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Pumpkins Beware

Renowned artist holding carving demo at Hicks Nurseries

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a fun and simple activity for people of all ages, but imagine being able to carve out lifelike 3-D pumpkin sculptures depicting the Wolf Man, angry fishes in the ocean or even a self-portrait. For Andy Gertler, sculpting pumpkins is just a part of his artistic lifestyle. He will have a pumpkin carving demonstration at Hicks Nurseries on October 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I carved jack-o-lanterns as a kid. A few years ago I tried sculpting a pumpkin for the first time and fell in love with it," Gertler says

The multi-talented Gertler is known not only for chiseling pumpkins, but also for his sand sculptures and ice sculptures.  He also runs Flash Booty, an animation and design company that helps over 500 clients worldwide.

He was also one the sculptors from the television series on the Travel Channel called “Sand Masters.” The show featured a team of talented sculptors who traveled around the world to build massive and elaborate sand creations for their clientele.  Every episode began with the artists arriving to their destination and ready for their next project. The crew faced the challenges of keeping the sand intact.  When asked about the type of sand that’s easiest to work with, Gertler said, “We like an angular sand with silt and sediment, all the very fine particles which will allow us to compress the sand and go to greater heights.” Each episode ended with jaw-dropping masterpieces made entirely of sand.

Gertler was first involved in carving sand before sculpting pumpkins. “I started carving sand about 15 years ago and really enjoyed the process, it was very relaxing and gave me an almost a zen-like feeling.” He also described the differences between the two forms of art. “I have carved huge sand sculptures that require a lot of physical effort. Pumpkins, on the other hand, feel somewhat more civilized as you can just sit at a table and carve intricate details.”  Although pumpkins can be more convenient to carve, Gertler added that it’s also less forgiving than sand. However, he finds both mediums to be equally enjoyable.

To be an ephemeral artist like Gertler, one understands that these creations lasts for a brief amount of time.

“When I carved my first sand castle, I must have walked away from it 10 times before I could leave it and took a thousand photos of it. You learn to let go. I have learned a lot from sand sculpture, maybe some of the most important things in my life, like what’s really important. It’s not the physical things in life that we accumulate that really matter, they are just things.  Life is about experiences and there’s nothing I’d rather do than travel the world with my friends, play in the sand and build art.”

Gertler has made a living practicing the art of sculpting sand, ice and pumpkins, as well as operating his design company. But of all the artistic mediums he has experienced, Gertler said, “Music is my favorite medium, I have played guitar for over 40 years, it is more a part of me than anything else.”

Gertler will be carving masterful pumpkin creations at Hicks Nurseries on October 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.