If you love pumpkins, Halloween, and cool art, then plan a visit to the Mariner Library.
Over the next three weeks, visitors will have the opportunity to see spectacular pumpkin carvings by library director Sandra Beck.
Beck chooses a theme every week – last week was Harry Potter – and brings in her creation on Mondays.
“Many of the libraries are book-related, like popular characters that are recognizable to library customers,” said Beck, who has worked for the Mariner Library since it opened seven years ago.
It takes Beck an average of two hours to carve a pumpkin.
“It’s both the shaved part of the pumpkin and the tracing of the design on the pumpkin,” she said.
Beck first draws the design on paper and then traces it on the pumpkin.
“There is some kind of stencil that I printed out that I put on top,” she said. “I’ll trace the pumpkin and then shave it off. It can take a couple of hours, depending on how complicated it is.”
A few years ago Beck drew an intricate elephant and piglet design that took several hours to complete.
“One with really fine details that I have to carve, I just drive a lot slower just because I don’t have an accident and I want to cut something, because then I would have to start all over again, and I really don’t want that,” she said .
Beck looks for uniform pumpkins for the pumpkins she brings to the library. She prefers the traditional round Jack O’Lantern as she places the stencil on the pumpkin.
“I’ve learned over the years that the heavier and smaller it gets, the bigger it gets, which isn’t always great,” said Beck.
Photo courtesy of Sandra Beck
At home, her pumpkin carvings generally have a more Halloween theme. Beck sometimes picks the oddly shaped pumpkin to enhance the funny faces she carves.
Beck started carving again about 10 years ago.
“I just love carving pumpkins,” she said. “It developed into this hobby that I do every October. It started out small and every year I tried a new skill.”
Beck plans to show Baby Yoda from the Mandalorian television series and a caterpillar in honor of author Eric Carle, who died in May. Carle is best known for his picture book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.
“He was a favorite of many children and adults,” said Beck.
Beck’s pumpkin carving can be seen at the Mariner Library, 520 128th St. SW., Suites A9 and A10, Everett.