English artist Chris Chamberlain has completed his ambition to build a large scale mosaic of the world using hundreds of thousands of tiny, twinkling pieces of glass. He used 300,000 hand-cut squared shape stained glass; 1,238 jewels totalling 260 carats; over 6,900 internal LED lights; and 80,000 pieces of glass.
The project, titled Jewel of the Universe, took Chamberlain 3,500 hours to complete over the course of 27 months. Constructing the piece out of 12 varieties of gems—amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, diamond, emerald, iolite, peridot, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz and zircon.
The map is even color coded and has a legend. Rubies and emeralds mark spiritual points like Mecca and Jerusalem while turquoise-colored stones signify the winding paths of great rivers and lakes like the Nile, Mississippi, and Ganges. Also, zircon was used to mark the top cities in the world, including New York, Tokyo, London, and Dubai. As intricate, labor-intensive, and time-consuming as this project has been,
the artist says that this is only “the first in a series of works that focuses on the vibrancy, uniqueness and beauty of Earth.”