Bigger is better


Herald Writer

EVERETT — Tim Sadley has skeletons in his closet.

He also has a variety of ghouls, goblins and whatchamacallits too detailed to describe tucked away in his magical mind.

Sadley is a pumpkin carver who believes bigger is better.

The 48-year-old Pumpkin Prince of Mukilteo will prove that this weekend when he tackles transforming a giant pumpkin into a ghastly delight at Everett’s newest family festival, Cider in the City.

The free festival, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday,1 will include a cider pressing demonstration, activities for kids, music, food and contests. The event will be at the Children’s Museum at 3013 Colby Ave.

"We wanted to provide something really fun for families to do together this fall," said Sara Scott, education development coordinator for the museum. "It’ll be an interactive family experience where people of all ages are having a good time together."

The museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making children’s lives better by creating a place where they can learn.

Sadley will begin carving the large pumpkin at 10 a.m. Saturday and again at that time on Sunday at the museum.

Over the years, Sadley has carved pumpkins into characters such as Groucho Marx, Richard Nixon, Albert Einstein and W.C. Fields. Pictures of whatever Sadley is carving this year will be secretly tucked away on small cards in his pocket.

Sadley’s carving tools are mostly knives, but he does have a large spoon with sharp edges. Some carvers use hammers or chisels, but not Sadley.

"It’s a vegetable," Sadley said. "I cut it with a knife."

Sadley never knows how long his creatures will last. Once, he carved a pumpkin into Stan Laurel that lasted until March.

Although Sadley has never had any formal training in art, his work is on display in at least 26 countries.

He carves wood, stone and antlers. Seems like the only thing he hasn’t carved is Spam.

As a child, Sadley wanted to be all kinds of things when he grew up. On his list were a priest, a fireman and even Roy Rogers.

The smallest pieces Sadley ever carved include unicorns made from ivory no bigger than a thumbnail. And soon, he’ll be working on one of his largest carvings. He won’t yet reveal what it is, but said it will be in seven tons of stone.

But, like the melting of icy snowmen, Sadley’s pumpkin magic disappears after a short while once the pumpkins rot.

Sometimes, Sadley likes to leave treasures during his travels. Maybe it’s a whale he has carved on a shell while watching the sun set at the beach. Or maybe it’s a surprise carving in the least likely of places.

"They’re little surprise carvings I’ve left virtually all over the country," he said.

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