Meet the small team producing some of the last handmade globes in the world


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/07/meet-the-small-team-producing.html


#2

So beautiful! I had something like that as a kid, but mass-produced of course.


#3

I went to the website and found a globe that would be perfect for us, but even with Brexit’s effect on the pound 14000 quid for a globe is a bit rich for my taste.


#4

The mass-production process is fascinating too…


#5

I have always loved maps and globes and at times have fantasized about having been a cartographer. Unlike most of my past fantasy professions, I still think I would love cartography.

People love globes. I have a lamp I built out of a salvaged children’s toy globe that lights from within to show constellations. It is one of the most commented-on articles I own.


#6

There are infinite teams of globe manufacturers in L.A… (especially in Beverly Hills)


#7

“production revolves around world events”…ha!

I was disappointed to see that the hand-made globes also start with maps printed on paper, though unlike the factory globes they are glued to the sphere by hand instead of machine. It isn’t clear from the video whether these maps are printed (you expect they are from the cartographer’s computer) or hand-drawn, though they do seem to be hand-colored. Whether that’s worth the premium I don’t know. It might be interesting to take a good-quality machine-made globe, hit the countries with a wash with a translucent neutral toner to make the color look uneven and hand-applied, then coat it with laquer for the final effect.

BTW, if they are selling 400 globes/year at an average price of 10,000UKP each that’s 4,000,000UKP/year gross. I know the rent is high in London, but assume an extravagant 50% for rent and materials and the 15 workers are still earning an average of 133K pounds each. That’s a pretty good day’s wage for someone with an arts degree.


#8

Was recently working as one until the downturn in the oil industry. I enjoyed it, though there wasn’t really a lot of chance to make that many beautiful or interesting maps. Mostly, you’re producing highly technical maps and clients rarely want to pay for the time to make it pretty. I fantasized about working for NatGeo, but those sorts of jobs are rare. I also did coursework in historical cartography, I was really interested in doing something around maps and history, but that’s even rarer.


#9

“Who’s a good globe? YOU are!”


#10

You don’t want to see what happens if you fail to groom your globe regularly and keep its borders from getting tangled.


#11

from the shop in convent gardens

the magnum


#12

Ah, of course. Pretty much parallels the reason I changed my minor from Sociology. Can’t say I still wouldn’t enjoy observing your workday. Probably still fascinating to the average layperson.


#13

My mate Chris is a globemaker.


#14

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