Jumpin’ Pumpkins!

It is, for anyone not aware, pumpkin planting season! Early May is the perfect time to pop those seeds in the ground for a great gourd come harvest. And, with Halloween only 173 days away, we thought it was high time we do some paper pumpkin craft!

But pumpkin planting season isn’t the only reason we love pumpkins at Nottingham Castle. Ceramic artist Kate Malone’s Gigantic Pumpkin, always a favourite with visitors before we closed, is returning to the Long Gallery when we reopen next year!giant pumpkin

Louise Dunning, Curator of Fine and Decorative Art at Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, is a big fan of Malone’s Pumpkin and said:

“This brightly coloured work, Gigantic Pumpkin, is made from terracotta clay, and is displayed on a plinth, just under a metre high. It is a realistic interpretation, featuring the smooth curves and ridges of a pumpkin, as well as a twisted stalk at the top. However, this pumpkin is playfully exaggerated in size: 50cm tall, 90 cm wide and 90 cm deep. It weighs 81kg and takes four people to move it.

The Gigantic Pumpkin was hand built by potter Kate Malone in her studio in France, in 2008. The sumptuous, multicoloured surface was achieved gradually, by applying layers of earthenware glazes and then firing, over and over again.  The result is a blend of rich, dark greens and blues, with streaks of bright yellow and hints of orange.  The colours merge into each other, giving a depth and glossiness to the finish.”

giant pumpkin

What we’d love you to do is create your own gigantic pumpkin and we’ve some ideas for you! There’s a fab Youtube video for a concertina-ing pumpkin, or how about a paper strips pumpkin? You could create one using recycled materials you find in your house or garden? Perhaps a pumpkin collage or painting – the choice is yours!

When you’ve completed your pumpkin and if you want to, you can ask someone at home to share it with us on social media using the hashtag #NottmHeritageHunters or email them to gmorgan@nottinghamcastletrust.org. There will be an extra special prize for the best one and their family!

Kate Malone, Gigantic Pumpkin, 2008
© The artist
Photographs: Nottingham City Museums