Here in Denmark the most common soldering pad is made of a material
called vermiculite. It is a light weight, non toxic material with
extreme insulation properties. It comes in a variety of thicknesses
and in some different hardnesses as well.
The softer ones wear away, but only after years of use, and they are
very easy to cut to pieces for propping up, you can easily place
pins in it for holding ackward pieces and it is quite inexpensive.
I have seen some glass blowers and other glass people use it ond
some types are also used as insertions in ovens and fire places.
Wonder, if anybody else know of this wonderful material.
from windy Bornholm, Denmark