"Faux-Stone" Relief Carvings in Styrofoam
Relief carving in stone has been practiced for thousands of years in cultures around the world. Representations of plants and animals often appear in these carvings. Students chose a plant or animal subject and prepared a design for a rectangular panel which includes at least one word of text. Helped by photographic references, the students prepared full scale drawings. After transferring these 'cartoons' to the foam insulation panel, they began to carve. Knives, rasps, files, and gouge tools are all involved in carving this soft material. Light sanding and some gypsum plaster prepare the surface to paint. The objective in painting was to mimic as closely as possible the colours and textures of natural stone. Painting tools included sponges, rags, and toothbrushes in additions to paintbrushes. Many historical stone carvings were viewed by the students throughout the process. These pieces took about 15-20 hours to complete-- much less than if they were really stone!
Carved and faux-finished plastic foam is widely used in scenery for movies, television, and theatre as well as in the decor of stores and tourist attractions.
Art 210 introduces three dimensional visual art processes using a wide variety of material, many of them salvaged or recycled.