Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Micro model marks new president

The minature scuplture
Willard Wigan said he wanted to pay tribute to the "massive occasion"

Tiny sculptures of President-elect Barack Obama's family - which fit into an eye of a needle - have been created to mark his inauguration.

Birmingham artist Willard Wigan works between heartbeats to avoid hand tremors and used a hair from a dead fly to paint American's new first family.

The artist, who spent months creating the piece, said he hoped it would be displayed in the White House.

Mr Wigan said he had wanted to pay tribute to the "massive occasion".

Surgical blade

The artist, who was made an MBE in December 2006, has previously created sculptures of Elvis, Snow White and The Last Supper, complete with 12 disciples.

The sculpture fits within the eye of a sewing needle

His work, normally only visible through a microscope, is made by carving with a tiny surgical blade and in the past he has made works from rice, sugar, carbon fibre, gold and nylon.

Mr Wigan's new work shows Mr Obama along with his wife Michelle and his daughters Malia and Sasha.

He said: "This is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

"I knew I had to do a tribute to this massive occasion."

In 2007 Mr Wigan sold much of his collection to former tennis star and entrepreneur David Lloyd, who had the works insured for 11.2m.

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