David Madero (@madero_co)

January 15, 2022

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with David from @madero_co and talk a little shop.
 
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to leo.benchmarkabrasives@gmail.com to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!

 

 

Name:   David Madero

Business Name:   Madero/Co.

Location:  Torreón, México

Socials: IG: @madero_co   FB: MaderoCo

Websites: https://maderoco.net   YouTube: Madero Co.

Specialties:  Monumental and smaller works of art made in mild steel, stainless steel, bronze and copper. I use a variety of welding processes that include MIG, TIG, Stick and Oxyacetylene - in which I have decades of experience.

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I've been doing metal art since I was five years old. I was pretty much born into it, as my biggest teacher and inspiration was my father (Rogelio Madero 1936-2014), who was an accomplished artist and a pioneer in welded art. He started way back in the 1950s. I took the baton of the family business and have never looked back. I love absolutely everything about metal art and it's become my whole world!
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Probably my biggest motivation is this extreme and obsessive need that I have in turning ideas and what I see in the world into metal. The cherry on top of all of this, is knowing that I'll be able to also show the public (through social media) the process of how I do, what I do. And man, do I hate keeping artistic secrets. Lately, my motivation and corny mission in life has been to help inspire others, like my father inspired me.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
That's a tough one to answer, as I'm constantly experimenting with different textures and finishes, while using an assortment of welding processes and metal working tools. But, if you put a gun to my head, I would have to say OxyFuel welding/cutting. Some may consider Oxy Acetylene as super old school, but I use it for so many things, like cutting, bending, welding and coloring metals. For me it's the perfect all-in-one metal art tool. And it might be fitting that this does take me back in time, to the first welding process that I learned when I was five.  
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
Oh wow, too many to mention here! But I gotta say that one work of art that did make my eyes well up with deep pride was a monumental 'Eagle and Serpent' sculpture that I had made for the official residence of the President of México. The sculpture represents the image on the Coat of Arms of Mexico and is also on the Mexican flag. This has been one of my proudest moments as a Mexican-American artist.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Although my priority will always be sculpting, one of my biggest satisfactions in life is traveling and teaching what I have learned to others. I've had the pleasure of giving Welded Art Workshops all over the world, in places like Japan, Italy, Kazakhstan and the U.S.A.. So yes, either teaching at my own welded art school and/or constantly traveling to give these workshops would be my dream job.
 
 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I can't really just choose one my brother. But I do really love me the quality and durability of your wire wheels, end brushes, cut-off wheels, grinding wheels, carbide burrs, flap discs, flap wheels, resin fiber discs, buffing kits, and I gotta say that the grinding hood rocks. So pretty much everything stands out.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
I'm no expert on how abrasives are done, but BA products must have been made with kickass tech. They last a hell of a lot more than the competition on flat surfaces ( i.e. grinding wheels, flap discs, resin fiber discs, buffing, etc.). It's crucial that I'm able to take away welds when I want, and do artistic and mirror finishes, while not having to worry that things will get dull and change halfway through the piece. Consistency is key here and I can totally swear by your products.
 
 
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
One of my favorite techniques is to do the actual sculpting with a grinder. I'll start by welding the piece up, and have it be as solid, thick and fat as possible.  And I'll just go crazy on it, while eating away at the metal. And I'm not talking about just using the flat part of the disc. I mean, also using the disc's edge and eating away at the form of the sculpture, very similar to what artists do on wood and marble sculptures. But, instead of a smooth finish, I like going aggressive on the metal and leaving sharp bite marks throughout the piece. Almost having the metal look like it's been chipped away. The amazing textures that can be done through grinded art is truly limitless.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
I couldn't really just give you just one person, but what I can tell you is that collaborating with talented architects is my jam. This isn't an everyday thing for me, but I wish I could constantly work with renowned architects. There's something that really excites me about working my functional art (furniture, doors, etc.) into the ultimate functional art, which is architecture. My father would always say that what we do is "jewelry for architecture".
 
 
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
I feel that many young people entering the metal-art-world can drive themselves crazy trying to be perfectionists and want their art to be immediately amazing. And they can also forget that making mistakes is an all too important part of the journey. Also, these "mistakes" can many times give works of art a certain beauty, soul and personality. I've seen extremely talented people freeze up and not finish artwork or even start their art, due to fear of messing up. And trust me, I've lived it and I still battle with it myself from time to time. You just have to find a good balance between striving to get better, while not being so hard on yourself if things don't come out exactly as planned.
What are your future plans for your shop?
I've been slowly but surely getting into more modern fabrication technology, like newer types of abrasives, 3D scanning/printing, plasma cutting tables, and state of the art welding machines. I'm extremely lucky to have partnerships with companies (like BA) that are sponsoring me with some of this new tech.  I'm 46 and this won't be easy as I'm having to learn things that completely take me out of my comfort zone. I used to be somewhat of a hater of newer tech for art making and very stubborn in my caveman ways of doing things, but this all kind of circles back to that fear thing. Now, I will never forget about my old school roots in art fabrication, but I will definitely strive to keep up with the times.
 
 
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Doing welded art is not this precious thing where only an elite club of people that have gone to art school can do. Some of the best metal artists out there don't have an ounce of art training. Some, like myself, haven't even taken welding courses. There really isn't a magic bullet for doing great metal art, and anyone can do it. If you're interested in this world, just go out and buy a cheap welder and watch what other artists do online. Or even take a few beginner welding courses to get the feel of the tools and materials. Just go out and make something.  Make anything. Just remember that there are absolutely no rules in making art. Some of the coolest stuff that I've seen is from people who had no idea that they had it in them. And hell, some of you beginners out there might just be called to be a future contestant on our new Netflix show that I'm a judge on - Metal Shop Masters!

 

 A Note From Leo

Thanks for sharing your story with us, David!  Love your attitude and words of inspiration. I have a welder that's still in the box and I keep putting it off until I can get my garage shop area setup.. I need to stop lagging and just do it. I fell in love with it during the one class I took and am curious on what I can come up with. I just have the issue of always finding excuses in my head to put it off... like, not having a supply of metal to play with. lol



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