I come from a long line of map readers. The sight of my dad, grandpa, and uncle hunched over an atlas, post-meal, analyzing all the different routes from A to B was not uncommon at family gatherings, and despite finding the hobby strange as a kid, of course I'm now married to a guy with a similar appreciation. So yes! I have a fondness for maps, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon Antler Hill's geologic map cuttings that Mobile, Alabama-based artist Dustin Benge launched on Etsy just over a month ago.
Dustin began cutting his silhouettes from a regular road atlas several years ago, but decided geological maps work best for their color, composition, and overall artistic appeal. He quickly learned, however, that geological maps are hard to find. "Most states have not made their maps available to the general public," says Dustin, who instead downloads high resolution maps from The United States Geological Survey. "I love the outdoors, fly fishing, and the mountains, and I choose my silhouettes accordingly," he says.
One service that avid map readers will appreciate: Dustin shares highly detailed information about each of the ones he uses, for example, the silhouetted oars above were made from a surficial geologic map of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie Rivers area and Snohomish and King Counties in Washington. Within the Etsy listing, he shares the author (Booth, D.B.), publication date (1990), map scale (1:50,000), and north/south latitude 48° 0' 0" N / 47° 30' 0" N and east/west longitude: 121° 30' 0" W / 122° 0' 0" W.
For now, only prints are available, but Dustin plans to add originals to his shop soon. There are loads (nearly 100!) of greeting cards and prints to choose from, including the custom animal print above, which I think would make such a great gift, framed for a baby's nursery.