Various size EPS “rocks” were used by the Grover Cleveland Charter High School Band in Reseda, California for a series of competitions through the season. The results speak for themselves. “Our band finished 1st place at every competition in which we competed throughout the entire season, including a district Championship and a regional championship.”
The foam ended up working out perfectly. We used reciprocating saws to get them close to the desired shape, then we used sanders to get them smooth and round. We used spray paint to paint them. There are textured cans of spray paint that have the texture of rocks and cement so we used those. We also used lighter colored spray paint to add “veins” to the rocks. We then used a massive drill bit to put a 1” hole through the center of each rock and used a PVC pipe to stack them vertically. The theme of our show was “Tao” which is the Chinese philosophy that is based heavily on balance in the universe. The balanced rocks were to set an aesthetic for our show.”
EPS, sometimes referred to as Styrofoam, has become so popular for carving props and theatrical elements due to its extremely light weight and ease of shaping. Tools ranging from hand saws and rasps to electric cutting knives and power saws are used. There are a variety of electric hot knives and wire cutting tools specifically designed to cut EPS also available for larger projects. For this rock project, the band purchased 27 blocks of .9 pound density EPS in 3 different sizes. They were 16x20x48, 16x16x24, and 16x16x36. As can be seen from the photos, when the project was done the blocks became very convincing “rocks”.
For a video of the bands performance go to the youtube link below.