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Foam Sculpting

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by BlueFrackle, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member

    Hey Guys,
    Im gonna try my first FoamSculpting, And would really like some tips from anyone !

    What kind of Foam should i use to make a Gonzo type nose and head ?

    What shuld i cut it with ?

    Can i dye the Foam ?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated !

    See ya
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    You should start with a block of foam. We like light-weight, dense foam is we have to carve, but we don't carve foam very often. Foam dulls blades quickly, so it's good to keep that in mind when you are buying supplies.

    Carving with a fish-filleting knife is good, but you'll need to have a sharpening stone. If you are using disposable knives (shame on you - very enviromentally unfriendly) you'll need a lot. We have found that using a little 3-in-1 or even vegtable oil on the blade prevents it from dulling quickly.

    Have fun!
  3. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    is it hard to carve out a shape in foam? could i practise on a chunk of clay?

  4. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    Thanks for the tip !

    Can you tell me what kind of Foam i should use, I like the sound of the Foam you were describing.

  5. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    It's not the same at all - plus, the foam is usually cheaper than clay!
  6. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Re: Hey,

    I honestly don't know from foam BlueFrackle. We just go to a big foam warehouse that's on the way to our studio and we walk through, see what they have and buy a lot of what we think will work (they don't stock foam consistantly). They can't tell us manufacturers or PPI (pores per inch) amounts or anything like that and we don't care because we get it dirt cheap. Sorry I can't be more help but you should really just experiment and learn what works best for you.

    Personally, I hate carving foam. I tried doing a Sheep that way once and it turned out awful. That's not to say you can't make awesome puppets that way - lots of people do. It's not just my style.

    Oh yeah, another knife idea is to use one of those electric turkey carving knives. I hear they work really well.
  7. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Well-Known Member

    I've heard the same thing-- electric knives work well.

    I asked about this on the old forum and someone said the Muppet are generally carved with a scroll saw. I don't have that kind of equipment lying around, but having tried a little foam carving I can definitely see how it would be easier.

    Another hint I got-- sketch out your design on a piece of paper first. Make a full-sized full front drawing and a profile. You can adhere these to the foam with a spray adhesive and use them as cutting guides.

    Don't hollow out the entire head, just make enough space for your hand. Puppets need brains, too.

    In general, I agree with Buck Beaver-- carving foam is not my best skill. I suspect it would be easier with better quality foam (I got mine at the local fabric/craft store) and better cutting tools.

    Good luck BlueFrackle-- can't wait to see what you create!
  8. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    Thanks so much !

    My Grandad told me i could use his electric knife for Foam Sculpting, I thought he was just pretending.

    But he must have known more about it then me !


    See ya

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