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Reynoldsburg man creates amazing pumpkin sculptures

In the last 10 years, Deane Arnold has sculpted thousands of pumpkins.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — It’s an interesting argument to lay down: details don’t matter.

They never did. Not even to him.

“If it doesn’t look like a face to begin with, the teeth don’t make any sense,” Deane Arnold said while sculpting.

Deane Arnold has a gift. It’s one that he knows is a little weird.

“Yes,” he said. “My God, yes. Weird? Weird is coined,” he laughed.

Credit: Deane Arnold

It’s a little unconventional, he knows. But, it’s a gift, with his own personal spin that is now the face of all he is.

“It’s not just my identity, it’s my livelihood,” he said.

It started about 10 years ago when the lifelong artist found a new medium.

“At one point I saw some of the earlier, extreme pumpkins,” he said. “Sculptural pumpkins…and it was revelatory.”

Since then, the desire to create and solve has been his life; making remarkably beautiful, yet unusually off-putting pumpkin sculptures.

He travels the country teaching classes, spinning his tale to students that details do not matter.

Credit: Deane Arnold

“One of the statements that I hear a lot is ‘Oh, I could never do that, he’s so talented, I could never do that’,” he said. “And that stops me cold. Them’s fighting words for me.”

And, more important than success, he says, is failure.

“People are afraid of failure,” he said. “But, it’s a pumpkin. There’s no responsibility here.”

In the last decade, he’s sculpted thousands of pumpkins. A few, from previous years, he keeps in vinegar to preserve them. The rest, like a chill, fall breeze, have come and gone.

“They don’t last and I don’t want them to last,” he said. “Ephemeral art, I think, is more compelling and special because it doesn’t last.”

What does last is the feeling.

“The main thing I want [people] to take away is that it made them feel good,” he said.

The rest…well…they’re just details.

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