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Foam Core! / Cubed in 4 Parts

I am not teaching any Foundations courses this semester but I was recently approached by a Foundations student with questions about current projects so I thought I would address them in a blog post and hopefully help more than one student. The first question was about the Foundations 4 project Foam Core! and unfortunately I don’t have much to help you other than some advice. As with all Foundations projects we as faculty, want to see a lot of experimentation and this project is no exception. I would start with a lot of process or sketches of objects animals and things. Simplify these sketches using the Principle of Economy that you learned about in Foundations 1. Then start thinking about the three-dimensional aspect of your object, animal or thing. This project has a lot to do with or at least is very similar to Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper. Use sheets of heavy paper scaled to size or corrugated cardboard to start making your three dimensional objects. These could be considered your roughs. When you are comfortable with a solution switch to your foam board. Do some experimentation on cutting the foam board partially but not completely through so you get an idea of the depth of cut necessary to fold the board without tearing. This is a hard project but can produce absolutely brilliant and beautiful work so don’t give up – keep working!

The second question was about the Foundations 3 project Cubed In 4 Parts. The question was “I wanted to know how to get my cardboard squares to go directional, do you use wire or something else?” and my reply like the first question is there is no magic trick, mostly hard work and patience. You might try straight pins to help support the foam core. When the glue drys clip the heads of the pins off with wire cutters.

Charity Mauch

Charity Mauch

The type of glue is pretty important also. Most of my students used Tacky Glue but some used hot glue. There are several different types of the brand Tacky Glue. I would think the faster drying and more aggressive the tack was the better. You are trying to get the pieces to stick without clamps. You could also try using a low tack tape like blue painters tape to hold the pieces together until the glue drys The problem with hot glue is you have to clean up all the glue strings but it is faster.


Original Tacky Glue

You can also try to increase the amount of surface to glue by cutting slots in one square and sliding another square into the slot. Done with precision and craft this also gives the illusion of the squares or components being fused or one.

Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith

I hope these suggestions help. Remember, experiment with both the design solutions and the process. Jump into both projects with both feet and don’t be tentative, be BOLD and have fun!