Artist Willard Wigan has created a microscopic sculpture of William Shakespeare, which is smaller than a full stop in a newspaper, to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

The artwork has been placed in the eye of a needle and depicts the playwright striking a celebratory pose dressed in a teal tunic and purple stockings, with an Elizabethan-style frame underneath and the words "To see or not to see".

Sculpted out of Kevlar and fragments of cable tie, Wigan used 24-carat gold for the frame around the quote.

It was painted using a floating fibre plucked from the air as a paintbrush, and polished to a shine using microscopic fragments of diamonds.


The tiny Shakespeare, which took four weeks to create, is part of an exhibition of Wigan's work at the Light House Media Centre in Wolverhampton.

Wigan said he had to control his heartbeat and the pulse movements in his fingers to create the piece.

"It took every ounce of my skill and took a lot out of me.

"The most difficult aspect was getting his proportions right," he said.

Shakespeare is believed to have died on his birthday, April 23, in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1616.