Sculptor creates three tiny wise men in the eye of a needle for Christmas

Willard Wigan's piece is called Three Little Kings Credit: PA

A renowned micro-sculptor from Birmingham has created the three wise men at Christmas to bring “a little bit of hope and happiness” this festive season.

Willard Wigan hand-crafted the tiny wise men wearing 24-carat gold crowns while riding camels made from a piece of nylon and used microscopic glitter to paint a starry background, all within the eye of a needle.

He used his own eyelash as a paintbrush to decorate the piece and said the camels are smaller than the size of a full-stop.

Mr Wigan worked 16 hours a day over four weeks to create his piece, called Three Little Kings, to bring “a lot of light to the world”.

Willard Wigan spent 16 hours a day over four weeks to create the piece) Credit: Paul Ward/PA

“We’re living in troubled times and sometimes we need to see something that’s going to bring some happiness to us and pleasure and fun.

“What I want to do is bring a little bit of hope and happiness and shed a little light on the world with something so small.

“The little things in life can make us all happy sometimes.”

Mr Wigan said that he must work between his heartbeats and hold his breath to limit any disturbance that might ruin his work, and described the process as “trying to put a pin through a bubble without bursting the bubble”.

“I have to work between my heartbeat for everything I do on this level because if you don’t the pulse in your fingers starts to move,” he said.

“You’re getting these external forces that drive you mad when you work on a microscopic level. One mistake and it’s finished.”

Mr Wigan, who was made an MBE for services to art in 2007, has been creating microscopic sculpture since the age of five when he began crafting houses for ants.

Though he spends hours a day behind a microscope to create his pieces, he says he does not enjoy the process, but finds the end result rewarding.

“It’s not an enjoyable process because I don’t enjoy doing my work,” he explained.

“I enjoy finishing it because it doesn’t belong to me when I do, it belongs to people, like the public, to see.”

Willard Wigan created a golden dragon smaller than the head of a matchstick as “a symbol of strength” for the Lunar New Year Credit: PA

Mr Wigan, who has autism and was told at school he would “amount to nothing”, wants to share his journey to inspire people to follow their passions.

“Because I’m autistic, because I can’t read, I found my own journey and I inspire people with what I do, so people can see who I am and what I’m about.

“Sometimes we need role models so it can inspire them to becoming what they want to become within their own field.”

He hopes his piece will inspire people to continue the spirit of Christmas well after the festive season has ended.

He said: “My message to people is don’t use Christmas as an excuse to be kind. Use it as an experience and as a tool for love.

“Don’t just forget Christmas.”

He added: “If I could wave a wand, I’d make everybody peaceful and happy.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…