Jelly Belly art was conceived by the Texan artist Peter Rocha back in the 1980s. He was passionate about colours, mad about Jelly Belly and a big fan of the then US President, Ronald Reagan. He decided to create a portrait of Reagan using Jelly Belly beans and it took him over six months to complete as he painstakingly dipped each bean in the glue and placed it in a mosaic pattern. Reagan loved it. The portrait still hangs in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
It took Peter some time to perfect the technique but in a nutshell the process starts with a rough pencil drawing using a photograph of the subject. A tight colour composition is then painted and finished by creating a mosaic of Jelly Belly jelly beans. This is made by wetting the painting with clear glue and then sliding the appropriate bean - also soaked in the glue - into position with chopsticks! It is the mix and variety of colours in any one area that crafts the impressionistic and vibrating effect. With over 100 flavours of Jelly Belly to choose from there is a full palette of colours. Many, many thousands of beans are used in a single portrait. Quite a few are eaten along the way as well.
Peter Rocha produced over 50 Jelly Belly portraits before he died in 2000. Jelly Belly art is continually being perfected today by Kristen Cumings in the US and here in the UK by artist Malcolm West.
In 2010 the Guinness World Record was set in Shanghai for the largest candy art. The 39-foot-long art piece is made of 629,000 Jelly Belly beans and was on display throughout the 2010 Shanghai Expo.
To celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Malcolm West created this fabulous 3D Jelly Belly replica of the crown that her Majesty wore for the first time at her coronation on 2nd June 1953.
For more fabulous Jelly Belly bean artworks visit our gallery