The craft of each globe proves to be a real challenge, so the need for rigor and precision is important. Several steps follow each other, requiring special know-how. We can not give you all the secrets, but here is an outline of how your globe was made.
To make a globe, you first need a ball! This must be as perfect as possible because each error will be multiplied by Pi: imagine that a molding defect of 1/2 mm results in a diameter difference of 1.5 mm. It may seem small but it is more than enough to be visible. Several methods can be used to create this ball. We will forget here models made of extruded plastic, used for schoolchildren globes. The Renaissance specimens were often made from a papier-mâché core covered with a thin layer of plaster, which gives them a certain lightness but also a greater fragility. There are also some globes made of glass or crystal, sometimes even mouth-blown. The advantage then being to have a translucent support which, with a suitable background map and a light device, can display a map of the physical or geopolitical world. At Globe Sauter, the globes are solely made of reinforced plaster. Why? Because we find it cool and vintage, but especially because this process allows us to get globes resistant to manipulation while having a certain mass giving you the feeling of actually carrying the earth in your hands! For very large models, dedicated to staying on a stand, we use resin and fiberglass to control the weight.
We have developed several background maps that are mainly based on the NaturalEarth data (www.naturalearthdata.com) and adapted to different diameters. Every point, every city and every place on the map has been thoughtfully chosen to ensure both maximum meaning and maximum readability. We do not find it very wise to place 5000 places on a globe of 20 cm diameter because even if you have very good eyes, it will be very difficult to read the borders of countries ... In contrary, we will be happy to add your birthplace, the precise place of your first kiss and any other place that counts for you! Once the map is ready, we transform it into gores and print it on watercolor paper with pigment inks. Our printer and consumables used allow us to claim the label Digigraphie, guarantee of extreme quality!
This is the heart of the globe maker business. This is where most of his know-how lies: sticking delicately painted map gores without damaging them, without deforming them, in their precise place to avoid any improbable overlap and complete a world tour. The secret ? Training, patience ... and again a lot of training. We use a traditional glue, well known by bookbinders and book restorers, to ensure maximum durability over time. In case your globe crosses the times and requires a small repair, the advantage of this glue is that it’s removable.
This is the stage that gives life to our globes and makes them so unique. All the coloring is done with watercolor (extra fine Sennelier for connoisseurs ... and purists). Why this long and delicate process? First of all because of its principle of diffusion of pigments in water, we are closer to the ocean-land contact, with gradients and shadings that are almost impossible to obtain by using pure digital techniques. Finally, because each color setting produces variations that make your globe unique, like an artist's painting. The pigments are then protected by several layers of varnish to better withstand time and because you will not be able to prevent you from handling your globe often.
We attach a lot of importance to the support of our globes, serving both pedestal and manipulation tool. All have been designed by us. A large part of them is made of solid wood, in our workshop and with the respect of the know-how of the cabinetmaking.