Elliot Romo Kurek

Eli Whitney Museum

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Apprentice 2014

Elliot Romo Kurek

Thumbnail of Elliot Romo Kurek project

Leonardo daVinci wrote: judge me by my works, not my words.

The Portfolio Project is an initiative to train Apprentices to document their designs as evidence of their skills and of the Museum’s scope and purpose. While there is some collaboration in all designs, unless otherwise noted, the creative and technical decisions that shaped this work are principally the apprentice's.

Funded by the Seymour Lustman Foundation.

Title: Mechanical hand adaptation

Year: 2015
Age: 16
Apprentice Year: 2nd

Assignment: Adapt the Arvind Gupta 'straw fingers' concept into a hand with three fingers and a thumb.

The frame of the hand is carved out on our CNC machine and the dowels are attached with wood glue. The fingers are made out of straws and are held on with thumb tacks. We have cut grooves onto the straws so that they will bend like fingers when the wires that run through them are pulled. The LED in the index finger is attached to a battery pack on the back of the hand and the leads are attached to the rings on the user’s middle and ring finger.


Title: Classic Model Building

Year: 2015 – 2016
Age: 17
Apprentice Year: 3rd

Plastic Scale models began to appear in the 1940s. While easier to construct than the balsa models that preceded them, plastic models still require time, patience and knowhow that are the focus of this Workshop. Classic models are becoming rare. A remarkable collection presented to the Museum by Louis Audette gave Elliot a chance to use his skills as a teacher in model building.

Elliot learned classic model building from his father who learned it from his father. Three generations of model builders informed this program.

When we received this gift we couldn't quite figure what we'd do with it – until Elliot saw them and said "I can teach a class on building and painting these!" Which he proceeded to do first as a one day Vacation Day program and then as a week-long class in the summer. We've now offered that class in a second summer series and now only have the problem of finding models we can afford to teach. Elliot devised a system where the campers could safely use Exacto blades and model paints with a non-toxic modeling glue. His design was perfect for 11 year olds and up to succeed in building these not-so-easy models.

Elliot's robo hand

Robo hand detail

Elliott Reed Modeling

Modeling class


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