SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Scott Cully is known around the globe but calls Eugene his home. He also holds the Guinness Book Record for creating the world's largest jack-o'-lantern, weighing more than 1,800 pounds.
Cully's idea of the perfect pumpkin is a little different that what most people might think. "I like the pumpkins that are the gnarliest and the nastiest pumpkins," he said, "big bulges hanging off one side and twisted. The last thing I want is a beautiful, smooth, symmetrical-shaped pumpkin."
A few weeks before Halloween, the former pumpkin farmer put on a show for visitors at the Gateway Mall in Springfield as part of a Sheltercare fundraiser to raise money for the homeless in Lane County.
Carving pumpkins definitely isn't as easy as this record-breaker makes it look. Cully described the careful engineering of carving a pumpkin: one wrong cut can make the whole thing collapse on itself.
"You have all the weight pushing down, that's a problem. To amplify the problem, I'm taking huge pieces out of it," he said.
So like any sturdy structure, Cully said his creation needs spaced-out "support columns" to hold the weight: "So now the weight has to be transferred to vertical columns in the carbon that have to be left."
Cully has a few tips for people making their own pumpkin masterpieces.
"Cut the bottom out so you don't burn yourself lighting a candle inside," he said.
He doesn't take all the credit for himself, either.
Instead Cully said he's picked up some of his pumpkin tricks, like cutting out the bottom of a pumpkin instead of the top, from a few crafty celebrities. "Isn't that brilliant? It's Martha Stewart," he said while laughing. "Seriously, that's who taught me that!"
Families looked on as the world-renowned sculptor whittled away at the giant pumpkin sitting in Gateway Mall's Center Court. Big chunks of orange littered the floor around the artist who said he enjoys the "oohs" and "ahhs" from onlookers, but his real passion is to inspire the youngest to dream big.
"The lights go on in the kids eyes like, wow I could do this," he said.
Four-year-old Carissa Frahm came to the mall with her father to watch Cully's creation come to life.
"Look at his teeth!" She said wide-eyed with wonder. She goes on to explain why the pumpkin they already bought isn't big enough anymore. "We need to find a really big pumpkin," she said, pointing to the huge pumpkin being carved feet away. "One that size."