Pastor creates portrait of Christmas using Rubik's Cubes

FRESNO, Calif.

We're talking about the Rubik's Cube, a 3D twisty toy invented by a sculptor and professor of architecture in 1974 and widely sold in the United States in the 80's.

Pastor Nick Bradley is manipulating it to create magnificent works of art while teaching kids an important life lesson: that even a small contribution plays an important part in the larger picture.

Bradley said he first tinkered with a Rubik's Cube six years ago, when his Uncle Kevin taught him how to solve it.

"It's one of those things that everyone has owned one, but every body's story is I've peeled the stickers off or I've broken it apart and put it back together and to me that's cheating," he said. "In my world I'm like I want to solve this thing."

So he did, and eventually tackled the trinket in just 49 seconds.

"Once you learn how, yeah it's simple," he added.

After teaching hundreds of children while working as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church near Tollhouse and Armstrong in Clovis, he said he got bored making the same repetitive motions over and over.

"We just started saying, hey we can stack them and make a picture," said Bradley.

He and his crew of "cube creators" quickly got to work and began toying with art.

"We went to all the Dollar Stores in town, they thought we were crazy, and we emptied the shelves of all their Rubik's Cubes and then we started building them," he said.

Not before long, the team began rendering mind-boggling images one in Rubik.

"We try to do one a week for the last year and we were close," he said. "We ended up with 37 or 38 of them in 2012."

A magnificent 8x8 foot mosaic of Father Christmas now stands outside the front door to the chapel. Bradley said it took his team of 15 adults and children just three hours to assemble.

"I'm trying not to answer how many (cubes) went into making it because we broke several, but I think it's right around 837ish," he chuckled.

He explained the process is relatively simple.

"All I'm doing is taking a picture and saying, there's 81,000 dots to work with, that's 900 Rubik's Cubes," he said.

"I played around with Photoshop, got some advice and as long as we can make a template, play with a little bit of lighting that maybe the the extent of my "artsiness," he laughed.

"Artsiness" built block by block into a stunningly inventive and vivid display, using just five colors of the six-sided square to create texture and depth."

"We've done a ton of different things and we're always looking for ideas on our website, people can submit ideas and we'll give it a shot," he said.

You may be wondering why five colors, rather than six. Bradley explained he and his team rarely use green because blue does a better job of shading.

He's now using his work as a way to fundraise for youth missions at the church. If you'd like to learn more about his art or how you can help visit the group's Facebook page at

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.