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Buoys > Birds > Books

The BUOYS > BIRDS > BOOKS Project takes wooden lobster buoys made and fished around Matinicus Island, ME and turns them into sculptures of sea birds with limited changes to the original surface and shape. My "buoy birds" are available through this website and HighWater Studio on Matinicus with 100% of the proceeds going to support the new Matinicus Island Children’s Library scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. (  

Background - A few months ago the Matinicus Island Library received a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to support the purchase of a second building to house a Children’s Library. The grant paid for a prefab structure and transportation to the island. The Matinicus Library agreed to raise funds for the interior work and expenses to turn a basic shed into a modern, internet supported library focused on children’s books, games, media and small group activities.

Read more at The Website of the Coast

The BUOYS>BIRDS>BOOKS Project began when an island buoy was used to make a pair of Eider Ducks. Their success led to the idea of honoring the island’s fishing traditions by using old wooden lobster buoys to make present day seabirds to be sold to support a new children’s library focused on the island’s future. I hope to only use buoys donated by island families for this project and when I receive one I photograph, measure and document the original condition, note the colors, numbers and often names unique to each fisherman because this information often allows the buoys to be connected with a specific island fishermen, family and the approximate time they were used. At some point the buoy shape tells me how to turn them into beautiful seabirds reflecting the colors and shapes of the original while making minimal changes to the surface, shape and imperfections. 

Exploring the images on this page allows you to see the finished product, the original buoy, my design notes and sketches, construction details and sometimes the buoy's island history. You can get frequent updates on the BUOYS > BIRDS > BOOKS Project, see the latest work and learn more about the series by following my progress on FB (David Sears) and Instagram (dsearsart and #dsearsart).   

Questions, comments, and inquiries about purchasing a Matinicus Buoy Bird to support the new Matinicus Island Children’s Library can be made through the CONTACT section of this site. 

The Matinicus Island Library, considered by many to be the smallest public library in Maine, began with a donated shed in 2015. The structure provides the island with free Wi-Fi, a varied collection of Maine, fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, DVDs, family games and a special children’s section.

A second structure to open in 2021 will house the Children’s Library.

The Matinicus Library does not have the capacity to accept books; however, the Matinicus Island Library Association is a 501c3 organization and donations, which are tax deductible, can be sent to The Matinicus Library Association c/o Eva Murray, Treasurer, 74 South Rd, Matinicus, ME 04851. 

Atlantic puffins made from one wooden lobster buoy - Summer, 2020

All work created by David Sears (c)
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