Honeypot Floatoshoot Tour #1 - Eastern US
I began floating and photographing Honeypots (my natural, glowing, hand-crafted beeswax luminaries) on rivers, lakes and other waterways as a unique visual promotional venue. The project quickly became much more than that. As I was exposed to these various ecosystems I was reminded that humans and honeybees are interdependent, and both are vitally dependent on clean, healthy watersheds. The Floatoshoot tour has become an inspiration for me to document, in my own way, the beauty (and sometimes the degradation & depletion) of one of our most valuable resources; fresh, clean water. I want this Floatoshoot tour to introduce many of you to my spellbinding Honeypot luminaries and perhaps remind us all of the diverse, irreplaceable beauty of the waterways of our nation.
Below is a shot on the Congaree River in Columbia South Carolina (Jan. 2012)
I have embarked on the Floatoshoot Tour # 1. Eventually the Tour will encompass the entire USA, but for this Kickstarter campaign I'll focus on the Eastern US.
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Since Kickstarter is totally new to me I decided to address my goal in phases:
- This project is Floatoshoot Tour #1 - East of and including the Mississippi River, from Florida to Maine, I will photograph Honeypots on scenic spots on a total of at least 40 more (I have completed 11 so far) rivers, bays, lakes and harbors. While traveling, I have, and will continue to engage with local boaters, fishermen and environmentalists who are themselves engaged with those waterways they love. I will incorporate natural and human history along with environmental concerns & efforts unique to each waterway in the "Go with the Flow" Floatoshoot exhibit at the Lyndon House Art Gallery in Athens this summer and on a dedicated page on our website:www.beenatural.com
While not actually floating, this picture (below) on the Savannah River has proven one of the local favorites so far!
- Floatoshoot Tour #2 - West of the Mississippi, will be similar.
Is there more to the Floatoshoot Tour than just an Art Project?
Yes! All money raised on this Kickstarter Project must, under the guidelines of Kickstarter, go to this project. And it will. The costs to travel to these places, print the photos, fulfill (and ship) rewards are real and not inexpensive. However, my company, Bee Natural, has a national affiliate relationship with the Waterkeeper Alliance and we always donate 25% of retail sales of our Honeypots to the Riverkeeper the customer chooses. So obviously the Waterkeeper member organizations benefit from my making the rounds and making the Floatographs available to them to post on their websites! It's a symbiotic relationship!
New Reward! $5.00 Pledge Level:
A bumper sticker reminding all of us to clean up our act! (And it is also to commemorate this Honeypot Floatoshoot Art Project here on Kickstarter!)
Which rivers, lakes, bayous and bays?
Well, the short list is what's been done up to now:
In Georgia, the Chattahoochee, Flint, Coosa, Oconee, Altamaha, Satilla and Savannah Rivers and Puckett Creek have hosted Honeypots. To date the St. John's has been featured in Florida, and The Congaree River and Charleston Harbor in South Carolina.
Casco Bay, Eggmoggin Reach in Maine. The Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac & Shenandoah Rivers. The Sassafras, Susquahannah, Chester, James, French Broad and Santee Rivers. The Niagara River at the Falls. Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, the largest groups of freshwater lakes on our planet. The Hudson, Cape Fear & Yadkin Rivers. Also, the Mississippi.
The Indian, Apalachicola and St. John's again (first attempt was severely curtailed when Hurricane Irene kept blowing the Honeypots away) along with Biscayne Bay in Florida.
The Tennessee, the Alabama and the Black Warrior Rivers, and so on.
This is a flexible list and my hope is that I can add more above the initial goal of 40. When the Kickstarter campaign is funded I will need to spend time in the studio to make the rewards. The plan is to take six or seven trips with about seven watersheds on each trip between May and October of this year.
About Honeypot luminaries:
(Most folks don't float Honeypots, they enjoy them in their homes and on their patios. The flat base of the Honeypot is designed for tabletop display)
I invented Honeypots when I was developing a process to achieve predictable and adjustable thicknesses in beeswax; a necessary step to finish a bronze sculpture I was creating. I ended up with four patents on the process! Embedding real pressed flowers and leaves (most of which we grow, pick and press ourselves), we (my artist employees and I) hand-decorate my beeswax Honeypot shells (which we also make one at a time by hand). Some we carve, without a stencil and with a variety of forms - butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, etc.(http://www.beenatural.com/carvingoptions.html) A glass receptacle is fixed into the base of the Honeypot to receive the beeswax tea light candle (each Honeypot comes with one included). The resulting glow is, well, you've seen the pictures by now! And ahhh, the honey aroma they emit! The beeswax shell is far enough away from the inner candle flame not to melt the Honeypot, so it lasts refill after refill (available at www.beenatural.com), until your kids or cats knock it off the shelf. But don't worry, I will make more.
I love kids and cats!
Above, in the blackwater, cypress cathedrals of the Satilla River in South Georgia, the alligators are mesmerized by a new soft glow in their playground! But I've still got eyes in the back of my head!
April 19 - Can we learn the difference?
Forty years of lost & tossed toys
For forty years Doc, my Dad, has gathered up every piece of trash he has found in the creek that flows past our home. He took almost all of it to the dump. But every toy he has found he saved, stashed away in our barn, even long after his 4 boys had grown and left to find our own lives. Why? Because when we were kids discovering the treasures of youth, we didn't know the difference. And he loves remembering... But is it Art?
"But is it Art?"
New reward and a promise from me:
The Promise: I promise to you, my backers, that I will follow my Dad's example and that as I travel on my "Floatoshoot Tour" I will gather up the garbage I see on the Waterways I visit and discard such trash as I find in an appropriate manner (as long as can do so without threat of death or dismemberment). No refrigerators by myself and I'm not jumping after a wayward Styrofoam cup at the top of Niagra Falls or anything. I will also endeavor to speak incessantly (and if you already know me you believe that) of the perils of taking our world for granted and will attempt to instill in others the guilt, no, the will and inspiration! (yeah, that's it!) to NOT WANT TO junk up and pollute our rivers lakes and bays in the first place!
The Reward: A signed, limited edition 9 by 14 inch print of the Floatoshoot Tour's "But Is It Art?" photo (pictured above), mounted on foam-board suitable for direct hanging or framing.
Thanks for being a part of my Honeypot Floatoshoot Kickstarter Campaign!
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