The making of globes, spheres covered with a map usually of the earth or the heavens.
|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||1 at Bellerby & Co Globemakers|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
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.
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).
- Wood turning (stands)
- Ball making (fibreglass, plaster, plastic, etc.)
- Map making
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
- 20 years ago Globe making was incredibly endangered. Now it is a rare, niche craft but this has possibly always been the case at the higher end of the market.
- Globe making is becoming increasingly recognised across the world, much of which is driven by social media
Craftspeople currently known
- Greaves & Thomas, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Lander & May, Cowes, Isle of Wight
- Bellerby & Co Globemakers, London
- The Little Globe Co, London (porcelain globes, so uses different skills to traditional globe making)
- Loraine Rutt – been making porcelain relief globes since 1990, and more recently trading as The Little Globe Co since 2015 selling pocket globes