HEDGE MAGAZINE ISSUE 33
S H O R T S
Man Who Sold the World
The craftsman behind Bellerby & Co gives himself no latitude when it comes to creating the finest handmade globes. As KIM HARDING discovers, his pursuit of perfection sets him a world apart WHEN PETER BELLERBY decided he wanted to buy a handcrafted globe for his father’s 80th birthday, little did he know that a dearth of artisinal globes on the market would lead him to make his own from scratch and go on to sell them to private and commercial clients around the world. At first, Bellerby planned to make two globes – one for his naval architect father and one for himself. The project was originally intended to last three or four months. “After all, how difficult can it be to make a ball and put a map on it?” he says.
None of the current breed of globemakers are producing anything close to perfect globes. There are makers who overlap sections to the extent that they wipe out entire countries 38
Painstakingly difficult, it would seem. Mastering the craft of applying the sections of map to the sphere – a process known as goring – was one of Bellerby’s biggest challenges and took him 18 months to perfect. But his standards are exacting; nothing but perfection would do. “The difficultly I had was that none of the current breed of globemakers – and I mean all the current globemakers and copy artists / modelmakers – are producing anything close to perfect globes,” says Bellerby. Latitude lines that don’t match is a personal passion. There are globemakers who overlap gores to the extent that they wipe out entire countries.” Each globe is handcrafted by a small team of dedicated craftspeople in Stoke Newington, who spend months learning their craft under Bellerby’s watchful eye. It’s quite a career change for a man who was previously turning over more than £10,000 a week running Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes. As he freely admits: “I’m blatantly obsessed with spheres.” H