Long gone are the days when our first instinct is to migrate to a spinning globe to track the destinations around us or find a specific country. Now we have the power to digitally zoom in and out of the entire earth, utilizing mapping tools like Google Earth. The romanticism tied to these newer forms however, does not match the art of the ancient globe, the earliest dating back to the mid-2nd century B.C. Nowadays globes are either modern and massively produced, or antiquated models unsuited for casual browsing.
Frustrated by this lack of quality options when trying to find a globe as a present, Peter Bellerby started Bellerby & Co. Globemakers in order to produce globes that exist somewhere in-between the two options. “I did this as a direct result of looking, searching for a globe for my father for his 80th birthday, and I couldn’t find anything,” said Bellerby. “Initially my plan was to make one for him and maybe one for me if I had the budget.”
After spending tens of thousands of dollars more than he had originally predicted on the process, he decided to use what he’d learned to set up a company in 2008, eventually moving into their current location in Stoke Newington, London. The company employs a small team of makers that fastidiously work in an open environment with large windows, nestled between test sheets of watercolor paints and hanging strips of paper twirling from clothes pins. To master the process of applying paper to the sphere globes (called “goring”) can take up to a year or more.
“It’s been something that’s been an incredible challenge. The whole design process, the whole way of making anything using a sphere at its base, at its centerpiece is fraught with different problems and issues because you are multiplying every error by pi,” said Bellerby.
Bellerby & Co. Globemakers’ globes have been featured in Hollywood movies and BBC productions as well as used in installations by established artists. The company has also had support from the Royal Geographic Society and was able to host their first ever globe exhibition in 2012. To see more images of the daily life at the Bellerby & Co. studio, visit the company’s Instagram or their blog. (via My Modern Met)
After witnessing the destruction brought on by hurricanes in Thailand, the Southern U.S. and around the world, Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn began creating a series of sculptures titled ‘Force of Nature’. Made from bronze, stainless steel and aluminum, the sculptures, full of life and energy, depict mother nature hurtling planet earth around in circles. The powerful and furious image is meant remind us of the power of nature and what Quinn describes as our “false sense of security” towards it.
“After having seen the ravaged coast of Thailand and the Hurricane that affected the Southern States I decided to create a sculpture dedicated to Mother Nature,” explains Quinn. At any moment in time, nature’s wrath could be awakened, bringing with it sudden destruction. The sculptures, which have been installed all around the world, remind us of this fact. And for Quinn they also harken back to something more ancient and primitive: “This would be reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the Gods in the hope of quenching their anger.” (via Bored Panda)
Earth View is a giant collection of 1,500 curated images that represent the most striking images found through Google Earth. You can can click or swipe randomly through the far flung reaches of the planet as captured from satellites as captured from the world. All the images are available as wallpaper images for mobile and desktop, and they even have a Chrome app that loads a random image for each new tab. See also: Aerial Wallpapers. (thnx, Xavier!)
Xhariep, South Africa
Al Jowf, Saudi Arabia
Saint John, United States
If you’re looking for a snappy new wallpaper/home screen/lock screen image for your phone, Aerial Wallpapers is a great place to start. The site is created by João Paulo Bernardes who scours creative commons satellite imagery from NASA and Airbus Defence and Space for the best slices of Earth which he crops and scales to fit the iPhone 6 Plus, but should scale OK for other phones too. (via Kottke)
Artist and painter Yusuke Asai (previously) has a new mud mural on display at Houston’s Rice Gallery. Working day and night with a team of assistants, the Japanese artist, who is known for his “earth paintings” made from locally sourced mud and dirt, spent just under 2 weeks covering the walls and floors of the gallery with soil collected in Houston. “There are so many kinds of soil in Houston and Texas,” says Asai. “Initially I had hoped for 10 different shades, and ended up with 27: the widest spectrum of colors representing a specific place that I have ever used.”
But why mud, you might wonder? Asai explains: “Dirt is by nature very different than materials sold in art stores.” Seeds grow in it and it is home to many insects and micro organisms. It is a ‘living’ medium.”
The resulting large-scale mural is titled yamatane (mountain seed, in Japanese) and features real and imaginary creatures and plants. The mural is on display through November 23, 2014. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
One of six astronauts currently on board the International Space Station, geophysicist Alexander Gerst spends much of his free time staring out the window as the world zooms by 205 miles below, camera in-hand. Since arriving at the ISS in June of this year Gerst has taken tons of photographs that document hurricanes, floods, dust storms, and oil fields.
One of his favorite things to shoot are the shadows cast by clouds, something that appears surprisingly dramatic from space. Dense cloud formations can create long shadows that stretch for thousands of miles across the Earth’s surface as they eventually disappear into a black horizon. You can see new photos from Gerst daily on Twitter. (via Stellar)