WASHINGTON – It’s the ultimate Washington Halloween story. Molly Tolzmann had two pumpkins, artistic skills and an endless cycle of political news inspiration. So she took the pumpkins, printed out the perfect head shots of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and carved the faces of two of the most talked-about presidential candidates into her squash plants.
“You can’t miss out on the opportunity with Trump to do Trumpkin,” said Tolzmann. “It’s all very amusing. . .These are two of the most notable personalities in the race right now, even if they might not be the most viable candidates right now.”
Tolzmann, 28, a graphic designer for an international development firm by day, has some experience carving culturally relevant pumpkins. Last year, she carved Claire and Frank Underwood – the star Washington couple of Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Another year, she made jack-o’-lanterns of President John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald.
This year, she was thinking of doing something “Game of Thrones”-related on her pumpkins, but ultimately decided to go with politics. Each carving, Tolzmann said, took her a couple of hours to complete. She found images of the presidential candidates online and then used chopsticks and a kitchen knife to create the intricate carvings.
Upon completion, she even photographed the Trumpkin in front of the White House and uploaded some photos online. The blog PoPville displayed one of them.
“I have kind of honed my process over the years,” Tolzmann said. “Chopsticks, that’s the secret to it I found.”
But don’t expect to see the pumpkin art outside of Tolzmann’s Petworth home this Halloween. They are pumpkins, after all, and Tolzmann said she had to throw them out after a few days.
“Even the richest among us end up in the compost pile at the end of the day,” she said.