The Sentinel of DryRot Gulch

Rate this Entry
I am a big fan of Pumpkinrot. Big Fan. I just love what he accomplishes with his displays.

Among my favorites are his "Sentinels".

This my interpretations of it. I wanted to do something I had never seen done before. I decided to illuminate the Jack o'Lantern head not with a candle or electric tealight. I decided to put "hot coals" inside, since I'd never seen that done.

It's weird, when you think about it. The original "lantern" from the Jack o'Lantern story was a hot coal in a hollowed out turnip. So why have I never seen this before? Who knows? Maybe because battery-powered LED strands are only recently available. Maybe because actually putting this inside a JoL was nigh impossible before the advent of foam pumpkins.
Whatever the reason, I decided to do it!

Name:  dryrot1.png
Views: 62
Size:  623.4 KB

Here it is in place on the body of the scarecrow.

Name:  Slide2.PNG
Views: 70
Size:  584.0 KB

The ribs are made from corrugated cardboard covered in shop towels dipped a glue/water/flour paste. Nothing special.

On the left ribs where there is a gap, I used cotton balls in the same paste, stretched out. I covered the inside cavity with the towels too, then stretched cotton balls on top and painted orange to suggest pumpkin guts.

I've got more "guts " waiting to be added just before opening night.

The right hand is also corpsed in shop towels. Underneath is wire and aluminum foil and masking tape.

Paint is black base + white drybrush +brown drybrush + "brown mustard" yellow drybrush, in that order.

Name:  Slide1.PNG
Views: 62
Size:  535.9 KB

Here are other photos of the JoL in full daylight. I was very much inspired and influenced by my love of Steam Crow's "Marrow Thatch" character. Of course, mine is not "steam powered", nor intended to be quite so friendly. I love the fjord-like edges of the eyes and mouth which Daniel "Steam Crow" Davis, as far as I can tell, was the first to do.

Name:  Slide5.PNG
Views: 62
Size:  629.9 KBName:  Slide6.PNG
Views: 63
Size:  892.0 KBName:  Slide7.PNG
Views: 60
Size:  689.8 KB

Here's how it looks lit up in low light:

To get the coals inside the pumpkin, I:
1. Squeezed the pumpkin at the seam until it came apart. Many folks don't realize how easy that can be.
2. Lined the inside with foil. ( I don't know if it helps, but I heard it does, and it keeps the light from "bleeding" through the pumpkin shell)
2. I drilled a hole for the lights to go in through the back. Then I taped one strand of red LED "fairy lights" and one of orange where I wanted them. My orange strand has a "slow glow" option I really like.
3. Spray Foam over the whole thing.
4. A little black spray paint, a little yellow, a little red...
5. Glue the pumpkin back together with contact cement.

Other than popping open the pumpkin, it's probably nothing you wouldn't have guessed. I have found most don't consider opening it though. It makes all kind of tasks easier, IMO.

I think the battery powered LEDs are going to open up all KINDS of opportunities for these effects.

I'd love to see your coolest Jack O Lanterns, or your best innovations using battery powered LEDs!

Updated 10-01-2020 at 05:12 AM by DryRot