Russ Leno, Sleepy Hallow Master Pumpkin Carvers, Everett, Wash.
By Interview by Corey Hajim

(FORTUNE Magazine) – I JUST CARVED THESE PUMPKINS AT THE WESTern Washington State Fair. The big one is 759 pounds and took me five hours to carve. I just looked at this gigantic pumpkin and saw a face in it. I create something different each time. Sometimes I have a preconceived notion and pull it out of the pumpkin. Other times I change the design right there. I've been carving on and off for about 15 years, but for the past couple of years it's been my main job. I carve pumpkins for about 2½ months, and the rest of the year I do sand sculpting, ice carving, snow sculpting, and a little wood carving with a chainsaw. I spend about $2,000 to $3,000 a year for pumpkins. I buy a bunch so I get a deal on them. Then I get paid to carve at fairs and parties. My wife, Pam, and I carve together. Last year we carved over 100 pumpkins. I've carved for Vice President Al Gore, Martha Stewart, and Sharon Osborne. I also wound up on Jay Leno's show, but we're not related. When I first started doing it, I didn't realize that the juice inside has a lot of acid in it. I almost lost the fingernails on my hands from the pumpkin juice. Now I wear gloves. -- Interview by Corey Hajim