Skip

Willard Wigen, microsculptor
January 25, 2007 4:42 AM   Subscribe

Willard Wigan The smallest sculptures can only be measured in thousandths of an inch which is why they can sit, very delicately, on a human hair three thousandths of an inch thick. When working on this scale [Willard Wigan] slows his heartbeat and his breathing dramatically through meditation and attempts to harmonise his mind, body and soul with the Creator. He then sculpts or paints at the centrepoint between heartbeats for total stillness of hand. He likens this process to "trying to pass a pin through a bubble without bursting it." His concentration is intense when working like this and he feels mentally and physically drained at the end of it. (previously)
posted by pmbuko (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
What I'd like to know is how are these sculptures displayed? They're so small, that it's not really practical to have a traditional show. It seems like the internet, and enlarged photos are the only way to show detail, unless you're going to let the general public use magnifying glasses (oops I sneezed).
posted by splatta at 5:04 AM on January 25, 2007


The question "How many Elvis Presleys can dance on a pinhead?" can now be conclusively answered: "One, as long as it's the young, slim Elvis."
posted by ardgedee at 5:06 AM on January 25, 2007


www.ww.whoa. I like it.
posted by tellurian at 5:10 AM on January 25, 2007


Splatta: probably under microscopes. A record-holding micro-calligrapher here in Seoul (Kim Dae-hwan, RIP), has a small museum in his honor, and his works are on display under microscopes. It's pretty cool.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:12 AM on January 25, 2007


Yes, under microscopes. I saw an exhibition of this chap's work a few years ago. It was in a darkened room with special display cases to enable you to see the sculptures close up, and also normally, through little windows.

It's incredible, you really need to see the real thing to fully appreciate just how intricate and tiny they are. Some of them are barely visible to the naked eye, and yet the level of detail on them is astounding when you see them magnified.
posted by tomsk at 5:23 AM on January 25, 2007


Aha, there's a few pictures of the display cases they currently use here, complete with microscopes (scroll the iframe down a bit): http://www.willard-wigan.com/exhibition.html
posted by tomsk at 5:27 AM on January 25, 2007


Neat. What does he use as materials?
posted by OmieWise at 5:52 AM on January 25, 2007


It says gemstones, gold, dust, eyelashes and spiders webs.

But I suspect bullshit.

My mind wont let me believe these artworks are real.

They look like bad photoshops!
posted by 13twelve at 7:19 AM on January 25, 2007


I'm holding out on comparing him to Rembrandt and Picasso until he does one of Zippy on a pinhead.
posted by kozad at 7:20 AM on January 25, 2007


Ah, the ultimate triumph of technique over substance. Quite impressive.
posted by subtle_squid at 7:26 AM on January 25, 2007


A record-holding micro-calligrapher here in Seoul (Kim Dae-hwan, RIP), has a small museum in his honor...

Well, of course it's a small museum. But it's got a huge endowment.
posted by mosk at 7:26 AM on January 25, 2007


Willard Wigan had a store at the Mailbox shopping centre in Birmingham, England. I think the surprise at the pieces lasted - oh - about a week. I think the store lasted - oh - about three weeks.
posted by parmanparman at 7:56 AM on January 25, 2007


What, no camel in the eye of a needle?
posted by kcds at 8:07 AM on January 25, 2007


ah....ah...ahhchooo!
posted by sourwookie at 8:17 AM on January 25, 2007


What, no camel in the eye of a needle?

There's no challenge in that. I hear Willard is having difficulty figuring out how to sculpt a rich man getting into heaven, though.
posted by pmbuko at 8:19 AM on January 25, 2007


Zeus on a grain of sand...I like this guy's sense of humor.
posted by hippugeek at 8:52 AM on January 25, 2007


Wigan Ludgate?

Boxmaker, boxmaker make me a box...
posted by loquacious at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2007


They're so small, that it's not really practical to have a traditional show.

He has had numerous exhibits/shows. See photographs here for how they're displayed (scroll down on the right-hand-side).
posted by ericb at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2007


I've always wanted to see how Winston Churchill looks strolling jauntily through the eye of a needle.

My life is complete.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 2:39 PM on January 25, 2007


Also previously.
posted by nickyskye at 9:07 PM on January 25, 2007


This was awesome, and made me smile.
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 12:22 AM on January 26, 2007


*is now wondering about the possibility of him making a violin*
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 12:23 AM on January 26, 2007


Oops, overlooked the String Quartet! Ha! :D Four of the world's tiniest violins! (Or... are any of them something else? I don't know a lot about musical instruments.)
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 12:24 AM on January 26, 2007


I wonder -- did this fiction story in a recent issue of The New Yorker inspire this post? Did Willard Wigen inspire the story?

At any rate, this post brought to that story to mind.

Small world. Hehe
posted by rw at 2:00 PM on January 26, 2007


did this fiction story in a recent issue of The New Yorker inspire this post?

It inspired the previous post [July 13, 2006 11:14 PM EST] referenced in the first post of this thread.
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on January 26, 2007


« Older Ages 8-Adult   |   Fry me with a nuke Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post