The classic Bear-shaped honey dispenser which has simply become known as a “honeybear” reportedly dates back to 1957 when Ralph Gamber, future president of the Dutch Gold Honey company, reasoned that “a bear likes honey, why not a bear of honey?”
The Classic Honeybear In Art and Design
In terms of the originator of the design, Edward Rachin filed the US patent shown below on the design in 1950:
A survey conducted back in 1995 showed that some 15.5 percent of the honey sold was packaged in such bottles and many honey producers in the United States still market their products in the bear-shaped bottles.
There was even a movement, started in 2010, called Save The Honey Bear to save 100% pure honey, threatened by honey-flavored syrups. The site has since been removed.
The now iconic design has been used as packaging for other products, most often for children’s bubbles and soap dispensers. But the Honeybear has also inspired artists, sculptors and more to create interpretations of the Honey Bear that serve as fine art, home decor, jewelry and even bongs.
One cannot talk about honeybear art without mentioning the San Francisco artist who has since turned it into an icon, Fnnch. His prints, street art and fund-raising honeybears have become de rigeur for any honeybear lover.
Fnnch Honeybear Art
Floyd, the Honey Bear Bong:
Artware editions is now selling a limited edition (only 25) of The Long Life China Company’s “Floyd” by artist Glen Baldridge. “Floyd” is a porcelain crafted fully functioning bong or water pipe made in the image of a the familiar Honey Bear honey dispenser.
Glen Baldridge, Floyd, 2012
6 1/2″ h x 3 3/4″ x 2 1/2″
edition of 25,
buy him here
Honeybear Glass Vases By Esque Studio:
The Honeybear Vase from Esque Studio is a mold blown vase that stands approximately 15″ tall and was designed by Andi Kovel and Justin Parker.
Available in five different colors for $280 USD each, you can purchase them here.
Cast Porcelain Honey Bear Vases by Lesley Anton:
Glazed in pearl white, matte black or metallic
buy them here (SOLD OUT)
Honeybear Gemstone Pendants by David Lowrie of Stonesmith Galleries:
An inch tall Honey Bear pendant made of carved Baltic Amber and 14k gold on chain
$825 USD (SOLD)
5 carat Golden Beryl carved Honey Bear pendant and 14k gold on chain
$2,300 USD, (SOLD)
Resin Honeybear earrings by Catrina’s Toybox:
$20.80, buy them here
Sterling Silver Honey Bear pendants and necklaces by Mark Poulin:
prices vary depending upon size, buy them here
Honey Bear Tray:
Melamine tray featuring photography by Keller and Keller at the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown, Massachusetts. Dishwasher safe, not for microwave use. 14″ diameter.
$22, buy it here No longer available
Also available as one melamine plate in a set of four featuring Diner imagery
$40 USD, buy them here No longer available
Beeswax Honeybear Candle by PeaceBlossomCandles:
$10.75, buy it here
Fine Art homages to the Honeybear.
Honeybear Painting by Luke Chueh:
Honeybear Paintings by artist Craig Stephens:
Honeybear Painting by Kristen Reitz-Green:
Losing My Mind by Jeanne Vadeboncoeur:
On The Line by Aaron Lifferth:
Honey Bear Is Watching. A linocut print from Isle of Printing:
Honey Bear artwork by Danielle Podeszek:
Available as art prints, stationary, cards, canvases, mobile phone cases and throw pillows from Society 6
Honey Bear by Shari Mendleson:
plastic from discarded bottles, hot glue, beads, 10″x3.5″x3.5″, 2010 (not for sale)
The Peeing Honey Bear, a one-off prop (no photoshop), Honeybear Instagram image and the Honey Bear T-shirt, all by Brock Davis, aka Laser Bread:
Honey Bear photo by Eric Turner, available as prints here
A book that is compiled of object iterations based around the basic subject of Honeybears. This book is a massive formmaking experiment that includes photography, illustration, painting, transfers, and mixed media.
Honeybear Book, 7.5 x 10″, 90 pages
Honey Bear Recycled Greeting card from Branch Out
The Honey Bear card is lovingly handcrafted in the Philippines by women survivors of sex trafficking. The card incorporates a variety of handmade, recycled papers, making it environmentally sustainable, too. Envelope included.
Buy it here
Need some cheesy honey bear clip art? These downloadable images are provided for you from the National Honey Board
And finally, want to buy some empty Honey Bear Bottles to attempt making something of your own? Go here.