By Patricia Dwyer
Self-proclaimed "huge geek" Andy Bergholtz sculpts sci-fi and comic book characters for Sideshow Collectibles in Thousand Oaks, California.
"You know all those cool statues and toys from Star Wars and Marvel Comics that you see in stores?" he says. "Every one of those pieces started out as a clay sculpture, and that's where I come in."
Encouraged by his friend and fellow sculptor Ray Villafane, Bergholtz tried his hand at pumpkins last year.
"I instantly fell in love with the art form,"he says. "Carving pumpkins is actually not as different from my other work as most people think. Pumpkin flesh, or 'pulp,' is essentially like a very fibrous clay."
One of his earliest pumpkins was the star of Heidi Klum's 2012 Halloween party in Las Vegas. This and other such perishable masterpieces recently landed the artist a spot on the Food Network's "Halloween Wars."
The show's second season, which begins October 7, includes four episodes pumpkin carvers, cake decorators and candy craftsman competing for $50,000.
"My kids get to see their dad on TV," Bergholtz says. "How cool is that?"
See and order Bergholtz's pumpkins at villafanestudios.com.
Here's how sculptor Andy Bergholtz transformed a pumpkin into this magazine's cover star, DJ Pump! (kin you feel it?)