Needle Sculpture

Willard Wigan is an English sculptor from Ashmore Park Estate, Wednesfield, England, who makes microscopic art. His sculptures are typically placed in the eye of a needle or on the head of a pin. On average, it takes Wigan about eight weeks to complete one sculpture in a process that is physically challenging. Because the works are microscopic, the sculptor has learned to control his nervous system and breathing to ensure he does not make even the tiniest movement. Wigan, when working, enters a meditative state in which his heartbeat is slowed, allowing him to reduce any hand tremors and work between heartbeats.

Needle Sculptures

To carve his figures, Wigan uses Swann-Morton surgical blades or hand-made tools, (some of which are custom made out of a sharpened microscopic sliver of tungsten), which he makes by attaching a shard of diamond to a pin. Wigan uses a range of materials, including nylon, grains of sand, dust fibres, gold and spider’s cobwebs, depending on the demands of the piece on which he is working. To paint his creations Wigan often uses a hair from a dead housefly, although he does not kill flies for his artistic processes. His unseen early work included a life sized carved statue of Mike Tyson and figure head of Jesus Christ and others that remain hidden in private collections.

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