Carving out a legacy

Master Carver Tom Lindskog shows Halloween spirit by carving two huge pumpkins

On the final weekend of October, a timely tradition of pumpkin carving was carried out by Eugene’s own master carver, Tom Lindskog, at the 5th Street Market. This year he carved two pumpkins in two days. The first on Saturday was 600+ lb and Sunday’s was 1200+ lb.

Lindskog has been doing this for the 5th Street Market for five years. He got into carving by watching someone else show off their own skills at the 5th Street Market about 10 years ago. “I’m a woodcarver as well, and this just seemed like a lot of fun,” Lindskog said.

Lindskog is Willamette High School’s Shop teacher. He has been teaching there since 1997. He has also been on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars” as well as “Cake Wars: Christmas.” Lindskog has done carving with fruits and vegetables, cakes, chocolate and more.

Expectedly, carving massive pumpkins takes lots of time. For Lindskog, some of his carvings have taken over 12 hours to finish. “When I get into the zone, I skip eating.” 

He methodically uses his tools to carve only the tiniest bits to allow for his details to really shine.

With the first pumpkin, he decided to start with one side as the Addams Family and The Munsters on the other side. “If I have enough time, that is,” Lindskog said. 

“Is that the Addams Family?” passersby commented. “Oh, I forgot that show!” and “Wow, look at that pumpkin, it’s massive!” are just some of the things people wondered aloud while walking past his work.

The tools he uses for carving are not meant for pumpkins but for clay. Using clay tools allows for more control over the shape of the pumpkin than an actual carver’s knife does sometimes. With more control comes more refinement and ease of access for beginners as well as professionals.

“The pumpkins out here will last about a week before rotting,” Lindskog said. “Sometimes they will put them in the breeze-way and those will last for two weeks.”