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August 20, 2009

The micro sculptures of Willard Wigan

David by Willard Wigan

Here's a tiny bit of astonishing beauty to get you to the weekend. British sculpture Willard Wigan has creates of works of art that are so astonishingly small that they defy belief. To Wigan, the head of a pin is a full-sized pediment, and one of his works has not one, but nine, meticulously crafted camels passing through the eye of a needle.

Wigan works with tiny hand made knives, fly hair paint brushes, and microscopes for his tools, and pieces of fluff plucked out of the air, tiny shards of glass and plastic, and spiders webbing for his materials. He typically spends weeks...sometimes months...crafting each piece, working in the space between heartbeats when his hand is steadier, and holding his breath lest he accidentally inhale one of his creations.

In a surprisingly moving talk at a TED conference this summer, Wigan recounts the difficulties he had in school, how he began spending his time making tiny houses for the ants in his yard, and how that led him to a realization of the infinite possibility of the infinitesimally small. Here's a video of his TED talk.

There's almost certainly no way you could afford one of Wigan's sculptures (he can only make a few a year, and the waiting list is a mile long) but his website does offer beautiful prints of his works for sale, such as the statue of David perched on a pin (with an aphid fly for scale).

Comment welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at August 20, 2009 11:06 PM