In a London workshop, artisans craft bespoke globes - GulfToday

In a London workshop, artisans craft bespoke globes

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Globes are displayed at the Bellerby and Co Globemakers' workshop.

In 2008, Peter Bellerby set out to buy his father a high quality handmade globe as an 80th birthday present.

When he could not find one, the Briton decided to make it himself -- and, in the process, catapulted himself into a new profession.

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Hand-painted cartography on oval shaped strips called "gores" dry at the Bellerby and Co Globemakers' workshop.

Just over a decade later, his company Bellerby and Co claims to be the finest globemaker in the world, selling tailor-made products to an array of international buyers.

Now the business turns out around 600 globes annually -- some destined to sit in grand mansions and aboard yachts.

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Artisan globemaker, Peter Bellerby poses for a photograph.

Instagram progress reports

Bellerby spent much of the first year or two of the venture perfecting how to make his globes, largely by trial and error, before passing on the know-how.

Trainees will toil for around a year learning the craft before being trusted to work on finishing products.

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Artists apply paintwork to a globe at the Bellerby and Co Globemakers' workshop.

The creative process starts by sourcing composite or resin spheres, which form the basis of the globes, from another company -- the only stage not done in-house.

Once printed, the paper is cut into precise shapes called gores, then painted by hand using watercolours.

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An artist applies paintwork to a globe at the Bellerby and Co Globemakers' workshop.

'Churchill globes'

Bellerby's biggest offerings -- 50 inches (125 centimetres) in diameter -- were inspired by 48-inch globes made by the US Army during World War II for president Franklin Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill.

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Artisan globemakers are pictured at work at the Bellerby and Co Globemakers' workshop.

Bellerby has vowed to make just 40 of these "Churchill globes", and has already completed 17, turning out a couple a year.

"The problem with cartography is each country has its own idea of the world," Bellerby said.

Agence France-Presse