Even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, these sculptures that fit in the eye of a needle and on the head of a pin are nothing short of amazing. The artist, Willard Wigan, uses a microscope to craft his creations. He even makes his own tiny tools, including a paintbrush out of an eyelash. In the video below, he describes the time-consuming process involved and how he uses breathing techniques to be able to work in such a small medium. Wigan even shares a story of how that one backfired and he accidentally inhaled an Alice in Wonderland sculpture. He literally lives and breathes his art.
Wigan has two Guinness World Records. One is for the smallest hand-made sculpture ever. (He won this one by beating his own previous record.) The other is for the smallest Statue of Liberty. Exhibitions of his work come with microscopes in every gallery so everyone can appreciate the miniscule details. At the London premiere of 2015’s Ant-Man, Wigan displayed a tiny Ant-Man sculpture, along with some of his other appropriately-sized artwork. He also met the queen and presented her with a tiny replica crown on the head of a pin.
Wigan also does collaborations and fundraisers. His most recent sculpture, of the world’s tiniest guide dog, is raising money for the training of seeing eye dog companions. Some of his microscopic art pieces are for sale on Wigan’s online shop. Currently, there’s everything from a tiny version of the famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring for about $175,000 to a golden dragon priced at just over one million dollars.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, but still quite small, check out these coffee bean sculptures. And if you just really don’t have the space, one artist sold an invisible sculpture—but that went for a whopping $18,000.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.