Queen Elizabeth portrait on a coffee bean
Getting online attention is a 2mm-sized portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on a small coffee bean. This piece of art was done by renown artist Willard Wigan
, a Birmingham artist, recently carved a micro-portrait of the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee (60 year commemoration). Mr. Wigan is not new to doing micro sculptures. In fact, this is actually what this unique artist specializes in.
He has been doing this since the tender age of five, when he initially was making small houses for ants, then shoes, and hats for them. From then on, he has been making micro sculptures ever since. His unique art form can only be seen through a microscope, yet is amazingly life like. The detail that goes into one of these sculptures is tremendous. To give you a sense of how small some of his sculptures really are, imagine the eye of a needle where you would put thread through. Remember how difficult it was to put tread through the eye? Now, imagine realizing that in that eye, there was a life like piece of art in there.
How does Mr. Wigan find the ability to do something that is so intricate? The secret is, he slows down his heart beat, to the point where his hands are immensely still. Even the vibrations of traffic outside can have an affect on his work, so Mr. Wigan prefers to work at night, when there is less traffic. By slowing down his heartbeat, Mr. Wigan can work in between beats, so that the tremors in his hands don’t affect the detail of his tiny art. Mr. Wigan’s artwork
has been described by many as “the eighth wonder of the world”
Mr. Wigan was quoted in saying “It was a bit of a challenge because a coffee bean crumbles and is hollow in the middle.” Surprising, considering he is an artist who is used to making artwork that was particularly smaller, but seeming to having trouble with a bigger canvas, approximately 2MM in size. Basically, the coffee bean had a tendency to flake, when being chiseled, so Mr. Wigan would use his heartbeat as kind of a jack hammer effect. This isn’t the first time that Mr. Wigan has done something for the Royal Family. Before Prince William, and Kate Middleton were married, Mr. Wigan made a sculpture of the couple in the eye of a needle. Consequently, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Mr. Wigan with an MBE for his services in the arts.
The coffee bean sculpture itself took 4 weeks to complete. Created with hand tools, that Mr. Wigan himself created. Namely, the hair plucked from the back of a housefly to carve the microscopic figures. The coffee been itself was commissioned by Douwe Egberts Coffee Co. which is supporting the big jubilee lunch