Autumn Bounty Pumpkin Carver: Meet Linda Allan


Every year, our Autumn Bounty Festival fills our Glen Mills store with so much creativity and inspiration - from wreath makers to honey producers, skincare brands to pumpkin carvers like Linda Allen. Since the start of her carving career 23 years ago, Linda has displayed her work at Longwood Gardens, on the Intrepid in NYC, at the Hagley race track, a local ice cream shop, dairy farm, on the Food Network, and, of course, at terrain - all with no formal art training! We caught up with Linda after her live demo to learn more about her pumpkin carving process - read on for the full scoop.

terrain: Pumpkin carving is such a unique skill to have - can you tell us how you got started? 

Linda: When I was young, my parents encouraged my creative spirit by allowing me to paint murals on my bedroom walls and it opened my eyes to the fun in creating BIG. This eventually turned into a 10-year career of mural painting as an adult - which led to me entering the Great Pumpkin Carve at the Chadds Ford Historical Society. That was 23 years ago and I have been carving pumpkins ever since. I continue to carve at the Chadds Ford event every year which has become a tradition for my family - as has the Autumn Bounty festival at terrain!

terrain: What do you enjoy most about carving live in front of groups at an event like Autumn Bounty?

Linda: It’s fun carving at Autumn Bounty while people watch the process because it give me the opportunity to inspire and encourage others to try carving. It’s even better when the weather is perfect and I can smell a fire and autumn in the air.

terrain: Is there one major challenge you face during a carving?

The biggest challenge to carving a giant pumpkin is that you only have a few hours to carve - usually only about four to eight hours total. I almost always walk away wishing I had more time to tweak it just a bit more, but then I realize that it is time to let it go, snap a picture for prosperity, and let the rotting process begin!

terrain: Any tricks of the trade you could share with us for our own pumpkin carving adventures?

Linda: I use clay sculpting tools and knives to carve out the design that I sketched onto the pumpkin with a marker. I take off a lot of the skin with a lemon zester and I use a drywall saw to open up the pumpkin and hollow it out.

Missed the Autumn Bounty Festival? You’re in luck - our Holiday Open House at both Styer’s and Westport is happening on November 17th!

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