Foam core is a durable material that sandwiches foam between two pieces of stiff paper. There are many uses of foam core including craft projects, presentations, and even as cake board. One use of foam core that is gaining in popularity is sculpting it. With the right amount of foam core and the correct materials you can create your own sculpture. Sculpting with foam core is fairly easy and this article will show you how to properly handle this material.
Using the Proper Knife
Sculpting foam core is a delicate process that can easily be ruined by using the wrong cutting tool. Many first-time foam core sculptors will try to use scissors to cut the board but all that does is flatten out the board and cause the top and bottom layers to rip. Serrated knives are also a common choice and even though they may cut through foam core easily they also damage it. The serrated knife will create jagged edges and rips in the layers. The best tool for cutting foam core is a utility knife or razor blade. These blades are very sharp and cut through the board easily and quickly without creating ugly edges.
Never Force a Cut
Working with foam core board is a delicate process. The thickness of the board can hinder how you make your cuts. Thin foam core board can be cut through with a single pass but thicker versions are not so simple. You never want to slice the board at the top then force the blade down or start making a rocking motion. This will create jagged edges. To make a precision cut stop when the knife stops. Back the blade up and try again by pushing the blade straight down. When working with thick foam core you should cut it in waves. Use the utility knife to score the top layer of the board and then slice through the foam working in sections and then finally cut the last layer.
Sculpting Large Foam Core Blocks
Sculptors can purchase rather large blocks of foam core. You can also make your own blocks by gluing together several sheets of the foam core. Using a utility knife simply is not possible. It will not be able to cut through all of those layers or the thickness of foam while maintaining the precision you need to make a great sculpture. Using a serrated knife would ruin a normal sheet of foam but using an electric carving knife is an entirely different thing. In order to cut a thick piece of foam core with precision you need to generate speed and the blade has to be sharp. An electric carving knife is a great solution because the blade is sharp enough and it also oscillates fast enough so that it can quickly cut through the thick foam.
Score and Break
This is a simple method for sculpting foam core board. Score the top layer with a utility knife. Bend the board at the score then cut the other layer of paper.