Using only laundry lint, home health aide Laura Bell has created a 14-foot by 4-foot re-creation of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper."
It took the Roscommon resident between 700 and 800 hours to do enough laundry to obtain her lint -- not to mention the additional 200 hours she spent painstakingly arranging the staticky material into the shape of the legendary mural.
"For some people, it's a very spiritual experience," Bell said in a statement. "Others are simply amazed at what someone could do with basic laundry lint."
The size of the mural -- and its vivid colors -- certainly are amazing.
After spending seven months collecting lint from her own dryer, Bell realized that her clothing only produced lint that was one color. She tried to obtain lint from laundromats, but that lint always turned out gray and riddled with dog hair.
Rather than coloring or dying her lint, Bell decided to purchase brightly colored towels and began sorting her drying the way some people sort colored clothing in the wash.
Bell started the project in 2009 in an attempt to win a $250,000 ArtPrize competition in Michigan. She chose lint as her medium after seeing a lint portrait about a decade ago at the Ripley's Believe It or Not Wisconsin Dells Odditorium.
"The Last Supper" didn't win over critics at the art contest -- but it was good enough to draw the attention of Ripley's Believe It or Not, which recently purchased the work.
According to Ripley's spokesman Tim O'Brien, the sheer size of this lint artwork makes it a masterpiece.
The work will be exhibited at one of the 32 Ripley's Believe It or Not odditoriums around the world -- and the piece's mammoth size will determine its eventual home.
"We have not decided as of yet [where it will hang]," O'Brien said. "Of course, its large size will help dictate to us where it needs to be."