Bunny Waffles

Willard Wigan: Go Small or Go Home

I have recently discovered an artist with whom I have become utterly obsessed, and given my recent burst of being bothered about blogging (huzzah alliteration!), I thought it was only right to share this extraordinary man, and his extraordinary talent, with you. Srsly, ppl. Prepare yourselves.

Willard Wigan, born in 1957, is an English sculptor from Birmingham who has a very unique talent, specialising in the intricate art of microsculpture. Inspired by his early school years, suffering from undiagnosed dyslexia and the ridicule of his teachers, Wigan turned his attention to sculpting. From being told that he was nothing, he resolved to show that nothing did not exist; that though you may not be able to see something, it does not mean that it is not there.

‘It began when I was 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. That’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.’

Willard Wigan

Wigan’s pieces are often so tiny that a microscope is required to see them. The sculptures take about eight weeks to complete and are carved by a shard of diamond attached to a pin head, the remnants being brushed away with a human eyelash. The pieces are so small that they carry the very real risk of being inhaled whilst being worked upon, and the act of carving becomes so delicate that it is necessary for Wigan to enter a meditative state, to slow his pulse, to work between the beats of his heart.

‘When you’re working on such a molecular level, the movements of your hands have to be almost microns of movements. I have to kill my body, it’s almost like a dead man working. It takes so much out of you it almost sends you mad, I have passed out doing this work.’

A piece of work completed in 2010, of St Bartholomew’s Church near Gloucester, is carved from a single grain of sand. Other pieces are smaller than the eye of a needle, and the dwarves in the Snow White sculpture below are only three times bigger than a human blood cell. Wigan however does not feel that he has not yet reached the apex of his ability;

‘As small as what you’ve seen, it’s not the best of me yet, I’m taking it even smaller because I’m not satisfied with my work right now, it’s too big.’




Is your mind quite blown yet? His art defies the very limits of human ability, his dedication to his art is superhuman, poignant, simply breathtaking. I have never seen anything quite like it. So what do you think?

Go small, or go home, my friends, go small, or go home.

read more: http://www.willard-wigan.com/

This entry was published on 30/05/2013 at 20:34. It’s filed under Weird & Wonderful and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Willard Wigan: Go Small or Go Home

  1. I can’t imagine doing what this man does. I wonder how he displays it. Like the memory sticks in Walmart or wherever, that have huge oversized packaging to keep thieves from pocketing the items, does he have to put them in an exhibit, a row of microscopes perhaps, with the art underneath? Or just the photos like here? Ah, boring details.
    I’m wondering about your “recent burst of being bothered about blogging”–do you find it tedious? Boring? Too personal? That you’re giving away your art? That it’s going nowhere? That you’re not in the mood? That the well of ideas is running dry? Well, I do, all those.
    I wonder if the ants sported their new shoes and hats to the other ants, or if they cast them off.


    • I think he displays them in art galleries via microscopes, I’ve actually just learned in the last couple of days that there is/was a Willard Wigan exhibition in the city I live in, but for the life of me I can’t find a trace of it now. Argh, frustration!

      But, yes, blogging. My old friend, my old foe. I do find it tedious, and infinite, and time consuming. I also find it brings me great elation when I can actually convince myself to write something… but mostly it makes me sad, because things are never as good as they should be, and my brain likes to explode most of the time,

      I know you understand brain-explody things. And I also like to think the ants share their tiny hats and booties. πŸ™‚


  2. A single grain of sand! That’s mental, I wouldn’t have the patience for all of that, too much stuff going on. Imagine just spending 8 weeks doing all of that and then sneezing or breathing it in, swallowing the last 8 weeks of your life into your lung. Excellent post Anna πŸ™‚


    • I know, I almost struggle to comprehend how tiny his sculptures are. It would literally drive me mad if I ever tried, and eventually my lungs would be filled with tiny grains of sand in the shapes of malformed llamas, and so on.


  3. Reblogged this on The Excellence Asylum and commented:
    Thought I’d share this post by Anna over at Bunny Waffles because it’s mental and she’s pretty mental herself and more people should read her blog.


  4. Woah, that’s just fantastic!


    • I know, it’s unimaginably tiny!
      Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚


    • I’m following now, Pete’s mentioned you times before and I believe I popped by the Aquarium months ago and I’m face palming right now for not paying attention. You seem to be my kind of crazy πŸ™‚


    • It’s always ridiculously good to meet fellow crazies, and you’re always welcome here! πŸ˜€ And that Pete, eh? He’s a good ‘un.


  5. Truly gifted! πŸ™‚


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