Many artists have used pencils to draw their masterpieces but very few can claim to have created artwork on the tips of them.
But sculptor Hedley Wiggan, 46, has managed just that – carving out intricate designs on the pencil nibs using just a pin and a magnifying glass.
Hedley, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, has spent hundreds of hours creating his exquisite works of art in graphite – which include an Olympic torch, a woman and a rat.
Intricate: A close-up of Hedley’s hand holding the Olympic torch, left, and the carving from further away, right

He only chanced upon his microscopic new hobby at Christmas when he sharpened a pencil and noticed the tip looked like a human hand.

And since then he spends every spare minute outside his day job as a theatre technician at the Royal Bolton Hospital carving out his creations.
Hedley said: ‘I spent three to four weeks doing the torch and was spending up to seven hours a day on it.

‘The woman took me two weeks but the hardest part was doing her legs and arms.
‘I finished the torch after three attempts. The rat was done in just one attempt. The most difficult part was putting glitter in its eyes. It took about a week.
‘Once I get my head into something I don’t like leaving it. I am that determined. Time just flies by.
‘I feel like art chose me. I find it so relaxing and it makes you more aware of things. You just take so much in.
‘When I tell people what I do, they don’t take me seriously, they look at me and think I am talking rubbish.’
This sculpture of a lady took Hedley two weeks to complete

Hedley now needs to find somewhere small enough to place his creations as he has been displaying them in contact lenses.
But he’s already set his sights on his next project – a mini sculpture of Olympic champion runner Lord Seb Coe.
Hedley’s designs follow in the footsteps of his older brother, world-famous Willard Wigan – the brothers spell their surname differently – who has created micro-sculptures from cocktail sticks, including a girl with a teddy, a witch and fairies.

Willard’s own micro-sculptures have been created in the eye of a needle or on the head of the pin.
In July 2007 he was awarded an MBE for his services to art and has been described as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ because of his amazing creations.
His most famous works include a minute reproduction of Michelangelo’s David, carved out of a single grain of sand, and a miniature version of the Lloyd’s building in London.
And he is delighted his brother is proving to be just as talented with miniature art.

Willard said: ‘When we were children I noticed he too had a gift. We were taught by our mother, Zeta, to respect everything that was small.
‘We used to study ants and I showed him how to make little houses for insects.
‘His level of talent is still exceptional. I have been really encouraging him to take it up again.’
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