Hey Kristin, would you like to come out to The Orange Show and see Ford Sculptor Josue Maldonado speak about how he builds Ford vehicles out of clay? Of course I said yes, and then wondered, should I tell them I know next to nothing about art? Hmmm, no I’ll just keep that secret to myself, and hope no one quizzes me. Fortunately, Josue is a down to earth artist that’s as passionate about his job with the automaker as he is about his hobby of making robots.
With Texas sized mosquitoes and other bugs trying to distract our intimate group, we gathered around a table and learned about how Ford’s designers use clay models to create the finished product. Josue’s creative artistic personality is reflected even in his tools, which were custom made by him and carried around in a violin case. Did you know that every car made by Ford is first sculpted out of clay?
Designers are inspired with an idea and provide sculptors like Josue Maldonado with a sketch. Robots and computers carve out the rough design, and then sculptors like Josue use their tools to bring the design to fruition. Every inch of a vehicle, down to the minute details are sculpted by hand. Clay models give designers and engineers the ability to see what types of changes need to be made, as well as use them to get feedback from focus groups.
When a full sized clay model is being evaluated for production Ford will install lights and Plexiglas windows for a realistic version, so life like in fact, you might mistake it for a real car until you try to open the door.
Josue says being a clay sculptor for Ford in Detroit is his dream job, but his work doesn’t stop when he gets home. In the evenings his pursues his hobby, building robots from items he finds in junk yards. You can check out his uber cool creations at 27Robots on Etsy.
Props to Ford for hosting such a one of a kind event, and sharing it with local media and bloggers.