Step into my office, please. Oh, this globe? Yes, it’s handmade. Where do you find a handmade globe these days, you ask? Not many places, I’ll tell you.
Bellerby & Co. Globemakers is one of the world’s only makers of fine globes. It all began in 2008, when Peter Bellerby couldn’t find a high-quality globe to gift his father. So he struck out on his own. It took him a year and a half to figure out how to best print out and cut strips of paper to fit together properly on a sphere. But it paid off in the end and Bellerby, who began working out of his own home, now has his own studio and staff and makes custom globes for the likes of Martin Scorcese. His craft was also the focus of exhibit at the Royal Geographic Society.
Those familiar with the various methods of map projection (where all my cartographers at?!) know that representing Earth graphically is no simple task. Globemaking presents additional difficulties, as the little strips of map known as gores need to be placed by hand on the sphere, while the paper is still wet and with a high level of precision so as to make sure the latitudes and longitudes line up and countries maintain their appointed size. It’s painstaking work, and that’s before the hand painting even begins.
Craftsmanship like this is a dying art, so click here to watch a video that shows the creative process in greater detail.