Recently, on rec.arts.puppetry, someone requested information on foam puppet sculpting. They were interested in a Miss Piggy type puppet that is made by making a mold and then pouring a substance into the mold. This then dries into foam. Steve Axtell, of Axtell Expressions Inc., wrote the following explanation, which is used with his permission.
This process is Foam Latex. It is very difficult and requires quite a set up. The molds need to be made from Ultra Cal 30 because they must be able to take high heat. The basic process is to mix with beaters 2 parts of the foam latex compound together and poured into the mold (which also requires a core mold for the interior area - to create the hollow) and then baked for about 5 hours at I think 300 degrees. The result (if done right) is a nice foam representation of your sculpture.
For Piggy, the foam latex is then flocked to give it the fuzzy look.
Contact Burman Industries - 14141 Conello St. 6-A, VanNuys, CA 91405 (818) 782-9833 - for the latex, and there are a variety of books out on special effects makeup for movies etc.....that go thru the process of making foam latex appliances or prosthetics like big noses etc.
Axtell Expressions Inc.
230 Glencrest Circle
Ventura, CA 93003-1305
Tel & Fax (805) 642-7282
Steve added on 11/2002: Tom McLaughlin (www.mclaughlinfoam.com) pioneered the use of latex foam for puppets and was responsible for working all the bugs out of casting Miss Piggy for the Hensons back in the 70's. He did the latex foam for Dark Crystal and upwards of 50 other films. He has reformulated and brought back to the market my brand of foam several years ago. His longer lasting formula is available from www.monstermakers.com
See Tom's extensive article on Latex Foam for Puppets.
(c) 1995 Axtell Expressions Inc. All rights reserved.