Photo Credit: bellerbyandco
It may not be something you’ve ever thought about, but the ancient art of creating globes by hand is nearly extinct. With the advent of GPS and Google Maps, in addition to mass-produced globes and maps, there are only two workshops on the entire planet that still make them by hand. One of them is a London studio by the name of Bellerby & Co. Globemakers.
Founded in 2008 by Peter Bellerby, the idea come about when he struggled to find a quality globe for his dad’s 80th birthday present. Faced with a choice between a cheaply made modern globes or an expensive antique type, Bellerby decided to spend the time, and more than a few thousand dollars, making his own.
It turned out to be quite a bit more challenging, time consuming and pricier than he thought. Eventually, it lead to the creation of his own globe-making studio.
Now, Bellerby says he has a small team of dedicated globe-makers that create high-quality, handmade, artisan globes that are as much a work of art as they are scientific instruments. From the stand, to the painting, to the map making, each piece is expertly crafted in-house using traditional and modern globe-making techniques.
His company has gained international acclaim for the globes, which range in size from mini 9-inch desk versions to massive 50-inch spheres. The globes have been used for BBC productions, in Hollywood films like Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” and by artists in installations. Other customers have commissioned customized globes that highlight their favorite places, fanciful illustrations, or the locations they wish to visit someday.