“Its funny to be asked if the world is really round – The first globes were also made centuries ago before the “flat earth movement” – the latest evidence suggests that it didn’t exist and was a figment of the Victorians imagination…” – a one on one with Peter.
This was the opening line of Peter Bellery, a passionate bespoke globemaker, based out of London – when I asked him out of sheer curiosity “Is the world really round?”. Seeing the work of Bellerby Globemakers on their instagram page, left me awestruck one fine day, as a saw an image of crafting patient hands carving out the most mesmerizing looking globe ever. Handmade, fine, and exquisite, I could not help but wonder, how could one possibly create an entire globe by himself, with the world so huge and a product so tiny and fine.
Globes have always inspired me to travel, to look at the world as one confined place, in totality in front of your eyes… Imagine, what passion you would get when you are actually creating one!
The tale of this concept started when Peter, after a religious two year search for a unique globe for his father, decided to make it all by himself – one he could own and one for his dad. And as he calls himself ‘blatantly obsessed with spheres’, the plan started with licensing a map, making all the necessary corrections to it which took about an year, and then make a mould for the ball, only to stick 24 pieces of the map onto the sphere. The rest of the story is no mystery, as the idea now has turned into a bespoke globemaking company today, raved about all over the web.
But what I was always more intrigued about were questions never asked, and only felt by peter’s heart…
So how does globemaking makes you look at the world? Is it more round?… More beautiful?… More water or more land? …Brown, green, blue or just colorful? – I asked peter. And the reply was breathtaking…
“It makes me think about the world with a more caring hand. And it does remind me how large it is…. how large the pacific ocean is – a huge percentage of the earth and on the whole inhabited. On a daily basis you wonder how human settlement started.”So why buy a globe so exquisite and customized when you can have a regular one?
“The best thing that we do is that each globe can be made individually, whilst we are careful not to go overboard, its wonderful to have a few special places in the world that mean something to a customer highlighted and it really brings it home that it is YOUR globe rather than just a globe made for the masses.”
In a quick moment – 5 things you need to make a globe?
The finest watercolours, water, adhesive, a mathematical brain and patience.
What is the most critical moment in the making of the globe that can make it or completely break it?
Putting on the final piece of map – at that stage you can still destroy the globe. Whilst that is a rarity it was a frequent occurrence when I began!
What is the most exciting moment while making one?
Seeing the patina shine through while the layers of varnish are applied and how breathtaking it looks.
What is that one globe you ever made that thrilled you and you still remember?
The Egg Globe we made for The Elephant Family charity that is going to be auctioned off at Sotherbys in New York City in April and hopefully raise thousands for a great cause.
What does it take to be a globemaker?
Incredible amount of patience and the ability to re-train your body in a almost tai-chi manner to do everything with great control and precision.
How big is the team today and where do they get the passion to do this?
The team 5-6 people at any given time and they get the passion from coming in everyday. They are all artists and this is one of the most fun projects they can be involved in – and they are really involved – not just employed to do something without recognition. I teach them everything I can to enable them to be as good a globe maker as they can be.
For me a normal person won’t buy a globe so expensive… – Can you describe the mind and personality of your perfect customer?
Our customers come from a broad range of backgrounds and it is their passion and love of the object that unites them. We have students on one hand and successful business man on the other hand….. we don’t have one set type – they seem to be from all walks of life.
While this was my curious conversation with the most inspiring venture I came across in my life, I can only hope that someday one of these globes take comfortable shelter in my living room, and till then it is tucked in my wishlist-list. For all of you who read this post, and felt equally mesmerized as me you are free to follow them on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BellerbyGlobemakers or visit their website at www.bellerbyandco.com