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The D*S Pumpkin Project: Dan Funderburgh’s Magical Lasercut Jack-o-Lantern

by Maxwell Tielman


This week, we’ve been sharing some non-traditional takes on one of our favorite parts of Halloween: carved pumpkins! On Monday, we featured blogger Molly Madfis’ glamorous gemstone-patterned jack-o-lanterns. On Tuesday, we shared the embroiderer extraordinaire, Jessica Marquez’s carved pumpkin, a design inspired by a Danish pattern. Today, it is with great pleasure that we present pattern designer Dan Funderburgh’s fabulous pumpkin—carved not by hand, but my lasers. Yes, LASERS. With a pattern inspired by Mexican punched tin and the Arabesque Mashrabiya style, Dan created a truly unique, multilayered jack-o-lantern design, one that is sure to cast a magical glow on Halloween night. For more photos and Dan’s full carving tutorial, continue after the jump! —Max


1. A medium smallish pumpkin was selected with a relatively flat face. I scooped out the rear and cut two discs off of the front with a bread knife. 


2.  After trying out a few different motifs I decided on a sort of Mexican punched tin lantern versus a mashrabiya style geometric lattice work. Partly for aesthetic and partially for architectural reasons. I wanted to something that would be hard to to do by hand, but would not collapse right away. 


3. After making sure the art was basically the right size, the capable hands of Death At Sea Design placed the first section in the laser cutter. 


4. As this was a first for both of us we weren’t certain how well pumpkin would laser and how burning pumpkin would smell. Turns out that it works pretty well and smells kind of pleasant and autumnal. 


5. We did have to put out small fires from time to time. 


6. Exterior slice cut.  I wonder if we could laser a turtle shell.


7. The machine couldn’t quite punch all the way through so I had to finish cutting things out manually. 
8. Using toothpicks and school glue I stuck the two plates back on the face of the pumpkin. 


9. Something about the curvature of the face meant that the two designs didn’t align perfectly, but considering the amount of things that were untested, I’m pretty happy with the result. Many thanks to Matt  from Death At Sea Design for generous use of his laser in the name of science and the spirit of Halloween. Hope it wasn’t too hard to clean!

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