Into The Studio with Jamie McGregor Smith

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www.jamiemcgregorsmith com

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New Year, New Cheer!

From a frosty London studio, crammed with radiators and heaters we write our first blog post of the year. Festivities seem long forgotten now, but we are still eating Christmas cake and a few left over chocolates here at the globemakers, and the weather certainly reflects the wintery mood – it’s set to snow all weekend, much to the excitement of Meredith our in-house artist who wants to build a snowman on our roof.

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We’re very excited to say that 2013 has so far been a busy one. Plentiful orders are keeping us busy, with grand new globe plans to be unveiled in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!

In the meanwhile you can see our artist edition globes as we have just added them to the site.  They are truly beautiful pieces, and absolutely stunning up close, when you can really  appreciate the craftsmanship and detail. See more photos here.

One of our new year’s resolutions is to write a blog update every 2 weeks.  As well as to drink red wine by the fire in the winter, white wine in the sunshine in the summer, and a nice hearty beer in the autumn.  It’s going to be a good year!  See you in a few weeks. x

The Opening Reception…

Week one has drawn to an end, and we have been blown away by the response to our globe exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society.  During the day, you can observe globes being made, painted, gored and varnished in our workshop space, as well as many models, maps and interesting reads to while away the day. Find us at the end of Exhibition Road, Kensington, in the glass fronted Pavilion Space of the RGS, it’s free entry and open from 10am-5pm daily.

On Tuesday evening we held an opening reception at the Society, to celebrate the first ever exhibition of it’s kind at the RGS.  A whole bunch of lovely people, from doctors to Princesses, cartographers and artists, battled the wind and rain and made it down to the event, where globes were scrutinized under magnifying glasses, spun, caressed and adored. A big thank you to everyone who made the night a huge success.  A selection of photos below!

Detail from the magnificent Churchill globe

The Mini Desk Globe in Blue, The Churchill in the background

The beautiful hand-painted globe by Fiona Owen, “Terra Incognita”

The Curve model, from The 80 Series

The stunning hand drawn piece by Meredith, “Creatures from the Depths”

The Perano Terrestrial free standing edition

The Mini Desk Globe, in Olive with 1951 Base

The Perano Celestial Model, featuring over 100 hand drawn constellations

 

Exhibition Week…

Time has flown by at our globemaking studio, is it really 27th September?  If so, in two days time (and I’m sure you’ve all got the date circled in your diary) our exhibition of globes opens at the Royal Geographical Society, and we are so excited to share our collection with the public.

There will be many new mini-globes to paw, spin and play with (see photo below) and even the chance to win one over the two week period, just visit the exhibition to find out more.  The show will also feature beautiful alternative globes, hand painted by select London artists; and the historical Churchill models, which are so impressive up close, standing over 1.5 m tall.

The Terrestrial Standard Mini Desk Globe £598

We have constructed a workshop space which will be active for the entire duration of the exhibition, relocating some of our talented globemakers from our studio in North London, so that visitors to the show can follow the process of making the globes, from painting to goring.  We’ve picked the friendliest of the bunch, who won’t mind you having a peek over their shoulder, or asking any questions!

Meredith Owen, resident artist at Bellerby Globemakers, painting detail onto the Churchill globe.

The show will guide you through the art of globemaking, and offer a rare chance to see a wide collection of models and styles, including the Terrestrial (earthly) and it’s Celestial (heavenly) counterpart, which depicts the mythical astrological figures, and over 3000 stars as seen in the night sky.

A Celestial Globe installation pictured in 1900 Paris

Come and see the first ever exhibition of handmade globes to be shown at the Royal Geographical Society; running from this Saturday 29th September to Friday 12th October, open daily from 10am to 5pm, and admission is FREE.  We have also set up a globey giftshop featuring books, maps, bags and postcards for you to take away.  All proceeds from the sales of our Bellerby Brochure are donated to the Elephant Family charity.   More information on our website.  See you there!

The Globemakers.

Art, ballet & more globes

We have been a little quiet recently… but with good reason we promise.

Let’s start with the grand unveiling of Yinka Shonibare’s fantastic ballerina for the Royal Opera House in London. Yinka is an extraordinary sculpture, installation and fine artist; who has exhibited on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square, and has been put forward for the Turner Prize.  He was asked to produce a piece of art to adorn what they ROH described as the, “dullest corner of the building” and with this concept he wanted to bring to life a ballerina to represent the beauty and life on the inside of the Opera House.

We have worked with Yinka on many projects, and he commissioned us to produce the globe for his spectacular ballerina sculpture, which formed the head of the arabesque statue.  We were invited to the unveiling which took place on Tuesday, with a bubbly & canapé reception (of course we said Yes).

The magical orb was revealed to a street of excited VIPs, paperazzi and passer bys, with a burst of opera music as the ballerina pirouetted in her stunning tutu.  The real ballerina, (Melissa Hamilton of the Royal Ballet) has had her graceful arabesque captured in art, and was hugely excited to see the final piece, which will be spin on the hour and be illuminated by night. We were very proud to see our specialised globe involved in such an exciting project, and it is an honour to be cemented on the iconic London building for over 5 years. Yinka has spoken about the globe head and the reasons behind it, ” I wanted to make her a metaphor for humanity, for inclusiveness, not just a portrait”

Spot our globe! Photo courtesy of the Royal Opera House London

In other news we have completed the Churchill Globe, and it looks mighty impressive! (see photo below – top center)  Measuring over 50 inches in diameter and stood on a grand handmade oak base, the final colour wash was finished last week, and our team’s hard work has certainly paid off.  The globe will be featuring along with many others in the Bellerby Collection at the Royal Geographical Society in September.  The exhibition, entitled, “Geographical Blueprint: The Art of the Handcrafted Globe”  will display a large collection of our handmade globes, as well as specialist artist globe section – we are so, SO excited!

 Bye-bye for now from the globe family, have a lovely weekend.

Covent Garden Egg Parade!

We just had this fantastic photo sent in of our globe egg looking rather spectacular in Central London today.

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In the last few days of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt, the eggs are being showcased together in the Piazza Square in Covent Garden, as part of the “Grand Eggstravaganza”  created by Faberge.
There’s a souvenir shop (to buy Easter eggy treats) and the opportunity to see the al fresco exhibition of 200 stunning eggs, hand decorated by some of the biggest names in fashion and design today.  We were very honoured to be a part of the event, and thank everyone for the wonderful feedback on our piece “The Egg Projection”.

Photos courtesy of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt

All of the eggs are currently in a grand auction; and so far ours has raised a fantastic £1700. Bidding closes at 5pm Monday 9th April. You can bid your heart out on the auction site here; and sleep well at night knowing that all proceeds are going to the Elephant Family and Action for Children.

Happy Bidding & Happy Easter!

Womack is Back!

Bobby Womack I thought, I know that name, but who…?

A quick google search taught me of his chart topping hits, covering R&B, Rock and Roll, Doo Wop, Country and Gospel genres; various recording sessions spanning 40 years with probably as many famous names.

Behind the glitz Bobby ‘Robert’ Womack was the lead singer of his 60s family soul and gospel band The Valentinos; proteges of Sam Cooke, who Womack later joined as guitarist; as well as musical stints with Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley and Sly Stone.  Sources tell me that he “created the body work of classic soul”, and is often referred to as the most under-appreciated giant of Seventies Soul. Well by now I’m pretty impressed and feeling a little silly that as a mid-twenties Londoner with an awareness for many music genres and artists, I wasn’t instantly aware of this soul legend. In 2009 Bobby was rightly inducted to the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.

This is all lovely stuff, but what does it have to do with Bellerby Globemakers you ask?

At 68 years old, Womack has not finished his business with the music industry just yet – 2012 sees the release of his highly anticated album “The Bravest Man in the Universe” (to be released in June on XL)  It features collaborations with Damon Albarn, Lana Del Ray and  XL Recordings’ Richard Russell.  Bobby is back.  He came to our North London studios a month ago where he shot some fantastic photos for his album artwork. (Spot our globes in the background!)

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After hearing the very recent news surrounding Womack’s health, our thoughts and prayers are with him at this hard time.  We wish you a speedy recovery Bobby, it was wonderful to meet you. Here’s a few photos from the shoot, where let’s admit it, he’s looking pretty cool.

Art Direction by Sam and Arthur.   Photographs by Jamie-James Medina.

His first single from the album “Please forgive my heart” is just beautiful, and it’s available for free on XL Recordings website here.