Willard Wigan

Willard Wigan is a micro-sculptor. That means he makes sculptures that are really really tiny. It also means he has a great, alliterative funny name, which earns him a spot in the Funny Names Hall of Fame, right here on this internet web page.

Some of Wigan’s fanciful artwork, depicting a boxing match in midair next to a giant ice cream cone.

When I said he makes really tiny sculptures, I meant really tiny. You need a microscope to see them. His materials include grains of sand and spider’s cobwebs. He told CBS News a few years ago he could make his art as small as “five microns”. For those of us who live in a reality where that isn’t particularly descriptive,that’s the size of a tip of a human hair. So yeah, this guy works with some tiny instruments.

Wigan didn’t always work small. His early work, unseen by the public, allegedly includes a life size statue of Mike Tyson. Coincidentally, or maybe not, Tyson is among the high profile collectors of his tiny statues. That random list of celebrity collectors includes Sir Elton John, Prince Charles, Simon Cowell, and yes, Mike Tyson. One gets the feeling one of these names does not belong.

Yes, Snow White and the seven dwarfs (even smaller than usual). This guy’s got some skills

Wigan is another subject on this blog who reached greatness after a difficult start. He was dyslexic as a child and ridiculed by teachers for his inability to read (way to go educational system!). He escaped from the bullying teachers and classmates into his art, and eventually became one of Britain’s most celebrated sculptors with his unique statues that can only be seen with a microscope.

His recent work include a sculpture of Buzz Aldrin, carved into the eye of a needle in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, and a statue of Betty Boop about 0.0002 inches tall. You can really spiff up your art collection with some of these weirder subjects without worrying about visitors thinking you’re strange since, you know, they can’t see them. You just have to worry about the housekeepers sweeping them up.


About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names. www.funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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20 Responses to Willard Wigan

  1. marksackler says:

    Ice cream cone? That looks like a match head to me!

  2. asklotta says:

    Love this post, love this guy! I’m impressed that not only did he survive the bully in school without shooting up his school but be so creative to think up microscope art…WOW! It probably stemmed from teachers making him feel small.

  3. Bumba says:

    I just can’t see a lot of this modern art.

  4. rozzychan says:

    Got to agree. That is a match. “Change the caption!”

    Anyway, this is proof that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”. I mean who else would think, “I bet I could make a sculpture of Snow white that’s smaller than a house fly.”

    Ya gotta respect the original thinkers out there.

    I’m trying to think of a few pointless aphorisms to put in this post, but I can’t think of any so…
    A stitch in time saves nine and time and tide wait for no man.

  5. mynameisntbitsie says:

    That is so inspiring! Not that I will ever make tiny statues like that but wow! 🙂 I can see why people buy the art even though they can’t see it – it’s really cool! Way to go Wilard!

  6. Dave says:

    This guy is awesome, and as inspiring as Wigan the soccer club! Woot! Good find!

  7. gravitasbaby says:

    This was one of those postings where the funny name-holder’s work is more interesting than his name. I dug the Snow White characters in the eye of the needle.

    • Dave says:

      I know, this guy is impressive. I’m a sucker for boxing, Prince, and anything Wigan-related. Arto really came through with this one.

  8. unfetteredbs says:

    very very cool. I have seen this guy before but never noticed his name, until now. great post as usual

  9. Clip Snark says:

    Those sculptures are amazing!! Two-exclamation-points amazing.

  10. Phenomenal – both the sculptures and the name!

  11. Dave says:

    Reblogged this on The Blog of Funny Names and commented:

    Today’s reblog Throwback Thursdays style – Willard Wigan, miniature artist!

  12. As a microscopist, I appreciate that he can work with such detail in that small microcosm. I’ve seen his work displayed, it knocked my socks off.

  13. wdydfae says:

    Yes, but is it Arto?

    ba BUMP bump

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