Layered Maps - laser cut out of coloured craft cardboard for your location
Maps have long been my passion. A lifetime ago, my grandfather gave me a box filled with old topographic maps. I added a collection of Falk City maps. A few years later, I owned one of the first GPS devices before studying navigation charts for sailing. My fascination with mapping the world as well as my surrounding has only increased over time. It’s been a passion, became an obsession, now it’s a craft - but the passion remains.
My maps are 'layered': streets, buildings, parks, railways and water. I simplify the maps to make them 'cuttable' with a laser: There is only so much detail that can be cut. I remove objects that are too small, straighten the outlines of buildings, parks, lakes and sometimes merge objects at close proximity, or enlarge objects which would be lost otherwise.
Behind the scenes
I use OpenStreetMap, a free, editable map of the whole world that is being built by volunteers. It’s not complete nor fully accurate and - just like the real world - changes constantly. Some of my maps will cover neighborhoods with less detail than elsewhere if the data is missing. I use Python to extract the maps from OpenStreetMap and flatten them with a Mercator projection. Not everything can be coded, so a manual process of removing excess elements follows the laser cutting before I fold them, stitch them together and add the final touches.
I work with paper and cardboard from Cartonnerie Jean in Creuse, France. Their paper "Les Naturals" has been awarded the Blue Angel label for its adherence to strict technical and environmental criteria such as the exclusion of dangerous substances and the use of fibers. It’s made in France from 100% waste paper.
The pure silk thread for the Japanese Stab Binding comes from the Christine and Winston at Empress Mills in Lancashire. They revived their family's 100 year old weaving trade business after it collapsed in the 1970s and turned it into a thread shop and it’s now thriving on craft products