Incredible sculptures by Willard Wigan

Incredible sculptures by Willard Wigan



Average reading time — 4 minutes


British sculptor Willard Wigan makes sculptures that can only be seen under a microscope. This is puzzling — how can one create such tiny, but at the same time detailed figures?


In the photo: Willard Wigan at work.


The artist makes his microsculptures from a wide variety of materials: grains of sand, rice grains, fabric fibers, his own hair and eyelashes. But we, of course, are most interested in those creations that were made of gold.

In 2013, the master created a Harley Davidson motorcycle figurine from the smallest grains of 24K gold. The size of the product was only 3 microns (0.003 millimeters), this is less than a human blood cell. Wigan jokes that not even a dust mite could ride this bike.


In the photo: like most of the British sculptor’s works, the golden Harley Davidson fits easily into the eye of a needle.


It took 5 weeks to make the figurine, during which the sculptor worked 16 hours a day. Willard placed the bike on a tiny hair cut from his chin while shaving.


In the photo: the miniature bike on the hair stubble brought to a transparent state.


The artist calls this project one of the most difficult in his life: “It drove me mad, I burst a blood vessel in my eye staring so hard through the microscope.”

Nevertheless, the efforts paid off: Willard’s motorcycle was listed in the Guinness World Records as the smallest handmade sculpture in the world. In 2017, the master broke his own record by making a figurine of a human embryo from aramid fiber (Kevlar). It measured 0.078 by 0.053 microns and was also embedded in the hair.

Willard’s talent is greatly appreciated by the royal family of Great Britain. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a small sculpture to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of her reign.


In the photo: for the queen, the master made a golden crown adorned with diamonds and placed on a pin head.


For the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2022, Wigan created two works of art at once: a golden carriage and a miniature figurine of the Queen.


In the photo: a carriage used during the solemn coronation of British monarchs — a 24K gold microsculpture.


In the photo: a figurine of a young Elizabeth II in the eye of a needle.


Wigan often uses gold to create his masterpieces. Among his works is a microscopic BMX bike made of the yellow metal of the highest fineness.


In the photo: a cyclist on a golden BMX balances on the tip of a dog hair.


The artist admits that the creation of microsculptures is an extremely tedious and difficult task. It is required not only to master the technique of making figurines, but also to control mind and body.


Willard says:

“My work combines art, science and magic to make my microsculptures come alive. My ability to slow my heartbeat down as I enter a meditative state, allows me to prepare myself for the pain and stress caused to create the world's tiniest microsculptures.”


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