when we talk about Car Design Education we speak about basics of free-hand drawing and the importance of learning several techniques to illustrate well our ideas and creative proposals. This is all about the 2D skills.
However; another important step in car design education is when we try to transfer our bi-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional models. We can use many materials and, in good, design schools students learn how to use all those materials in their model shop (wood, plexiglass, clay, soft and hard foam, sending and painting).
Clay is the most important modelling learning step for a car design student or any young designer.
Clay is a flexibale elastic material that with warm temperature becomes very soft to work and model using proper tools (like in the fun illustration I made). When temperature becomes cold the Clay will become hard keeping the given shape and details and you can even finish the model using a special painting process.
Working the Clay we learn how to transform the 2D into 3D shapes and volumes, we learn to add details and also to sketch tri-dimensionally relatively fast before we decide to confirm our shape or detail. We can use our hand on the model to feel the volumes and feel what goes right or what is not yet correct, we can check proportions from all point of view, we could model two different design alternatives on each side, we can check with our eyes particular type of perspectives to see how our volumes integrates from certain angles, and lots more…
The starting process comes from technical drawing using sections to get the overall starting shape and proportions according to our final design in 2D.
We pre prepared a buck or structure in wood and soft light foam (so to control general model weight), we apply hot Clay with our fingers, the clay sticks come from an owen so they are hot to be really almost creamy….we apply our wood sections (look the illustration) to get overall volumes, we let the model cool off so that temperature goes down and the Clay becomes harder and ready to be worked.
Now it is time to use our clay tools and lets play with it shaping, refining, testing, and finishing.
A good clay quality scale model takes at least 2 months of good work and about 2 weeks for final paint job (there s some water sending between spray paint steps).
In conclusion, with the Clay experience you make an important step in understanding how to understand shapes and how to solve all classical intersection surfaces problems.
Do you need more info about Clay and Clay tools? Check Dave’s website click: davesclaytools