Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Joy of Metal Clay: A Subtittion for Scracth Foam?

The last couple of weeks I have been blogging about using Scratch Foam for making your own textures. Being the practical and frugal gal that I am, I began to wonder if there was any substitution for Scratch Foam. OK, it really isn't that expensive (I think I paid under $3 from Art Clay World for a package of six large sheets) but some of us may not want to wait for a shipment to arrive or just want to try out the technique out before ordering it online. Plus it is more ecofriendly to recycle.   I began to wonder if readily found household items could work as a substitute?

Luckily, we are having a roast for Sunday night dinner so I had some meat tray foam on hand.  I also found Styrofoam packaging from Christmas gifts and some pink insulation foam lying around in our yet to be finished basement.   The only type of foam I didn't have on hand was take-out container foam but I imagine it to be similar to the meat tray foam.  With sampling of materials on hand, off I went to try things out.

First let me talk about the failures.  Both the Styrofoam packaging and pink insulation foam are not worth trying. Drawing on these materials often caused tears and a poor image.

The meat tray foam  is quite similar to Scracth Foam.  I tried drawing several images on the foam I had on hand.  Occasionally I got a tear but for the most part the process of drawing the image on the foam was quite similar.  The meat tray foam I had on hand was black which made it difficult to see my designs but overall worked well.

The next test was to roll some clay on the designs and compare impressions.  I compared a similar designs  between one done on Scratch Foam vs the meat tray foam.  I noticed that the Scratch foam did seem to make a slightly crisper impression. 

To sum it up, Scratch Foam will give a slightly crisper transfer and is slightly easier to work with but if you don't have Scratch Foam on hand or you just want to test out something and use recycled material, meat tray foam doesn't seem to be a bad substitute.

I will try and figure out my photo problem and upload my photos when I get the problem solved.

Off to cook my Sunday roast. Have a great week!

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