Rake it till you make it!

Back from Germany. Ich spreche kein Deutsch!

Greetings fellow geeks!

I’m back from Germany and wanted to share a little bit of my trip with you. On September 8th, I  flew across the pond with my good friend and star kurbis schnitzer pumpkin carver Ray Villafane, joined by fellow sculptors Patrick Burke, Nikolay Torkhov, and Jareon Van DeVlag to create a few displays for Ray’s “Hubbards” attraction. Basically, we use Hubbard squashes as well as similar, fruits, veggies, and gourds and by using Ray’s Schaumstoff  foam arms and legs to create scenes that make people laugh, smile, blush, and say “awwww”.  Sometimes they are carved and sometimes, they’re not. Most of this takes place at Ludwigsburg palace in Ludwigsburg. However, this year, we also set up a display at Spargelhof in Klaistow/Beelitz Germany which is right outside of Berlin!

Welcome to Ludwigsburg

Welcome to Ludwigsburg

On our days off, we were able to head in by the most elusive train on the planet – the RE 7 Bahn and see what the beautiful city of Berlin had to offer. Well, that was the plan anyway. It seemed no matter which way we tried to get lost in the city, we kept stumbling upon the same indoor/outdoor bar that lured us in with its intoxicating view of Neue Kirche in Gendarmenmarkt and knowledgable, man bun toting bar keep. The walls on the inside of the bar were lined with larger than life photos of nude women which, doesn’t do much to help mask the fact that you’re a dumb tourist who can’t help but stare at boobs and such. Especially when you get more than a sip of alcohol in you after a long walk from the train station on a hot day. Regardless, they make a solid raspberry mojito so, I didn’t mind at all.

We made our way to the Reichstag building, the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe, the French Cathedral, and more. All such breathtaking sights that need to be seen in person to truly appreciate.

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Loved this war propaganda poster

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Brandenburg Gate and its keeper

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Reichstag Building

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Brandenburg Gate topping

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Berlin Wall

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Ray wondering where it all went wrong.

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Inside the Memorial for Murdered Jews of Europe

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Germany loves their sculpture 🙂

On our work days, the Hubbards took Germany by storm with a bevy of humor and what we refer to as “right up to the line inappropriateness”. Its always fun to make these displays since it affords you the opportunity to work out some deep seeded childhood issues become a comedian. An idea will pop into your head, and once you start working on it, it can change into something completely different that ends up turning into something hilarious. Making people laugh is a good feeling. Making a lot of people laugh is an even better feeling. Check out the Villafane Studios facebook page for more photos of the displays we created.

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Mowing on some asparagus

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Another contestant in the asparagus eating contest

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Crash landing was unsuccessful for some

Its always an adventure with Ray. Especially walking through the city. We couldn’t find the correct train and very narrowly almost missed the last one out of the city and back to the hotel. As I was reading the map of an info booth all in German with no “you are here” arrow, trying to figure out where the hell we were and where the hell we were supposed to go, Ray wandered off to battle a serious case of the munchies by searching for the last, open tiny train station bakery that could provide him with just the ammunition to do so. He returned with some waffles. We were almost forced to sleep in the station and wait for the first train out in the morning. Ray would have been fine with that and I probably would have too, had it not been for the thought of having to go through a full work day without showering from the day before. After coming across a very nice person who happened to speak English, she led us to the correct station, praising Jesus the entire way, she almost converted me… until we found that the place she led us was closed for a holiday. Welp, guess I can still eat meat on Lent. Somehow, we stumbled upon the correct station and platform.  We caught the last train out for the night. Coincidentally, that made it no easier to find, each and every time we had to take the very same train back.

We didn’t get much sleep, since we got back so late. But we made it to work on time, albeit very tired and worn out from the 14 plus hours of walking we did. The press was scheduled to be at the event early the next morning. They usually ask to have a fresh pumpkin carved, and ready to go so that they have something good to show to everyone as most people still don’t understand the concept of 3d pumpkin carving. As a result, we’re no strangers to carving pumpkins in hotel rooms to help things run a little more smooth. So, that night to prepare for a morning interview, still with basically no sleep, Ray needed to carve a pumpkin and I needed to process some photos. He was carving away and I was sitting there watching for a bit as we both finally started crashing. He got up from the chair in the bathroom where he was carving and lied on the floor and within about 4 seconds, fell asleep so hard that if he wasn’t snoring like a lumberjack, I may have googled the German translation for “holy shit my friend just died on the hotel floor” so that I could try to yell it at the top of my lungs while running through the halls. 911 doesn’t work in Germany, so that would have been my next immediate course of action. Luckily he woke back up within 6 minutes. I told him he should probably get some sleep. He proclaimed, “Nah I’m good for another hour and a half or so!”. Don’t know too many people who can keep that up. But, Ray can… call it a fearless, can do attitude. I call it “retard strength”. Off to bed I went.

Common occurence

Common occurence

All in all it was a blast! Met some really cool people, got to carve a few pumpkins, saw some really cool sites, had some great food and the most delicious beer on the planet which I just so happened to smuggle across the border to enjoy with my better half. I couldn’t help myself, I’m a loner Dottie…a rebel.



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Chris carving a pumpkin / hubbard

I’m back in the studio for a minute, so I’ll be continuing work on the Deathclaw. Check out The Sculpture_Geek Instagram for updates on that. There may also be an upcoming contest depending if time allows. Until next time.

Smoke and Garlic!


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