I saw a couple of shots of watermelon carved to look like clams, when I was researching ideas for our ocean themed VBS lunch, and thought they'd be perfect. Unfortunately, when I followed the links from the pictures back to their sites, there weren't any instructions for the carving. Still, I thought, how hard can it be?
Let's just say, I'm fortunate another family in our church offered to carve two of our four watermelon, and did theirs first - in time to share their tips with me, and stop me from going about the process all wrong.
Since, they don't blog, and you might someday want to carve your own watermelon clams (never say never), I'll pass along their tips, and a few from my own carving experience. Just keep in mind, that watermelon carving is not big on my list of talents.
So, first off, you want to slice a thin piece off of the bottom of what will be your clam, so the watermelon doesn't roll around while you're carving - or on the serving table.
I cut a little deep (as you can see below), which was not ideal, as it let juice leak out later, but not so much that it was a big problem.
Next, figure out where you want the opening of the "mouth" to be, and cut out a wedge of watermelon. In the picture below, it looks like I cut the wedge low - but for some reason the watermelon was rocked forward when I took the picture. The opening should be a little above center.
Mark off a scallopy short of shape, to carve out - matching the ups to downs on the the bottom half, and vice-versa, to give the appearance it could close back together.
If you use washable marker, keep in mind, the watermelon juice will wash it away, pretty quickly.
I tried to carve the design before removing the watermelon, but found it was much easier after the shell was emptied out...
...which was done with a melon baller, followed by a scraping with a large spoon.
When you do carve, tilt the knife inward, to allow an outline of white to show around the opening (a straight cut ends up looking much less clam-like).
Finally, place the melon balls back into the watermelon shell, and serve (or cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until your ready to serve - though then you might want to store the melon balls in a separate container, to keep the juice to a minimum inside the shell).
Oh, and one final tip: We transported our watermelon to church on plates (as pictured), our friends had theirs in shallow baking dishes. We arrived covered in watermelon juice. They did not. So, there you go.