Budding artists from across the country are being encouraged to pick up their pumpkins and put their creativity to the test, as Hart’s Hotel and Restaurant, in Nottingham, takes its annual Pumpkin Art competition to a global audience.
The Prize for Pumpkin Art encourages sculptors of all ages to roll up their sleeves, get out their carving knives and come up with their most imaginative designs in a bid to win an overnight stay and dinner for two at the boutique city centre hotel.
Usually only open to local families and individuals, this year entrants are being encouraged to upload photos of their wonderful and wacky carvings to Twitter or Facebook, opening the competition up to participants from anywhere in the world.
Thought-provoking conceptual pumpkins, movie scenes, scary faces and even a few famous ones have all been captured in vegetable form in previous years and it is hoped that this year’s event will prove even more popular.
To help you create that winning design, Thomas Buhse, Hart’s Restaurant’s Pastry Chef and pumpkin king has put together his top tips for an artistic entry:
1. Choose your pumpkin carefully. Do you need one with a flattish front for your design or would some lumps and bumps add character to your design?
2. Draw your design onto your pumpkin before you start to carve. Rub it out and redraw until you are completely satisfied and only then take up your knife.
3. If you are hollowing out your pumpkin, why not use an ice cream scoop? Also try varying the thickness of the sides to alter the amount of light that shines through. In some places shave off the skin to give a two-tone effect and add depth.
4. Get creative with crafty bits from around the house. Use nuts and bolts for eyes, stick on diamante for added bling or even get out your paintbrush and add some colour – also a great way for children to get involved without using a knife.
5. To preserve and firm up your pumpkin, place in a tub of cold water mixed with a little bleach and put the carved part face down. To store overnight, wrap your creation in cling film and pop in the fridge.
To enter the competition, either tweet a photograph of you with your creation to @HartsNottingham with the hashtag #HartsPumpkinArt or upload it to the Hart’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/hartsnottingham. To be a valid entry, the photograph must show you with your entry.
Entries will be accepted until the 31st October and the winner will be announced online on November 1st. The pumpkin judged as best will win an overnight stay and meal for two at Hart’s Hotel and Restaurant, in Nottingham.
Hart’s Restaurant opened in 1997, serving modern British cuisine with a great emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. It has long been one of Nottingham’s finest dining establishments, winning a number of awards. The adjacent hotel opened in 2003 and is a striking modern building designed by architect Julian Marsh and situated on part of the old ramparts of Nottingham’s mediaeval castle. The build won a RIBA design award.
Full competition rules are available on the Hart’s website www.hartsnottingham.co.uk.