I nearly drive my car straight into Portland's, the downtown bar and restaurant where I've arranged to meet local craftsman Jim Bell. My near crash is caused by the scary tangle of life-size mannequins hanging out of an oddball vehicle (Bell tells me later it's a three-quarter-ton 1952 Dodge M-27 troop truck) that's parked out front. These scary-looking dummies are why I'm here. Bell, who says he's not an artist and swears he's also not "some weirdo," spends a good part of every day fashioning old foam rubber into lifelike figures that he'd rather you didn't call "dummies." Bell keeps one of these special friends with him at all times and, when he isn't busy playing Dr. Phibes, takes a whole party of... More >>>
Made men: Mannequin maker Jim Bell enjoys a drink with his synthetic friends.