Clockwork Alchemy Artists’ Gallery Profile: Rich Murillo

The Clockwork Alchemy Artists’ Gallery and Exhibition – Artist Profile

The Clockwork Alchemy Artists’ Gallery and Exhibition is a place to see and experience the art of Steampunk with minimal distraction. Custom built displays and controlled lighting showcase the exhibited art. During the event, our inventors and artists are often available to explain and demonstrate the wonders of their making. We present them here in hopes that you’ll be excited to see their works in-person in the future! 

Rich Murillo in his time machine

This month’s featured artist is Rich Murillo.  In 2018, the world was introduced to an amazing 2-seat time machine right out of the 1960 George Pal movie. Guests attending The Great Dickens Fair in San Francisco were provided the opportunity to have a photo taken sitting in the iconic machine.  Then in March of 2019 we were lucky to have The Time Machine featured in our Artists Gallery at Clockwork Alchemy. The Time Machine was built by local artist Rich Murillo. We conducted an interview with Rich and we’re happy to share that with you here.

So why did you build Time Machine? What were your motivations for building it?

Well, the project started at a stressful point in my life, which I won’t go into, but thought, what have I got to lose? I’ve always wanted one, and it’ll kill some time. I’d always been a big fan of the 1960 George Pal movie, and was fascinated by the work done by other enthusiasts on Don Coleman’s website So, I had the inspiration and I had the time, but I also knew that if I could travel through Time, I wouldn’t want to go alone. So, a two-seater.

Tell us about the design and build process.

I did a lot of research into the dimensions of the original machine, but really there are only some vague blueprints of the original 1960 movie prop with little detail to measurements. So, a lot of this was guess-work and referring to movie stills. I also had in mind how I would transport it, possibly to fairs and art shows. Making it sturdy was always in mind. I had a lot of experience building treehouses and furniture for my daughters, so I tended to be on the sturdy and durable side of design.   There were no definitive plans, it was more ‘figure it out as I go along’. I had the general idea and look I wanted to achieve. 

  • The Time Machine is made almost entirely from recycled items: 
  • The dish is a discarded aluminum satellite dish.,
  • The front console is a kitchen waste can.
  • The seat is made from a discarded antique headboard/footboard and a wrought iron bench side supports.
  • The generator sides and top are lamp parts. 
  • The railings are all discarded brass plated headboard railings. 
  • The seat cushions are discarded sofa cushions that I reupholstered with fake red leather.

You’ve worked for some very well-known companies in the entertainment field. What can you tell us about what that was like?

I had the wonderful opportunity to be around some great artists in the Industrial Light and Magic (LucasFilm), Disney and Colossal Pictures. Even roaming the hallways were props from all the Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Star Trek and other films setup as display to marvel at. Even though I was part of Tech Support I was always excited to visit the model shop and sound stages and see the work being done. One of the model makers I know told me early on, visualize the piece you want to create, and then find objects you can use as a base to build from or with. 

Can you provide links to where you have exhibited the machine?

This site has a video of the initial build, although some parts have changed since then.  It also has some of the exhibits. 

The Gualala Arts Halloween Drive through appearance:

And the Youtube channel:

A short film from the Dickens Fair with the Time Machine:

What are your plans for the future of the project? 

The Time Machine is still traveling.  Even when I was building it I always had the idea of displaying it at fairs and other events where people could get inside it to have their picture taken. Not so much as a money-making scheme, but more as a fund raiser. So, this year I’m looking into making this a non-profit and help organizations and charities raise money in this photo-op piece. Stay tuned… 

Rich Murillo. Aka, The Time Traveler, can be found on the Book of Faces:

We thank Rich for his time and showing us this amazing prop, and hope to see it at Clockwork Alchemy again!  Safe travels through time!