Earlier this month Stanford's held a Travel Writing Festival at London's Olympia. Part of the Holiday and Travel Show, the Stanford's event was a celebration of all forms of travel writing, with a host of guest speakers concluding with an awards ceremony for winning authors.
Stanford's have a worldwide reputation as experts in the field of travel related literature, from journals to maps to pictorial books, and their flagship store in Long Acre, London has been a hub for anyone with a curiosity about the world around them.
We are thrilled to have been stocked at Stanford's, in their dedicated globe room downstairs, for a number of years, and were even more honoured to be asked once again to make the globes which were presented as prizes to the lucky winners at their award ceremony. There were multiple guest speakers at the event, including Michael Palin, Levison Wood, Colin Thubron, Simon Reeve, John Simpson, Nicholas Crane and a personal favourite of mine Lois Pryce. There were ten categories, for which we made a contemporary ten inch globe for each winner, and Michael Palin was the recipient of the Lifetime Contribution to Travel Writing, taking home our 13 inch Modern Classic Globe. We think he looks pretty pleased with it.
A few days ago I was loading a large, finished globe into my car, when a workman on a nearby roof called down "You need to update your Sat Nav mate!"...
Navigational aids of one kind or another have been showing us the way for centuries. We probably all have fairly recent memories of trying to get somewhere by car using a crumpled paper road atlas, and it seems incredible to think how far technology has moved on in the last decade.
It's been ten years since Google first launched its Map API - the platform and tools to enable developers to create a diverse range of APPs which utilise Google Maps.
Over the last decade, independent coders and digital designers have created APPs to meet every need and situation using Google Maps. To celebrate this a Google team hit the road with a 1950's tour bus decked out with interactive map exhibits to showcase how maps of every kind enhance our lives today. The team crossed the breadth of America, from California to New York, then down to Florida, making stops along the way to hold seminars in geo-literacy, and to personally meet developers.
Amongst others, they met with the Harley Davidson crew who used Google maps to create their HD Ride Planner APP, and the team at ICON Health and Fitness who put together the world's first virtual 5k run for treadmills.
The travelling bus has been open to the public all along the route, as an inclusive and fun event,
attracting a lot of attention and enthusiasm.
We were thrilled to be invited to participate in this by making several globes for the tour bus using
the Google Map artwork to highlight the maps in an immediate and interactive, if 'old school' way!
Simon Faithfull is an artist who has travelled. He has a fascination with the planet we inhabit and the space that surrounds us. He has devoted much of creative energy to physical and conceptual exploration, documenting his journeys in the form of written and drawn dispatches from far and wide.
His latest artistic endeavour is to travel along the earth's meridian line, from France to Africa. This expedition is in collaboration with the ICIA University of Bath, who commissioned the trip, and who will host a major exhibition of Faithfull's digital drawings and photographs - the exhibition will form the centrepiece to the launch of the University's new £10m Centre for the Arts.
We were lucky enough to contribute to this exhibition by bringing to life the artist's route in the form of a world globe, now on display within the exhibition. This was a collaboration with Weber Industries of London, who we worked with to produce this striking and unusual piece - a black globe featuring the artist's own digital map artwork, lit from within the globe itself.
The time is almost upon us when Summer completes its slow paddle-board into the distance, and the cool breath of Autumn gently sails in.
In the Northern Hemisphere tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox - that day of the year when supposedly the hours in the day and night are of equal length. Not strictly true, but for all of us who want to enjoy a magical element of perfect seasonal symmetry, let's pretend it is.
It is of course, an astronomical event which is taking place: the earth orbits the sun tilted at an angle of 23 and a half degrees, and twice a year the angle and the orbit combine in such a way that the light from the sun is received in equal measure upon the earth's two hemispheres. The seasonal shift hangs in the balance.
We can see signs of this all around us now: birds begin to migrate to warmer climes; hedgerows heave with blackberries; we are wearing summer clothes but are uncomfortably chilly; the lone bottle of lime and coconut barbecue marinade in the fridge will now never get used; in the supermarkets suncream is heavily discounted and mince pies are front of store. It is time to maximise the shorter days and embrace the longer nights.
Above is a gratuitous photo of rush hour where we are lucky enough to live, bathed in glorious late summer evening sun.
When we get the opportunity to make a specially commissioned globe for an exhibition, well it's a thrill. I have been a globemaker by trade for a dozen or more years, and have made a huge breadth of work: every kind of globe you can imagine. However, since starting my own company a couple of years ago I am especially pleased and proud every time a new client finds me and commissions me to make an unusual piece. Collaborating on a bespoke project is a joy.
At the start of the summer I was asked to put together a large globe for the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. In case you didn't know, the Arboretum is a vast parkland, which was put together in the 1850's - borne out of the estate of the Westonbirt family - planting was started by Robert Holford, the then owner of the estate - and since then it has flourished, blossomed and bloomed into 17 miles of accessible landscape, containing almost 15,000 trees (2500 different species), open downland, and sylvan serenity - all open to the public. The Management team work hard to provide an oasis of botanical beauty for all to enjoy, and to learn more about the natural world around us.
A new visitor's centre has just been constructed, and was opened by the Duchess of Cornwall in June - our bespoke globe, (depicting tree and plant origins across the world) took pride of place - an interactive piece featuring sensory pads on the globe which, when touched with a special electronic pen, give specific information. It was an interesting project to work on, with a great bunch of people. We would show you a picture of the Duchess of Cornwall using the globe but...Royal Family seen to be endorsing products? it's a no-no. So instead, have a look at the beautiful globe in situ and just use your imagination. And if you're ever near Tetbury, drift in and lose yourself in the stunning landscape of the Arboretum.
We are honoured to be participating (in a sense) at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow!
The UKTI invited us to exhibit our globes at an amazing industry event to showcase and celebrate British commerce and creativity.
Lander & May will be showing a selection of our handcrafted globes at The British Business House, to be held at Glasgow City Chambers on 23-25 July.
The specially curated event will celebrate British innovation and the UK's inward investment offer, attracting hundreds of worldwide business leaders. Among the impressive line up of international speakers from across the world will be Vince Cable (Secretary of State for Business) and Patrick McLoughlin (Secretary of State for Transport), discussing the UK's capability and the global business outlook across a huge range of industries including space data, digital health and natural resources.
Lander & May are thrilled to be selected to represent British creativity and excellence. Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, Dominic Jermey speaks enthusiastically: "The UK produces modern, innovative and creative companies, and Lander & May is a fantastic example of what Britain has to offer the world. The British Business House will not only showcase UK talent to more than 400 global CEO's, but also highlight the international opportunities that British companies can capitalise on."
Once upon a time, many years ago, the notion of a 'gap year' was new. School leavers no longer wanted to start work or university straight away - they wanted to spend some time travelling abroad, seeing other countries, different cultures, broadening their horizons before beginning a lifetime of work, daily grind and routine.
Over the years, the Gap Year has become so popular that it is almost a pre-requisite for the young adult. And more than this, it is not only the domain of the young adult. We now see people of all ages understanding the benefits of a life well travelled. People in their 30's, 40's and 50's take mid career breaks, or work sabbaticals to go out into the world and spend time somewhere else.
You could say that with the growth of the internet and modern technologies, actually travelling to see the world isn't necessary - we can see everything we need to online, the world has become a smaller, more accessible territory. But nothing can actually replace the sensation of being somewhere else - to see first hand, to feel, to smell, to touch. These experiences cannot and never will be superseded by technology.
Making long journeys halfway around the globe in order to immerse oneself in the 'otherness' of another place is a unique and memorable experience, and with this in mind Lander & May created the Globetrotter globe. It's our Modern Day Globe, but uniquely customised - just tell us where you've been, and we will plot your memorable travels onto the globe artwork, complete with any other information you want - dates, mode of transport, who you were with, we can even create little icons to reflect how you did it - a ship, a plane, a motorbike, etc.
We have found along the way, that it's not just students who like to record their travels for posterity. We have plotted whole family adventures over many years; retired Navy men with scores of routes sailed around the world and anniversary globes for couples who have a lifetime of travels behind them, complete with 'special places' marked out (where they met, where they married, etc.).
This is a truly unique gift for anyone who wants to remember, refer to and talk about where they've been, and with a Lander & may globe you know you're getting a quality globe made in the time-honoured way - no plastic, nothing mass produced - we keep to the traditional construction method of using a handmade plaster sphere and bespoke components. A memento to keep and treasure for generations to come.
Forgive the radio silence – we are still here!
We've been busy for the last few months developing our business, working on new products, looking after our small army of children and generally keeping our little world turning. It's an exciting time for us, and none more exciting than exhibiting at our first show, Best of Britannia (BoB) last week.
BoB is an amazing event organised by a dedicated small team of Supermen and Women who curate and pull together a mind blowing celebration of British made goods across 3 days in central London.
The show was open to the public with free admission, and held in a splendid old Victorian emporium called the Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell. Across four vast floors was a smorgasbord of the best in British crafts, makers who came together from all over the UK to show the masses what they can do, as well as film screenings, live music, lectures and an art gallery.
There was hand blown glassware, local distilled gin, there were leather bags, cashmere scarves, handmade shoes and hand built bikes.
Iconic modernist brands such as G-Plan and Kaymet, rubbed shoulders with Morgan Motor Cars and Finisterre cold water surfing Company. As well as the best in British makers displaying within the building, the cobbled atrium below was jam packed with punters enjoying live music and amazing food and drink; including The Wild Game Company and pop up restaurant The Disappearing Dining Club. Our favourite snack of choice was the tuna taco from BOB's Lobster, whilst enjoying the impressive musical talents of Charlie Goodall, and a pint from Meantime Brewery.
The event was a brilliant way of showing people what we do as globe makers. We really enjoyed strutting our stuff and finding new fans – everyone seemed to love our globes and we had so many amazing comments and responses. The whole event was a pleasure and a privilege to be part of, see you same time same place next year!
In the 1850's Edward Stanford opened the doors on what is probably the most famous map emporium in the world.
Today, Stanfords in Covent Garden is still an iconic store, visited by millions of people from all over the world. Travel enthusiasts go there not just for maps, but for guide books, advice and events. And globes.
We are very pleased and proud to announce that Stanfords are now stocking a selection of Lander & May handmade globes.
One of the globes on display there is our Modern Day Globe, a perfect fusion of old and new, using up to date cartography coupled with map imagery by Natural Earth to form a stunning 13" (diameter) table top globe. Made in the time honoured way, as are all Lander & May globes, using a handcrafted plaster ball, with hand applied printed map artwork, turned wooden stand, and bespoke made metalwork. A stunning piece for yourself or someone else.
We couldn't be happier to have Stanfords as a stockist.