Sunday, April 15, 2012

Amazing Huichol Bead Work on Wheels

By on Sunday, April 15, 2012 20 Comments

I previously wrote about the extraordinary skill of the Huichol  or Wixáritari of West Mexico turning beads and skulls into works of art. Now eight of these artisans from the communities of Nayarit and Jalisco are showcasing their amazing bead work on an entire car!

The car in question is a a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle so this "moving" piece of art is thus called the Vochol - a combination of the car's name with that of the Huichol.

The team of  Huichol bead artisans took 9,000 hours to completely adorn the car both inside and out. They covered virtually all the surfaces including the mirrors, seats, steering wheel and dashboard!  

They used more than 2 million seed beads along with nearly 35 pounds of fabric, paint, yarn and resin. Resin was probably applied and the beads were then embedded  in the resin. 

The design elements used by the artisans have deep spiritual meaning to the Huichol.   The two-headed eagles represent the four cardinal directions. Other symbols include the deer which is revered in their culture as well as the fire, drum, squash and corn.

The Vochol is currently being exhibited at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC until May 6. After that it will tour internationally before being sold to raise money for the Association of Friends of the Museum of Popular Art in Mexico City which supports the work of Mexican artisans. 

Check out more pictures here. Additional pictures can be viewed on the Washington Post's slideshow.


Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. All I can say is "groovy". What a talented group of artists.

  2. The artists are Francisco and Kena Bautista

  3. Thanks for sharing that link for more fabulous pictures which includes the artisans!

  4. Okay, that is just incredible!

  5. That's officially one of the coolest things I've ever seen!

    Hmm... I think I might like my car a little better if it were covered in beads. ;)

  6. WOW! Very impressive. Beautiful bead work. Don't think I would have the patience to do something like that. Thanks for sharing this amazing work.

  7. Amazing!!! And so beautiful to just stare at. I can't even imagine the amount of time and skill that goes into a piece of art like this!

  8. It's beautiful! Thanks for showing. I just wonder: how heavy is the car now????

  9. No idea! But definitely several lbs heavier!!

  10. I would like to know more about the process and how the materials resin, yarn, fabric, etc. were used. How did they bead the seats? Can these same materials be used to bead on shoes or should a different type of glue be used?

  11. Hi Connie,

    I don't have that information but I suggest you try contacting the museum to get some contact emails. Good luck!

  12. What amazing, beautiful beadwork! Such ingenuity can make any utilitarian thing into art.

  13. WOW !!!! What a work of art.

  14. Sombody's got too much time on their hands.

  15. That's not a 1990 VW. Has to be a 1970s model. Unless it's one of the older aircooled ones still being produced in South America.

  16. Anonymous Anonymous said...
    Sombody's got too much time on their hands.

    Obviously not a lover of art. That's too bad. I think it's a fine way to spend time and talent. I've said, jokingly, that I'd love to drive this car around, but that's not right...I'd rather spend that time just admiring it :)

  17. Fantastic! You have done an awesome job for a worthy cause. Your ancestors are proud.