A sculptor has put the finishing touches to his latest miniscule masterpiece – a tiny detailed church carved from one single grain of sand fixed – INSIDE the eye of a needle.
Talented Willard Wigan, 52, created the sculpture of St Bartholomew’s Church in Churchdown, Glos., after his girlfriend Rachel Slade, 40, bet him he could not do it.
The micro-sculpture, the size of a newspaper print full stop, even comes complete with real stained-glass windows.
It is the latest in a serious of incredible works made from a single grain of sand or granule of sugar that are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Gifted Willard, from Birmingham, said: ”I looked at the church and thought it was wonderful.
”Rachel said ‘I bet you couldn’t do it’ and every time I saw it I was fascinated. Finally I thought ‘yes, I could do it’.
”It took about six weeks and it was very difficult because I had to get my proportions right.”
Willard carved the sculpture using a microscopic shard of diamond stuck to a needle and painted the church using a brush made from one EYELASH.
He said: ”I had to make the windows as well – they’re individually made. I crushed up some microscopic coloured glass into little powdered particles.
”I have to be a dead man working – you have to be so still. I had to build a microscopic cage around the church to stop it jumping, because sometimes static electricity from my hand can lift my work.
”It’s the size of a full stop in a newspaper. It’s quite painstaking, in fact it was driving me insane.”
Willard has created microscopic sculptures of Barack Obama, Neil Armstrong’s moon landing, and the Statue of Liberty – all of which are smaller than the head of a matchstick.
He started working on small sculptures as a boy when, unhappy at school, he retreated to a fantasy world and made homes for little ants in the garden.
His mother praised him for his work which started a passion that would turn into a successful career.
He said: ”She told me that the smaller my work, the bigger my name would be.”