Forget the Man of Steel… meet the Man of Lead.
An artist has created amazing microsculptures of the world’s most famous superheroes.
Hedley Wiggan’s ‘special power’ is carving intricate designs onto tiny pencil leads – and his latest works celebrate the release of new Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman figures to coincide with the release of the new Hollywood blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Bolton artist is famed for his astonishing micro sculptures, which are around 1cm tall and have included busts of The Beatles, a full-length form of tragic singer Amy Winehouse and the heart-throbs from boy band One Direction .Now he’s crafted finely-detailed figures of the DC superheroes.
Hedley explained: “I’ve always been a bit of a Batman fan, so I thought I’d attempt these three figures.
“They took me about two weeks in total, and I had to use a piece of carpet fibre for Wonder Woman’s lasso.”
Last year Hedley made a minute masterpiece called ‘Mightier Than’, showing a hand holding a sword aloft to commemorate the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
He’s also created likenesses in lipstick – of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and New York’s Statue of Liberty – for makeup giants MAC.
The 50-year-old, who also works part-time as a hospital theatre technician, started the unusual artform by accident.
He told the MEN: “I have drawn and painted for years. One day I was sharpening a pencil to do a sketch when it broke and I noticed it looked like a human hand.
“Curiosity got the better of me and I started experimenting.
“I tried at first with a scalpel, but I ended up making my own tools out of needles.”
His first creation was the Olympic torch, around the time of the London 2012 Games, which took him a month to complete.
But six years later he says he’s speeded up the process, starting each design by eye and then using a microscope when it comes to the very detailed work.
His talent got global exposure when the One Direction sculptures were presented to the boy band on James Corden’s The Late Late Show on US TV.
The artist added: “Harry Styles was amazed when he saw it. I don’t think they were expecting to see themselves on the end of a pencil.”
Hedley has recently taken orders for personal commissions, including one from a man in Sweden who wanted to see his wife in a pencil lead.
He said: “She’s got a top hat on and she’s striking a pose- it’s pretty wacky but was great fun to do.”