I just received three sample pieces of very high density CoraFoam directly from Brad Burnett, the Sales Representative at Duna-USA in Baytown, Texas. I have been experimenting with HDU as a sculptural medium for several years now and have really enjoyed its versatility and the way that it responds to both power and hand carving tools, but the work I now want to do is going to push me to very fine detail carving, and even the 20lb Duna-board that I have been using seems just a bit coarse. I discovered that Duna-group makes a denser product but I had no way of affording a sheet of it to experiment with. So I sent an email to the main office asking for a connection to some end user that might have scraps left over that I could negotiate for. Instead, Brad offered to send me some samples, not only of the 31lb material, but also of a 28lb material that I knew nothing about but which seems to be more than adequate for my purposes and which, if it works, will be less costly. I cannot thank Brad enough, or say nice enough things about the service that this company offers.
For anyone who might be interested: This High Density Urethane material is a product that was originally created for insulation applications and such, but which has found myriad other uses. It has become a mainstay of the art and sculpture world. It has properties which emulate and even are superior to the finest of carving woods. It costs about the same as quality carving wood. It is dimensionally stable and very strong. It avoids many of the problems of joinery and gluing that are inherent with wood. It is weatherproof and waterproof. It is impervious to virtually all solvents. It will not decompose or rot or attract bugs or support mold. Ultra-violet radiation can break it down, but a coat of paint prevents this, and it takes all finishes beautifully. It will last forever. I highly recommend it as a medium for any application that does not demand the use of natural woods for some specific reason. Of course, there are many applications for which there is no substitute for the beauty and warmth of wood, and no synthetic material will ever replace a unique board or burl in one of those cases.
I am planning on using CoraFoam to create the master carvings for many of the designs that I will be reproducing in resin since these master carvings will have to be archived and I do not want them to be damaged by storage over time. I will be posting a photo journal of some of these projects so you can enjoy the process. Please stop back as often as you have a minute to spare.