What is special about a handmade globe?

Quality handmade globes are a rarity today. They are individually designed and handmade. This includes the cartography as well as using the old technique of cutting/gluing the gores (slices) to the sphere. There are only a few globemakers in Europe and in some other parts of the world. Each one uses their own methods and processes, which are kept private within their workshops.
The globe starts with an overall design of the elements on the map, like color, geographic names of locations, rivers, lakes, seas, mountains, basins, coordinates, and so on. The flat map then needs to be reprojected and printed on a certain scale, while considering the expansion and contraction of wet paper while placing it on the sphere.
All this requires extreme precision if you expect to have the paper gores properly aligned next to each other without gaps, overlapping, wrinkling, or ripping. It is far easier to glue paper rectangles adjacent to each other on a two-dimensional surface. However, things become much more complex when doing this with curved pieces of paper on a tri-dimensional sphere, if it is to be done correctly and without any imperfections on the final artwork.
Also, during the gluing procedure, if any glue gets on the surface of the printed side of the paper it lifts the print, making any gore that has already been placed unusable. The final challenge for covering the globe with paper comes when the last gore is being placed on the sphere, as it needs to fit within a fraction of a millimeter between the penultimate and the first gore glued, for the entire perimeter.
This is a time-consuming and meticulous process that can’t be rushed, so patience is the key. This explains why there aren’t many good handmade globes available on the market.
On a final note, the axis mounted in the globe for spinning at a tilt of 23.5°needs to be balanced like a tire or it will wobble when it spins, or keeps stopping at the same location due to the weight being unbalanced. This is a peculiar condition on some large handmade globes.
If all the craftsmanship is well executed, you end up with a well-made globe that is truly a museum-quality piece. This can become a great subject of conversation and something beautiful to enhance your living space for a lifetime and beyond…


About me

I was fortunate to have experienced different cultures in Africa, Europe, and North America. I earned a degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University in New Jersey and worked in this field in the corporate world for 20 years. I always liked art and history, so I decided to combine my artistic skills and technical abilities to create globes.
I started looking at world maps and became fascinated with all the historic versions that I came across. They told me the stories of navigators and explorers who ventured into unknown lands to make new discoveries.
It is an honor for me to see my globes in the homes of people who appreciate them.

Bruno Dias