Pumpkin Carving Sculpture by Ray Villafane

pumpkin carving by Ray VillafanePumpkin carving has reached artistic heights with the pumpkin sculptures of Ray Villafane.  

Who knew the flesh of a gourd suitable for making pies could be transformed into lifelike, funny, sometimes ghoulish works of pumpkin carving art?

As Halloween and pumpkin carving season approaches, feast your eyes on these masterpieces of pumpkin sculpture.


About Ray Villafane

Ray Villafane (b. March 5, 1969) was raised on Long Island and graduated from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City in 1991.  

While still teaching art to Michigan K-12 students for 13 years, Ray began freelance sculpting in clay and wax.  His success led him to become a full time sculptor in 2006.

Villafane’s first success came in sculpting comic book characters, beginning with the Marvel character, Wolverine, followed by collectible superhero figures such as Sabretooth, Magneto, and The Punisher.

Ray’s most celebrated work took off in 2007 when he won a Food Network pumpkin-carving competition called “Outrageous Pumpkins.”

Ray Villafane soon became famous for his creative masterpieces of pumpkin carving. Ray was even dubbed the “Picasso of Pumpkin Carving” by the Wall Street Journal.

Ray now lives and works in his home studio in, surprise, Surprise, Arizona.  I am not making this up!  The guy’s an artist, what did you expect?

How would you like to carve pumpkins like Ray Villafane does?  You can dream, right?

Ray will actually give you pumpkin carving training on his pumpkin carving tutorials.  

Full disclosure:  I haven’t seen the tutorials and have no affiliation with Ray’s studio.  But remember, Ray taught art for 13 years to kids from kindergarten up to 12th grade.  Do you think he could teach you a thing or two about pumpkin carving?

pumpkin carving tutorials DVD cover

Tip:  The downloadable version for $19.95 available above does not come with bonus features such as vine arms and stitching.  For those bonuses, or to give the DVD as a gift, you will want the physical DVD from the Ray Vilafane studio store.

Click on the photo to see Ray’s studio

Photo of Ray Villane carving a pumpkin

Release Your Inner Pumpkin Carving Genius with More Ray Villafane Pumpkin Sculpting Tools

Ray Villafane's Pumpkins
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Super Funny Texts Between Superman and Wonder Woman

drawing of LIGHTNING BOLTS for Super Funny Superhero HumorSuper funny superhero humor has reached new heights!

If you like superhero jokes you are going to love this super funny link to NPR.

The premise:  After a sleepover, Superman texts Wonder Woman throughout the next day.  

Superman is smitten.  Wonder Woman is not.  

The resulting series of super funny text messages by GLEN WELDON is a scream!

Here is a sample.  (BigRedESS is Superman and 1derWymyn is Wonder Woman)


“BigRedESS (5:33 a.m.): watchin u sleep now 😉

BigRedESS (5:34 a.m.): ur pretty 🙂

BigRedESS (5:45 a.m.): lookin at ur lungs. They r clean haha

BigRedESS (5:46 a.m.): man ur heart is big lol

BigRedESS (5:47 a.m.): i mean like large anatomically haha tho u r really generous too i bet

BigRedESS (5:50 a.m.): wow you got out of bed fast

BigRedESS (5:51 a.m.): mouthwash is in the medicine cabinet top left

1derWymyn (5:52 a.m.): DUDE. WHY ARE YOU TEXTING ME? I AM RIGHT HERE.”


The super funny superhero text messagin goes on from there.

Read the whole super funny piece by Glen Weldon here.

6 Unsuccessful Exercise Machines throughout History — The Industrial Age

Magazine cover of inventor for unsuccessful exercise machines through historyIn the industrial age, exercise machines continued to be invented.

As farmers grew more food and people got fatter, their desire to exercise and lose weight intensified — the fat people, not the farmers, who stayed pretty skinny.

Science and invention marched forward to fight fat with brain power.

Undaunted by shortages in brain power some plucky exercise machine inventors went ahead anyway.


Woodcut of a person using a pulley

1) Ruling Class Weight Lifting 

Early in the mechanical age, the wealthy assumed that they could lose weight the same way they did everything else: with servants.

British inventor Bartholomew “Pete” Crinkle convinced wealthy clients that they could lose weight by lifting massive weights using the mechanical advantage weight loss system.

When a portly landowner asked if servants could do the lifting, Crinkle shrugged, famously saying, “Why not?”

An idea was born. Servants across Great Britain set to work, raising and lowering heavy boxes.  Sometimes riding on the boxes (not shown here), the landed gentry turned into the flying gentry, soaring and swinging, giddy at their mechanical mastery over weight.  Of course, overweight is what they stayed.

When Crinkle’s failure was discovered, clients sacked their weight lifting servants, leading to the Angry Muscular Servants Uprising of 1822.  Crinkle emigrated to America.  There he started a wild animal petting zoo.  The petting zoo’s popularity plummeted when customers learned they could only pet wild animals that they themselves had caught.

Drawing of people jumping with parachutes to lose weight

 2. Parachute Pandemonium

The battle against weight took to the air in France with another fundamental misunderstanding of weight loss.

Pierre Choute, French inventor and giant butterfly breeder, convinced customers that defying gravity could reduce weight.

It made sense.  The overweight tried the system, and young thrill seekers misused the Pierre Choute weight loss device to escape chores.  No one lost any weight.

The heaviest of clients met with disaster, plummeting to earth when their butterflies became exhausted.  Choute emigrated to America.

Woodcut of a man with two telephone receivers for failed exercise machines

3. Facial Fat Reducer

Nagged by his wife, Matilda to make money, inventor Alexander Saltine Gong jumped on the new craze for electricity.  His painful and ineffective device, the Electro Dejowelator shocked the face, neck and head.

Although it was unpleasant, Gong used the electro  grips to block the sound of his wife’s continued nagging when he failed to sell the device.

Woodcut of an early telephone for failed exercise machines

When the shrewish Matilda tried the Dejowelator, she held one electro grip over her mouth.  Gong did not correct her.  Electric shock paralyzed her mouth for hours. Although a failure as a weight loss machine inventor, Gong became happy and successful in his personal life.


Photo of giant tubas

4. Tuba Training

While attending college in the United States, Admiral Yomamado became enamored with the largest brass instrument.  Convinced he could get his troops into extraordinary fighting condition, he ordered them to play giant tubas.

Unable to even get a sound from the gargantuan instruments, troops fled in shame when Yomamado came to inspect their progress (shown here).  A military failure, Yomamado later converted the giant wheeled tubas into a fleet of taxis that were cramped but honked well.

Gymmasticon assumed a failure

5. The Gymmasticon

Costly and complicated, the Gymmasticon demanded a lot of hard, sweaty work and therefore became unpopular.

Like so many exercise machines the Gymmasticon was abandoned for the much more pleasurable pastime of eating.


Clothesline for failed exercise devices

6. Stationary Kite

Watching fit children flying kites in a field behind her home in 1957 gave Wendy Boughbreaks the idea of the stationary kite.

Fitting into a small yard, the stationary kite could “fly” without wind and was physically undemanding, a popular feature.

Sadly, the stationary kite did attract lightning.  Wendy was electrocuted in 1958 during tropical storm Edna.

So there you have them, 6 unsuccessful exercise machines from the industrial age.

Tired of exercise machines that don’t work?  Try one that does and makes you feel great.