Two years spent searching for a well-made and not necessarily antique globe, to be gifted to his father on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, made it clear to Peter Bellerby that what he was looking for did not exist, and that he should create it himself.
His activity started in 2008 thanks to his passion for this kind of object, which sparked when he began to create his first two pieces, one for his father, and the other for himself.
The work turned out to be very demanding and his hobby turned into a job that he loves and that received an immediate positive feedback from the market, because there are more than a few people looking unsuccessfully for the perfect globe. That is why Bellerby meets personally with his clients, to decide with them the colors, the materials and the size of their globe, which can range from 22 to 127 centimeters. To do this, he exceptionally opens the doors of his laboratory, which is normally closed to the public, in Stoke Newington, north of London.
You could say that such an object has little practical use. Its functionality is not the same as a virtual map, like the ones we use daily. We would never use a globe to follow directions, the same way that we would never use Google Maps to feel the excitement and the perception of where we are in relation to the rest of the world. The production of this precious, fine, artisanal object is complex, and the process is long: the size of the globe requires different laying times and drying times, which allows you to start several projects at a time. They range from a minimum of a few weeks, for those up to 22 centimeters, up to a maximum of six months, for larger ones. The materials are gypsum, GRP and resin, depending on the size.
Once the sphere is assembled, the artisans check that it is well balanced and that it has a perfect rotation. The customer also chooses the style of the map, which is printed and divided into “segments”, painted with watercolor by the cartographers. Once dry, they are applied meticulously to the sphere. This is an extremely delicate phase, because the wet paper is particularly fragile. Once applied, it is painted again, and completed with an opaque or transparent finish. The globe is finally positioned on the base, modern or traditional, with a unique design.