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Paulo Machado - Pumpkin Artist
By Kristina Hacker

Paulo Machado has been fascinated with pumpkin carving ever since he visited the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival as a young man recently arrived from the Azores. Watching the professionals transform a large vegetable into a work of art spoke to him and he’s been carving ever since.

The Turlock resident is now following in the footsteps of his carving idol, Ray Villafane, by using a 3D method, rather than the traditional jack o’ lantern style.

Machado is known for his “goofy-faced” pumpkins, with features so life-like it’s spooky.

“I look at a pumpkin and I kind of see a face in it and I go for it. The fun part about it is that if I try for something and it comes out something else, it’s all good because it really doesn’t make a difference,” he said.

It takes up to four hours for Machado to create one of his unique carvings. Machado said he’s not upset that his works of art will only last for a short time before coming pumpkin mush.

“I take a picture of each pumpkin and that’s how I keep them,” he said.

209 Magazine reporter Angelina Martin had a personal carving lesson from Machado and Studio 209 captured their efforts — and Machado’s first carving of the season. Check it out at:

While Martin struggled to make her first pumpkin carving ever turn out the way she intended, Machado said his best advice for beginners is to “Keep doing it and just have fun with it.” ■

Check out more of Machado’s creations and tips for beginning carvers at:


Machado will also be carving live weekends throughout October at R.A.M. Farms in Turlock.

Find out when he will be at the farm at: