All of our art works are fully designed and made by us in our workshop at Branley's Yard in Rathcormac, Sligo. Read all about our process below.
Survey and map info
The design of all our maps begins with real life survey data. Maeve uses Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) to access all the latest and highest quality data for our maps. From this both Aran and Maeve decide together what information to extract to create the best art piece. They then pull together as much extra information as they can for that area, including marine charts, topographic maps, bathymetric survey data and even satellite imagery. Once all the information is collated into one file the detailed design work begins.
Once the information is collated we don't simply just press print. Aran's eye for design then comes into play, deciding which contour layers will give the best representation of the area and what exactly to include to ensure a balanced and aesthetically pleasing finished piece that also fulfills the connection to place. Interpreting 1000m depths to be represented in just 8 layers of 3mm of plywood takes time and an eye for detail.
The making of your map begins at one of our high precision lasers. These are the biggest tools in our workshop and like any tool, need patience, skill and finesse to get the best out of them. Despite their size and the noise, and detail and precision they are capable of is amazing. Every layer is cut and every detail engraved using a beam of light just 0.1mm wide.
Once the precision cutting is complete the craftsmanship comes into play. Every piece of wood is then sanded by hand, ensuring the best finish for your map. Defects or mistakes are usually found at this stage, and the layer put aside to recut into something else.
Each piece is stained by hand using our signature teal stain. We mix the color ourselves to ensure we get just the right shade and depth that makes our maps so special
Once our stain has dried, we glue and clamp together the large layer pieces, then start assembling the small details. Some of the designs are like an intricate jigsaw puzzle and we really do use the tweezers on a daily basis. Our largest maps can take several days to assemble completely.
We frame each map here ourselves, to ensure the artworks are protected and secure. The largest maps can weigh up to 20kg, so a solid mounting is essential. Each frame is carefully inspected before we permanently fix in your map, and make it ready for hanging.
We dont stop thinking about our planet once your map is framed, we consider our packaging as well. We use all paper and cardboard packaging wherever possible, and stick with paper or cellulose tapes. Some of our largest and heaviest maps need a bit of extra protection for shipping, and Aran has recently designed a clever solution which we are trialing at the moment.