Last Updated: October 25, 2019, 2:56 pm

Womb to the tomb: DSU professor showcases Pedersen Pumpkin Project

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Joshua Pedersen, an instructor of practice in digital design, stands on his roof with his pumpkins. Pedersen used the Makerspace at Atwood Innovation Plaza to make his Haunted Mansion decorations. Photo courtesy of Shane Stewart.


A Dixie State University professor designed the outside of his house to look like his favorite Disneyland ride for Halloween.

Joshua Pedersen, an instructor of practice in digital design, used the Makerspace at Atwood Innovation Plaza to create Haunted Mansion decorations for the exterior of his house. Pedersen said his inspiration for the decorations came from his love of Halloween and the Haunted Mansion ride.

“Halloween has always been my favorite; I am a womb to the tomb spooky b****,” Pedersen said. “As a family, we have always gone to Disneyland and the Haunted Mansion has been my favorite ride since I can remember.”

Pedersen said it took him roughly 38 days from pencil to installation to complete what he refers to as the Pedersen Pumpkin Project. This included 27 hours spent on eight 4-by-8 sheets of plywood for the roofline, specifically laser cutting for six different sections of the roof, as well as viewing over 211 images of the Haunted Mansion Holiday, creating 168 candles, carving 66 Fun-Kin pumpkins with Nightmare Before Christmas style designs, and help from four faculty, 10-12 students, and the Makerspace staff.

“The first process was by hand, sketching the perfect swirls and stands for pumpkins and candles,” Pedersen said. “Then getting it to scale was hard, then actually creating it, painting it, making the candles, carving the pumpkins and finally installing it.”

Jeremey Forsberg, an assistant professor of web and digital design, said Pedersen approached him with the idea and they brainstormed for around 45 minutes with sketches and idea generation.

“Collaboration on projects can result in fantastic end products — synergy at its best,” Forsberg said.

Rachel Ramsay, an assistant professor of web and digital design, helped Pedersen with the project and said the plan is to do other projects in the future and collaborate with people across campus.

“The Makerspace is a unique resource on campus,” Ramsay said. “We encourage our students to use the space as they create new work. It’s an environment that is open and invites collaboration and innovation. This project would not have been possible without those resources.”

“It’s an environment that is open and invites collaboration and innovation. This project would not have been possible without those resources.”

Rachel Ramsay, assistant professor of web and digital design

Pedersen said he’s wanted to do this for years and just didn’t have the opportunity while living in cities and apartments, so it was a top creative priority when he moved back to St. George.

“If you can imagine it, it can finally happen,” Pedersen said. “DSU has more resources than they have ever had and it’s time that students and the community start taking advantage of them and making s*** happen. No more tomorrows, only todays.”

Pedersen said the Makerspace is open to anyone and as long as people pay for their materials they can make whatever they can imagine.

To see the finished project, visit 646 E. 1100 S. St. George or check out Pedersen’s Instagram at @joshpedersen.

To use or inquire about the Makerspace, go to Atwood Innovation Plaza at 453 S. 600 E. St. George, or contact Makerspace Coordinator Zack Manweiler at zack.manweiler@dixie.edu or 435-525-1242.

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