Peter Bellerby, 50, artisan globemaker of Bellerby & Co Globemakers
Where are you from?
I grew up in Buckinghamshire.
How did you end up making globes?
I had intended to buy a globe for my father’s 80th birthday, but quickly realised that the only things out there were either fragile antiques or aesthetically poor modern versions. Rather ambitiously, I set out to make one myself. It ended up taking me two years to make that first globe. There are no master globemakers still alive and the skills and techniques died with them, so I had to work it out completely on my own - that was seven years ago.
What inspires your work?
A lot of what we design and create is inspired by older maps from the 17th century and earlier. Cartography was thought of more aesthetically back then.
What makes your job so special?
We all love what we do and are happy to come to work everyday. I realise I am very lucky. We are making a product we are proud of and I am able to employ talented local artisans and craftsmen. Together we have revived what was for the most part a forgotten art.
Is there a community aspect to your work making globes?
Every globe we make is a one-off, created by at least three or four people. There are many elements that make up one globe, so we work with a range of local skilled craftsmen to create them. We work with a specialist engraver to make the brass meridians and personal messages, for example, and James UK makes some of the bases. Globes themselves allude to far-off places, but also a sense of home, which is one of the reasons I think people love them.
Why do you think there is a resurgence in craft in the 21st century and why is that important?
I think that people are turning away from a throwaway society where everything is immediate, but also very disposable. Our customers appreciate owning something that will last forever.