Meet Thomas Kalker — lead modeller for Ford Motor Company. Mr. Kalker creates clay models for The Blue Oval, with a big part of his job ensuring the car looks realistic.
“The first time I touched clay, I was surprised how easy it is to build surfaces with it. It’s very soft and very simple to work with it”, says the Ford design lead.
Kalker needs to have a significant amount of patience in his job, “because you change the surfaces sometimes three or four times per day. You build a surface, you don’t know how to make the connection for example from the hood to the fender”, he says. So “you have to play around with the surfaces, you have to touch it, you have to feel the crown and the shape, and build something new.”
Kalker is also responsible for building the little hard parts. Previously, design elements were built in clay, meaning that “you can’t move it, you can’t paint it. Now, we build a grill to make the car much more realistic.”
Ultimately, “The beauty of clay modelling is you can stand in front of it, you can touch it you can feel it and you can walk around the final model. I have a feeling that’s very good because I know I am a part of the process to build a car.”
Watch along as Mr. Kalker masterfully models a Focus out of clay in this video: