The first thing you notice is the massive Greek god looming outside:
“Our specialty is making really cool big things.”
And once you get past Poseidon – those ‘cool big things’ just keep coming.
“We do everything from tall Anubis to 23-foot Poseidons, to rock walls, to Egyptian-themed tombs, to 4-foot-tall gummy bears, to 4-foot-tall letters,” said Rick O’Connor, owner of VFX Foam. The letters stand for visual effects, an industry term for using tech to make special effects magic.
The Ferndale company launched in mid-2016 – and it’s quickly growing a reputation as a place that can build anything from plain white styrofoam.
“So it starts off with these 8-foot by 4-foot chunks,” said O’Connor, next to a rectangular block of styrofoam. "And we'll take this over to the hotwire cutter,” he said, demonstrating how a red hot wire carves the block down to size.
Then the foam goes into a CNC machine – a type of computerized cutter – that carves out more details. It’s a collision of creative art – and computation. O’Connor says doing this job requires the trigonometry you might have detested in high school.
Foam sculptures of the Egyptian god Anubis will end up in an escape room on the east coast – a game where people decode clues in order to find their way through a life-sized maze.
After they’re carved, the figures get coated with the same material you find in truck bed liners. This stuff’s so tough – it can be, and is, made into waterpark slides.
VFX has an unofficial motto: The bigger, the better.
It applies to both what they make and their plans to add a 10,000-foot facility and quadruple in size in the next few years to keep up with the demand for foam transformed to fun stuff.
“The whole team here is really talented at what they do and they all specialize in different things but in the end, it creates this amazing piece,” said O’Connor.
So if you’re in the market for a massive deity, or anything else for that matter – now you know where to go:
“Exactly," said O'Connor. "There's nothing we can't do.”
6213 Portal Way, Ferndale, WA, Ferndale, WA 98248
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