Underway with Foam Carving
So sorry to all for the delay in the commencement of this project. I had a number of things holding me up, including a fairly major wrist injury. But I am back in the game, and have made the first steps on the project today.
When I first saw the stack of 3×4 foot blocks of foam sitting in my garage, I had no idea how I was going to begin tackling this.
I decided to take the photos of the maquette into photoshop and do rough outlines of them. I placed them onto scale versions of the foam blocks to see how I was going to fit them all into place in order to conserve foam. I then sent them to the printers to be printed out at the same size as the foam blocks. It worked like a charm! I may have to modify some of the shapes, especially the limbs. But it’s a good start getting shapes out of very daunting blocks.
I started by cutting out the torso today, since everything stems from that piece. It is a very large piece, spanning the entire length of the 4 foot slabs.
I needed to cut out two pieces, one for either side of the armature. Each piece is about 9 inches thick and will be trimmed down considerably. I had a small dilemma in that the foam I was cutting is 9 inches thick and the blade of my hot knife is only 6 inches long. I therefore had to trace the pattern onto both sides of the foam and do two separate cuts from both sides.
WHEW! What a lot of work! While a hot knife does vaporize foam on contact, it is still a long and tedious process to cut out big pieces like this. You have to move very slowly, never forcing the blade through the foam but rather guiding it along.
Next step, cutting out slots to fit the pieces over the limbs and channeling out the inside of the pieces so that they will fit over the armature.
About the Materials : I am using an industrial grade hot knife from Hot Wire Foam Factory. I got this great little kit that comes with different attachments that I will be using later on in the project.
The foam I am using is EPS foam (expanded polystyrene). These is the bead type of foam that you have probably seen used in packaging. It is fairly inexpensive and can be recycled. All of the scraps from this project will be recycled at a local drop off spot (which happens to be the zoo!)