Day 37: Adam Savage’s obsession with objects and the stories they tell

Adam Savage is the host of ‘Mythbusters’ and a former special effects artist. He is also obsessed with objects and maintains a ‘creative projects’ folder on his computer containing, amongst other artefacts, over 17,000 pictures of the dodo skeleton.

Savage begins his talk by telling us there are no full dodo skeletons in any museum in the world. The British Museum had one, but in a period of spring-cleaning in the 1800s decided to burn parts of it. One day he was in a shop with his kids buying materials for a crafts day, when he decided to make his own dodo head. He gathered all the measurements and pictures he could find and set about his task. This led to him making a full dodo skeleton from sculpey and wire. When he’d finished that project, Savage went back to his creative folder and found a picture of a maltese falcon. There began the long process of sculpting one of them.

His self-assigned projects brought Savage on a tangential journey of discovery. He describes his processes of work animatedly, giving an insight into the mind of the obsessive creative. Unfortunately, Savage’s particular enthusiasms were’t mine ( had he been talking about a creative folder containing pictures and stories related to banshees and zombies, I may have paid more attention!).

This talk falls short, in my opinion, as he fails to really show how pictures and images can help the creative process. Many of my creative friends will identify with the obsessive tendancies. But most people will probably wonder why he spent almost sixteen minutes talking about dodos and maltese falcons.


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