Bio-based foam core

More sustainable alternatives to the stuff we live with.
At one time I was using a lot of foam core sheets to build light-weight sculptures for my animated videos and installations. After learning that foam core is actually very toxic, I decided to undertake research into a sustainable alternative. I reached out to the director of a USDA research facility who generously shared a bio-based recipe with me. Using this as a launching off point I experimented with the raw ingredients, comparing different starches, paper pulps, and drying methods. The process involved using large amounts of pure alcohol to evaporate the moisture quickly, thus allowing the foamed structure to dry without collapsing. Results varied, but overall I was able to make a homemade version, something I'd call, cottage-foam-core.