30,000 stamps soaked and sorted into Staffordshire artist's royal masterpiece

Pete Mason is the kind of artist who likes to put his own stamp on things. Or in the case of his latest royal masterpiece – 30,000 of them.

He specialises in making one of a kind eye-catching pictures made up of recycled postage stamps. And the retired art teacher’s latest creation is this 9ft square portrait of the Queen.

The giant image is made up of nine separate 3ft square canvases, which have been bolted together, and has been a labour of love for the past three months.

He has used English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish stamps in tones of reds, greens and blues for the picture, which he designed to mark Her Majesty’s 91st birthday on April 21.

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Stamp artist Pete Mason unveils his 90th birthday protrait of Nelson Mandela at Kingsmead High School, Hednesford

“There are 30,009 Queens. There is no crown, there is no necklace, she doesn’t look regal.

“She hasn’t been Queen for nine decades and I wanted to show that she’s the Queen of the people and just an ordinary person underneath the crown.

“There is a lot of detail to look at, there are the different shapes and the names of all the towns where the stamps have been franked,” said 72-year-old Mr Mason, who lives in Hednesford.

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Thousands of stamps are soaked, sorted and cut to shape for each image

For Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, he depicted the royal on a Queen of Hearts playing card.

He has been making his giant pictures, with each stamp representing a pixel, for around 20 years.

Thousands of stamps are soaked, sorted and cut to shape before being pieced together to make each pixelated image.

World leaders Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela, entertainers Bruce Forsyth, Bob Dylan Michael Jackson, Cilla Black and local heroes such as the late Wolverhampton Wanderers vice-president Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint are among the unique portraits he has created.

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