A couple of years ago, we covered Lake Art, a family-run business that uses a laser cutter/engraver to create decorative objects inspired by local lakes, rivers and oceans. Recently brought to our attention is Pangea, a small company that has a more minimal take on a similar topic.
When he initially started experimenting creating 3D ocean maps, industrial designer and Pangea founder Tom Percy was working a full-time job at a design firm. After making his first official map of Australia’s Moreton Bay as a birthday gift for his father, Percy caught the mapmaking bug and decided to pursue the side hustle more seriously.
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Percy’s initial design process starts with isolating a region of coastline he wants to feature. He then sources the bathymetric data and begins to sketch the contours of each layer. Once they layers are ready, he laser-cuts the pieces out of plywood sheets. The most labor-intensive step in the process comes after the laser-cutting, when Percy carefully hand-glues each layer onto the next. The top layer is always white to emphasize the beauty in the variety of depths in each map.
Since the region possibilities are endless and every piece is handmade, each map ends up as a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Percy’s goal within the next couple of years is to launch a new platform on his website that allows users to isolate sections of an online map—like Google Maps—themselves and then automatically send it to Percy and his team so they can get started. This would save time for Percy and ultimately make each project feel that much more personal.
Pangea maps may be sans complicated text and color, but we actually dig thier stripped down versions of typical ocean maps. If you’re craving more eye candy, their Instagram page has plenty of it in addition to their website.