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 London, Edinburgh
Area currently practised Isle of Wight, London
Origin in the UK 1640 recorded, but likely earlier than that
Current no. of professionals (main income) 4 businesses and 1 individual
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required

 

History

The earliest English globes were made by Emery Molyneux a scientific instrument maker. The earliest surviving example is at Petworth House and dates from 1592. There is another fine pair of his globes at Middle Temple which date from 1603.

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

 

Techniques

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

 

Sub-crafts

  • Wood turning (stands)
  • Ball making (fibreglass, plaster, plastic, etc.)
  • Map making
  • Restoration
  • Engraving
  • Engineering

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

 

Support organisations

 

Craftspeople currently known

Individual makers:

  • Loraine Rutt – been making porcelain relief globes since 1990, and more recently trading as The Little Globe Co since 2015 selling pocket globes

 

Other information

 

References