Wood Chart map of the Great Lakes
Connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway, this collection of freshwater lakes represents the largest group on Earth and contains 21% of the world's surface fresh water. Though the lakes reside in separate basins, they form a single, naturally-interconnected body of water. Of the five lakes, Lake Michigan is the only one that is located entirely within the United States; the others form a water border between the US and Canada.
Starting with a bathymetric chart (the underwater equivalent of a topographic map), we use laser-cutters to carve the contours into sheets of Baltic birch and glue them together to create a powerful visual depth. We hand stain select layers blue so it's easy to discern land from water, etch major byways into the land, then frame the whole thing in a custom, solid-wood frame and protect it with a sheet of durable, ultra-transparent Plexiglas.