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Experience America's rich midwestern folk-art heritage of enormous balls of twine in this first-of-its-kind book of photography.
Experience America's rich midwestern folk-art heritage of enormous balls of twine in this first-of-its-kind book of photography.
62 backers pledged $3,114 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,114

62

AS SEEN IN THE ATLANTIC

THE FIRST TWINE-BALL PHOTO BOOK

The Project
The twine ball is the classic folk-art roadside attraction. Many people have heard of it; only some believe in it; few outside the midwest have witnessed it. Each 17,000+ pound ball of twine has a unique story about its origin and its community: a man binding twine for personal salvation after hearing the voice of God, a ball anchoring a town of 496 people on the map, a man diligently rolling twine until the twine dust gave him emphysema. Plus there are bitter rivalries over who really has the biggest ball. 

This book serves to document and preserve America's four biggest balls of twine as they stand in 2014. As decades long projects, the balls and their contexts change. Some of the balls are over 50 years old. In another 50 years the balls and their surroundings will look very different. The Lake Nebagamon ball may need a new home after its maintainer has passed. The Cawker ball could very well become the most voluminous ball by a factor of two. Or Cawker could become yet another Kansas ghost town. Will Darwin maintain its intentionally quaint aesthetic, or will Minneapolis's revival suburbanize it?

The book will be approximately 50 pages, measuring 10x8". The photography is completed and the layout is nearly done. Some local bookstores want to carry the book. I need your help to purchase equipment to aid color-consistency and to cover the book printing costs.

Stay up to date by signing up for my newsletter and following me on twitter.

Lake Nebagamon, WI Twineball
Lake Nebagamon, WI Twineball
Darwin, MN Twineball
Darwin, MN Twineball
Cawker City, KS Twineball
Cawker City, KS Twineball
Branson, MO Twineball
Branson, MO Twineball

Rewards
Although the print book is not available for pre-order as part of this campaign, this is a chance to obtain archival-quality prints made with pigment ink, and in sizes larger than available in the final book.

Print sizes indicate the dimensions of the paper on which the image is printed. For matting purposes, there will be a slight white border along the edges. I will gladly print a picture with custom dimensions as long as it is the size of the paper or smaller.

You choose the print! You'll have a choice between several shots of each twine ball, both close-up and wide.

As a bonus, every backer will get a special Twine interactive fiction game.

Lottie Herod, artist & steward of Cawker City's Twineball
Lottie Herod, artist & steward of Cawker City's Twineball

Why I Need Help
This book is totally DIY and self-published. That means that I need to raise money for an initial printing from Blurb. And I need to get a color calibrator to ensure that the printed output matches the screen output. This also ensures that the prints that you're buying will look great.

The Goal of $3000
$1500 covers the printing and shipping of 51 copies of the book. $500 pays for the color calibration device. The rest of the money is padding to cover the costs associated with fulfilling the rewards plus the Kickstarter fees. There is also a buffer of a few hundred dollars in case I underestimate the cost of reward fulfillment and for other costs (eg, taxes).

Who Am I?
I am a photographer/videographer and creative technologist based in Berkeley, CA. I worked on the DIY.org educational/maker platform for kids as well as some progressive videogames like Rock Band. In my free time, I volunteer with the Allied Media Conference to develop media-based organizing strategies for a more just world.

Thanks to my trip buddies Tim Hwang and Ans Bradford, and to Daren Rabinovitch for workshopping the heck out of the video.

Seward, NE
Seward, NE
World's Largest Time Capsule
World's Largest Time Capsule

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk / challenge that I face is grievous personal injury or catastrophic total data loss (which is unlikely because I have on- and off-site backups). I'm not being flippant – I deliberately chose to wait until I was in the home stretch to turn to Kickstarter for help. At the time of this campaign, I've already taken the trip, snapped and edited the photos, and I'm nearly done compiling this all into a printable book. All that is left is ensuring color correctness and sending the files off to the printer for an initial run. There is a minimal time cost remaining, so there is not a risk of this getting delayed due to freelance work or unpredictable life events.

But life is full of disastrous possibilities (wonderful ones, too, but this is not the section to discuss happy things) and in the event that I am incapacitated, a friend will upload all the completed content to The Internet Archive as public domain material.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A Twine-themed Twine interactive fiction game. Also included with all the other rewards.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A postcard! Printed with archival pigment ink! Just for you! With a custom message.

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    3 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A digital copy of the book. Definitely in PDF, maybe in other formats.

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    9 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A 10" x 8" archival pigment print of one of the balls of twine.

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    11 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A four-pack of postcards printed with archival pigment ink – one of each ball of twine.

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    7 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A signed first edition print of the book.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A 19" x 13" archival pigment print of one of the balls of twine.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    A set of 19" x 13" archival pigment prints of all four balls of twine. You will be listed in the book as a sponsor.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    I'll be your photographer for a day. Must be BART accessible (or willing to pay extra for travel). You will be listed in the book as a patron.

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    2 backers
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Funding period

- (18 days)