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In the age of digitalization, it does seem that many of us are clinging on for dear life to the things that harken back to an earlier time, when things were hand made. As more and more of the things we buy and use each day come rolling off of a conveyor belt from a factory floor full of intelligent machines or devastatingly underpaid workers employing the methods of Eli Whitney and Henry Ford, it seems like there are just as many people in the artistic communities bringing back craftsmanship and traditional trades. Bespoke creations and working with your hands seems to allow us to still hold onto our individuality as human beings, while reminding us of the charm and worth in objects that are lovingly created with time and patience at the hands of real people. These creations are beautiful in all of their perfect imperfections as well as admirable in the amount of care that goes into creating them. In this way, this new old-fashioned form of contemporary luxury breathes a soul into objects that cease to exist on the simply material and superficial level.
I am a firm believer that it is not the object itself that makes humans superficial and shallow but the mass production, lack of care, and overconsumption that has turned us into a greedy and hungry species. But when we slow down and appreciate singular objects for what they are and the complexities involved not only in their creation but surrounding them in general (be it political or otherwise), we can begin to appreciate an object for what it can teach us about mankind. This is why I find bespoke revival and call backs to slow, purposed living so inspiring. This kind of conscious living is what we as humans should be doing. We should learn to not be scared of finding value in and appreciating objects for fear of becoming superficial but to find value in the appreciation and understanding of all that comes with an object and recognize that this is different than mass consumption. The object is not the enemy, rather our treatment of objects is.
Seeing and understanding objects like we see and understand objects in museums allows us to get a better understanding of what we can appreciate and what deserves our adoration as well as helps us to minimize and reduce the actual amount of things we own in our lives by highlighting the difference between a thing and an object, collections and clutter. It’s all about contextualization, my dear friends. Then again, one person’s clutter is another person’s collection. So who am I to say your 60 pairs of shoes is excessive? I think the point here though, is that collections are something we take pride in and it goes past being about the object itself and more about the act of collecting, a personal attachment, the history behind the item, etc. We also limit the things we collect, so I see nothing wrong with having that shoe collection as long as you don’t try to sit here and convince me that the 60+ shoes you own, plus your overflowing wardrobe, countless amount of toiletries, eyeshadows, lipsticks, insane amount of DVDs and video games, stacks and stacks of magazines, 500+ nailpolishes, etc. are all “collections.” I think you get what I’m saying.
Returning to the original point of this post – objects can be beautiful and multifaceted, and the ones that are then hand crafted on top of it do really hold some kind of special magical power over us when the majority of our surroundings lack the warmth that comes from something being hand crafted. Which is why the stunning handmade globes over at Bellerby and Co. are just so goddamned captivating. In addition to globes just being straight up glorious in all of their magical whimsy, the fact these these bad boys are hand crafted and hand painted just elevates the globes created by Bellerby and Co. to a whole new level.
Bellbery and Co. can be traced back to Peter Bellerby and his fist few (2) hand-made globes. As Peter puts it, “After a two year search for a globe for my father’s 80th birthday present I was faced with a choice of a modern political globe (albeit frequently available with a generous dose of sepia colouring), very fragile expensive antique models, which you can’t really use on a daily basis or trying to make my own.”
Peter’s project grew to include a small team of trained globemakers which make up Bellerby and Co. today: “From the stand, to the artwork, the painting and map-making, each piece is expertly crafted using traditional and modern globemaking techniques, and is lovingly produced in our North London studio; each piece is an individual model of style and grandeur and the larger globes are works of art in their own right.”
Bellerby and Co’s blog is also definitely worth checking out. For any of you who might think that the subject of globes alone are not enough to make up and entire blog, you will be pleasantly surprised. In addition to posting incredible photos of the creation process taken by artists invited to the Bellerby and Co studio, Bellerby and Co feature articles that help their readers to better understand the world of globes and globe making, featuring a brief history of globe making as well as an article breaking down globe terminology, creative ways people are using globes around the world, like in Frankfurt, Germany, and more serious thought provoking topics like tackling the political issues involved in globe making, particularly concerning breakaway states.