ARTISAN MAPS » Artistic Process

Artistic Process

Artisan Maps makes reproductions of invaluable antique maps by using techniques and materials from the 1600’s. Production spans a vast Catalogue of maps mostly from the 1600′s and 1700’s, the golden age of geographical discoveries, and other subjects. In most cases, map is created from a zinc slab that is mounted on a wooden base and printed by hand, a piece at the time, on a press with a limited production size of 20 pieces each time.

When the slab of a particular subject is not available, a laser reproduction is utilized. This allows us to offer on-demand re-production of any subject, through Special Orders.

All maps are printed on cotton paper panels which are glued and mounted on a cotton cloth background. Finally all maps are water-colored by hand, making each of them a truly unique piece. Please see step by step process below.

Step 1: Printing By Hand

Map is created from a zinc slab and printed by hand, a piece at the time, on a press. For the largest maps up to 8 slabs of the largest size are needed.

Step 2: Aging

Each cotton panel, and the background cotton cloth, are immersed in water and a coloring agent. This step produces the “aged” look and protects the map from discoloring due to exposure to light over time.

Step 3: Gluing

On one side of the background cotton cloth a vinyl-based glue is applied.

Step 4: Mounting

Each cotton panel is mounted on the background cotton cloth. Most maps are composed of several panels which are mounted “a stacchi” (slightly distanced from each other). This process allows the map to be folded and easily transported.

Step 5: Drying

Drying takes from one to several days based on temperature and humidity. The cotton paper and cloth shrink in different measures. It is up to the ability of the craftsman to control this delicate step..

Step 6: Water-Coloring

The map is now ready to be water-colored or left in black and white. The choice of color, if the original – as it is often the case – is in black and white, is left to the artist. Each map is therefore a unique piece.

Finished Craft