When I moved to Illinois in 1989, I was fortunate to find work as a model maker at a sculpture and design studio called Richard Rush Studios, in the West Loop of Chicago.
At that famous studio, I made models and props and worked on the re boot of the now iconic T.A.M – transparent anatomical manikin – a staple at museums and science centers around the world, including the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Richard Rush designed and built the T.A.M’s and they were a marvel of art and science. Used to teach people about the human body, T.A.M.’s can still be found in museums around the world.
A page on the Roadside America. com site about the T.A.M http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/29213
Here’s a link to a great article written by Adam Langer in the Chicago Reader about the great Richard Rush who started out making models for Eisenhower in World War II.
It was written at the same time I was hired there. http://tinyurl.com/92qe6cg
The best quote in the article is a quote from Mr. Rush himself:
“If you have less time, it costs more money. If you have more money, you can do it in less time.”
While working at Richard Rush Studio, I made this tiny little phone one day, with a leftover scrap of clear 1″ thick acrylic that I found on the floor.
Then I made this slightly odd image of the phone for some reason.
I also made the guitar that’s on this colorful Elvis dinosaur while I was at Richard Rush Studio. It ended up in a restaurant, I think.
I was really happy when they handed me a brand new guitar and told me to make it look like a ’57 Chevy tail fin! Being able to put a brand new guitar through a band saw is an interesting feeling – a good cocktail of glee and terror!
It ended up being painted metallic cherry red and featured a 3 layer Plexiglas pick guard that lit up. It had a tail light that lit up, too.
I was really proud of that guitar and it was hard to see it leave the studio.
I’d love to know where dinosaur Elvis and that guitar ended up.
This is an image I made of Mr. Rush in 1990. He’s standing in front of a dinosaur we made that ultimately went into a McDonald’s restaurant somewhere in the U.S.
I really liked and admired this man.
Whenever he’d see me photographing one of the studio’s creations, he’d refer to the camera I was using at the time as the “magic box”
Richard Rush – Richard Rush Studio 1990 © David Moenkhaus