An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beading tales and trivia - The US president and the largest bead mosaic in the world

Well, the world's largest bead mosaic record has been broken by children in the USA. They have beaded a birthday present for the US president - President Obama - for his 48th birthday this August. Apparently 1,000 fourth-grade school children used 372,000 hollow plastic beads to create a beaded mosaic of the president. The beaded mosaic is reportedly 9 feet tall and 11.5 feet wide. It was presented to the President and put on public display outside the Whitehouse on the 3rd August 2009. You can see its making on You Tube ( and look at closeups on Flickr - just follow the photopearls link below.
In addition to the children and school communities in 50 US states involved in making the mosaic, a European company PhotoPearls® was also involved. Looking at the company's website the sell a product which includes a digital software program to convert pictures into bead charts, sticky paper to print bead charts on and beads that adhere to the paper. In the close-up of Obama's eye below the beads look a little like large plastic delica beads.
Here is how the company described their product:

The standard edition of PhotoPearls is our basic concept that contains everything you need to get started with creating your own bead art. The enclosed software allows you to pearlify patterns of your own digital images.

The standard set contains:
  • A box with 15,000 beads in 30 assorted colours.
  • Four peg boards that can be assembled into a larger bead board.
  • Two glue sheets that are adhesive on both sides.
  • A white/brown piece of cardboard on which to glue the first bead picture.
  • A CD disc for installation on your computer.
For those of us who are beadweavers, it appears that there was a not a needle or thread in site when the mosaic was beaded. However, it's clearly brought Photopearls well into site!

If you look at the comments on various sites where the mosaic was reported there is clearly controversy about the idea of a large mosaic of the US president being on public display. What do you think?
Sources I used - also most have places where you can post a comment.

More sites with articles about the mosiac - most allow you to post comments.
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Rose Works Jewelry said...

Wow - I found this so interesting I had to blog about it! I gave a link back to your blog :)

Foxan said...

Interesting facts, thank you for sharing!

And happy birthday, Mr President! ;)

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Who knew pony beads could be so powerful? That's is really an exciting work and must have been fun for the kids, as well as a great way to learn about art.

Ginja Girl Designs said...

What an interesting blog article! Thanks for sharing it!

SuzyQ said...

I just came across your post and wanted to comment on it being the "World's Largest Bead Mosaic" (did the company say that?) -
Check out the works of Martine Jackson in Cape Town, South Africa. Her Juliette 3, for the Victoria & Albert Waterfront restaurant, measures 7.2 feet by 16.4 feet = 118 sq ft (done in 2005). Obama's image compares at only 103.5 sq ft.

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