The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts


Globe making


The making of globes, spheres covered with a map usually of the earth or the heavens.


Status Endangered
Craft category
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Minimum no. of craftspeople required
Current no. of trainees  1 (see ‘Craftspeople currently known’ for further details)
Current no. of skilled craftspeople
Current total no. of craftspeople  3 businesses



The earliest globes are known to date from 1492 but very few have survived, and it was in the early 16th century that printed globes were made.

There are several types of globe: terrestrial globes (showing the Earth), celestial globes (showing the skies), lunar globes (showing the moon), and planetary globes.



There are a number of key skills involved including:

  • map-making to fit on curved surfaces
  • the construction of the ball itself
  • the construction of the stand for the larger globes

The traditional method of globe construction involved making a papier maché sphere and then covering it in plaster (although today, many globe makers outsource the spheres and have them made in resin/fibreglass or plastic).


Local forms




Issues affecting the viability of the craft


Support organisations


Craftspeople currently known


Other information