done, how to light, display and photograph your watermelon carving so its beauty will live on long after the melon itself has joined your compost pile!