• Jo’s studio is located at Wimbledon Art Studios.

  • Follow @MapperiaDotCom

Maps are memories & wanderlust
Maps are coordinates & projections. Mapperia’s aim is to disassemble the many different angles of space while letting the mind wander: With intricately layered maps, laser cut from paper.

Memories and wanderlust, nostalgia and the urge to explore…

Maps can imply a host of different things to different people at different times. Coordinates, scales, projections, dimensions and labels all help to convey a multitude of different layers. But they are always a reflection of dreams and exploaration. Mapperia’s aim is to disassemble the many different angles of space while letting the mind wander: With intricately layered maps, laser cut from paper. 

For hundreds of years, humankind has been undertaking to depict the real world with the help of maps for the purpose of education, navigation and scientific research. Amongst the possessions of the British Museum is what is considered one of the earliest maps in existence, the Babylonian “Imago Mundi”, found in Sippar, Iraq, dated 700 BC. When tools for exact measurements were still unavailable, the imagination of artists and craftspeople was all the more important as illustrated in the Ebstorf map from around 1200 AD, still to be admired in a convent in Northern Germany, including very creative depictions of wild animals and buildings. 

In the following centuries, the quest for a precise representation was dominant. More recently powerful data visualization became possible thanks to the availability of satellite and geographic data.

But maps can be much more than the closest possible image of our surroundings assisting us to navigate the world. They equally invite the viewer to see familiar places from surprising angles, to discover far flung territories and unique habitats or to delve into treasured memories, thanks to the tools that scientists, cartographers and mapmakers have at their fingertips.

“It’s mostly been a passion, eventually transforming into a bit of an obsession. Now it’s a craft. But the passion remains.” – Jo

One Layer at a Time

Deciphering an area by inviting you to explore it one layer at a time. Let your mind wander, no matter if daydreaming of far away places or exploring the intricacies of your immediate neighborhood.

Discover Your World

Mapperia’s maps come in all kinds of sizes for any location, made exclusively from ecologically sourced materials. Conceived, mapped and cut by Jo Schmaltz, mapmaker, papercut artist and coder with a passion for crafts.

The man

Jo is curious to hear your thoughts, suggestions and ideas

The man behind the map

Jo’s lifelong passion for maps began with his grandfather’s eclectic collection of European road and city maps. As a high school student exploring the United States, he navigated using both traditional atlases and cutting-edge GPS devices.

A slice of the world in different formats

Each map is a bespoke masterpiece, tailored to your memories or dreams. From intricate road grids to cherished landmarks, Mapperia maps capture the essence of any location.

Behind the artist

Materials

Sustainability and supporting local businesses are important for Mapperia. Jo has sourced great eco-friendly vendors for paper, silk and yarn.

Paper

Jo works 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 made from 100% waste paper.

Binding

The thread Jo uses for the Japanese Stab Binding is the pure silk como thread that comes from the Empress Mills in Lancashire, who revived their family’s 100 year old weaving trade business after it collapsed in the 70s.

Frames

Jo builds frames (on request) himself from reclaimed wood – or you can find a professional framer to work with. Please use UV protective glass so the paper isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.

South London Makerspace

Makerspace

The South London Makerspace is a social community workshop where Jo has gone found the inspiration to experiment with different tools – and it was an eye-opening experience: A place, not just equipped to do anything from woodworking to metalwork to laser cutting – but also with an incredible amount of great advice, help and expertise.

The Cause

Every map contributes 1 Gbp to MapAction, a non-profit organization that assists in foreseeing, preparing for, and addressing humanitarian emergencies.