Briton Willard Wigan creates the smallest sculptures in the world. In all details and colors they can be seen only under a microscope.
Patience and hard work is the key to success
The material for creating the figurines is rice grains, sand grains, gold dust, fabric fibers, cobwebs, the artist’s own hair and eyelashes. The master makes his own tools for work, using sharp microscopic fragments of needles, razor blades, and diamonds. Brushes are hairs from the paws of flies. Wigan places the results of his own labors in needle eyes, on nail heads and pinheads.
The smallest sculpture – a Kevlar figurine of a human embryo the size of a blood cell – the craftsman placed inside his own bristle hair. This work in 2009 brought Willard a second Guinness World Record. The first was achieved in 2006 with a three-micron motorcycle model made of 24 carat gold and placed inside a hair. The 62-year-old sculptor himself jokes that this vehicle is too small even for a dust mite.
The main thing is the incentive!
Willard began to comprehend such an unusual field of activity, being five years old. Suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, the boy shunned his peers, and dyslexia could ruin his life in the future. Educators and teachers unanimously insisted that he would never achieve anything and would forever remain a nobody.
Trying not to catch the eye of others once again, Willard hid in the barn next to the house or played with the dog in the garden. One day, the dog unintentionally unearthed a colony of ants. The boy became interested in insects. It seemed to him that these were small people, so he decided to equip them with a place to live, and make a palace for the ant queen. This mini-town of wood and glass was seen by Willard’s mother. The woman was so amazed that she decided to help her son “make a big name on small things.”
The moral, material support of the mother, multiplied by the many years of work of Willard himself, served him well. Nobody laughs at him today. On the contrary, his work leads even surgeons and nanotechnologists into awe, puzzling over how he does it all. Queen Elizabeth II herself, delighted with microsculptures, appointed Willard Wigan a member of the Order of the British Empire and commissioned a sculpture to celebrate the diamond jubilee of her reign. The master, invited to Buckingham Palace, presented Her Majesty with a detailed microscopic gold crown, encrusted with diamonds and placed on a pinhead.