Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium has opened a new gallery filled with the world’s smallest micro-sculptures, artworks by Willard Wigan that are so small they’re nearly invisible to the naked eye.
The new gallery at International Drive’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not attraction now features a collection of very rare micro-sculptures. Most are so tiny that they sit on the head of a pin or in the eye of a needle. Ripley’s has magnified these minuscule sculptures to reveal their detail to visitors.
The micro-sculptures were created by artist Willard Wigan, who uses homemade carving tools, including diamond shards, filed-down acupuncture needles, and his own eyelashes or hairs plucked from a fly to sculpt and paint his creations. To produce these tiny sculptures, he enters a meditative state and times his movements between heartbeats; even dust and static electricity can affect his work.
The gallery also features several interactive exhibits where people can try some of Wigan’s techniques. Visitors can see how many threads they can put through the eye of a needle, try and slow their heart rate down, and take a photo of themselves inside the eye of a needle.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! owns the largest collection of Willard Wigan sculptures in the world; this is the first time that any of the micro-sculptures have been on permanent display in Orlando.
“In my 38 years of acquiring items for Ripley’s Odditoriums around the world, I have never seen anything more unbelievable than Willard’s sculptures,” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives. “They will take your breath away!”
To learn more about Wigan’s artwork, watch his TED talk.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando is located at 8201 International Drive, and is open daily from 9:00 am to midnight (last entry nightly at 11:00 pm). For more information, visit ripleys.com/orlando or call 407-345-0501, and take a peek inside Ripley’s warehouse in this episode of Attractions The Show: