Browsing Tag

maps

Maker Stories

Around the World with Wendy Gold

July 15, 2015

Wendy Gold says that nothing made her happier as a child than a new box of crayons. While her preferred medium has changed, Wendy still feels her best when she’s working on something creative.

These days scissors, X-ACTO knives, foam brushes, glue, and finish have replaced crayons and she considers the world her canvas. Both literally and figuratively. Wendy creates beautiful maps and globes using repurposed vintage materials and water-based, environmentally-friendly finishes.

Wendy Gold | UncommonGoods

“Inspiration has come to me steadily throughout life, and I have been fortunate to be able to chase it,” Wendy says. She explains that as a teenager she “spent countless hours creating insanely intricate friendship bracelets, kaleidoscopes, and ceramic musical instruments,” and in college she made a headboard for her bed so big that she couldn’t get it out of her room when she moved out.

Though she says she’s chased inspiration, it seems that the inspiration for her decoupage maps found her, in a way, through a series of related events.

Bouquet by Wendy Gold | UncommonGoods

“In 2001, my husband went away on a fishing trip, and came back to find our dining room table covered with toilet seats,” Wendy recalls. “Yes, toilet seats. While he was gone, I had been making decoupage picture frames for holiday gifts, and when I took a bathroom break, inspiration struck. I went to the hardware store, bought some toilet seats and began decoupaging them immediately. My first business, Art de Toilette was born.”

Wendy's Tools

From there, Wendy went on to design a line of bathroom scale art, playing on the idea that people have a love/hate relationship when it comes to weighing in. But after a few years, she decided to take a break from decoupage.

“In 2007, when I got pregnant, I had to take a break from Art de Toilette because of the glues and finishes I had been using at the time,” she says. “After my daughter was born, I was looking for a canvas that would be more environmentally and physically friendly to work with. In 2010, I was at a local flea market and I saw the most beautiful vintage globe I had ever seen.”

Globes
That vintage globe was the start of Wendy’s work with miniature worlds. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes surreal, and always creative, each of Wendy’s pieces adds another level to the illustrated version of the Earth that we all became familiar with in grade school. Of course, since her materials are repurposed, many of these illustrations are out of date. By adding her artistic touch to these outdated depictions of our planet, she gives them a new life.

“I just love the aesthetic of things from eras past, and the idea of turning old, geographically inaccurate globes and maps into new, modern day worlds,” says Wendy, who frequents estate sales and flea markets for inspiration and materials.

Butterflies

Butterfly by Wendy Gold | UncommonGoods

Despite the inaccuracies hidden among the new worlds created in some of the maps, the pieces have no trouble drumming up a bit of wanderlust. Seasoned travelers looking to chart adventures don’t need to worry about about running across Czechoslovakia or the U.S.S.R., though, Wendy also makes the Personalized Wedding and Anniversary Pushpin Map with current information. So, whether you’re getting ready to pack your bags or you’re looking for an artful reminder that the world is full of beauty, Wendy’s maps are sure to send your imagination on a journey.

Pushpin Map | Wendy Gold

See Wendy Gold's Collection

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for The Runaway

December 5, 2012

There’s no cure for The Runaway’s serious case of wanderlust. No matter how many roads they trek, sights they see, and adventures they embark upon, their craving to see lands unknown cannot be sated. With a longing to observe the places, meet the people, and delight in the nuances of the world, this curious voyager is happiest when discovering a new destination. Given the joy they take from the journey, we can’t guarantee they’ll be home for the holidays; but we do have a good feeling they’ll love these travel-inspired gifts.

Single Wine Tote–Regions / QR Code Luggage Tag / Buildings–Denise Fiedler–Eiffel Tower / Places in America–Oliver Jeffers / Crumpled City Map / San Francisco Neighborhood Map Wooden Routing / Portable iPhone Charger / Scratch Travel Journal

Design

Give Us Direction

August 10, 2011

Crumpled City Map

Emmie said: “Great idea and reasonable price – most of my travel books/maps are damaged from the winds and rain and are useless after one vacation. GENIUS!”

Would a map of New York City make navigating the boroughs a breeze? Could you use a map of London on your next European adventure? Crumpled City Maps make bringing a map along easy. Since they’re made of a durable, waterproof, rip-resistant material, you can crumple them up and stick them in a pocket or pouch. If you agree with Emmie and think this idea is genius, find your way to our community voting app and share your feedback!