Master pumpkin carver's labor of love awes and inspires people around Raleigh

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Friday, October 27, 2023
Master pumpkin carver awes, inspires people around Raleigh
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Jim Bille turned his creative, artistic mind toward learning an impressive Halloween talent: pumpkin carving.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Meet Jim Bille, a Raleigh master pumpkin carver.

"I'm a big fan of Halloween. You get to get into the creatures, the monsters, the fun stuff about it," he said.

Bille is an animator by trade, and it wasn't until seven years ago that he became inspired to become a master pumpkin carver.

"I saw that and it's like, I've got to try it. So I grabbed a pumpkin and dug in," he recalled. "I had no idea what I was doing, because I had never really worked in clay or anything. And I made just horrible pumpkins."

But he persevered, practicing as much as he could and learning how to work the pumpkin into all sorts of shapes. The tactile escape of carving a pumpkin is now a sort of therapy for Bille.

"I work on a computer all day, so my head is inside there pushing a mouse around sitting in front of a screen all day. I like to get out and work with my hands in the real world. Anytime you work with your hands it's therapeutic, so this is a great outlet for that," he said in a video posted to his YouTube page.

Bille now likes to share his outlet with others. He can often be found during the fall doing live pumpkin carvings around the Triangle.

"The fun part is showing other people, doing live carves, getting kids interested and seeing pumpkins in a different way-that it's not just triangles and a smiley face that there's this whole other world you can do with pumpkins."

This labor of love is one Bille looks forward to every year.

"Each one of these pumpkins is Christmas Eve because anything is inside there, you never know. The weather's gorgeous, the leaves are gorgeous. It's that time of year for spooky, creepy things, love all that. I look forward to it every year. A 10-month offseason and two months of hurry up and get it done because pumpkins are gone."

To learn more about Bille, including his live carving schedule, following him on Instagram.