Meet micro-sculptor Willard Wigan who produces the world’s tiniest hand made works of art.
His painstaking sculptures are invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen through a powerful microscope.
Willard who is six feet tall with an array of tatoos, grew up in Birmingham as one of a large family of nine children raised by factory worker parents.
He honed his mind-boggling craft from the age of five, when he was written off by teachers due to his severe dyslexia.
Unable to keep up academically, he shut himself away in his imaginary world and became fascinated with insects especially ants – who he wanted to make homes for.
Through his child’s eye, the tiny creatures took on personalities and he would imagine they were scuttling off to school, or jobs.
By the time he was 11, the little boy with a huge imagination had adapted razor blades into makeshift scalpels for his creations.
Now he uses a diamond-tipped needle and a single huham hair as a ‘paintbrush’
Wigan, whose work is now worth £11 million and has received an MBE for his services to art said: ”It is something I have always loved doing, ever since I was very young.
”When I was just five years old, I started making houses for ants because I thought they needed somewhere to live. Then I made them shoes and hats.
”It was a fantasy world I escaped to where my dyslexia didn’t hold me back and my teachers couldn’t criticise me. That’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.”
Each piece of work sits within the eye of a needle, or on a pin head, and is magnified 500 times.
Not every sculpture is a success though, previously Willard accidentally inhaled a minature Alice in Wonderland.
Taking a deep sigh, he said: ”Just as I was about to put Alice in place alongside the other characters, I inhaled her. I breathed in at the wrong moment, and she was gone.
”In my panic, I accidentally wiped out some of the other characters too. I’m much more careful now.”