After seeing microminiatures for the first time last week, I returned home to read that a British sculptor has mounted the Obama family in the eye of a gold needle! My introduction to micro art is tucked away in a narrow alley in Szentendre, Hungary. An small museum there exhibits the work of 72-year-old Ukranian sculptor Mykola Syadristy.
He works in the moment between two heartbeats and wields tools several times thinner than a human hair. Under a microscope, he fashions gold into camels and places them in the eye of a needle. Golden baby swallows wait for their lunch in the half shell of a poppy seed. Gold chessmen sit on a chessboard mounted on the head of a pin. These breathtaking microminiatures are seen only by the aid of a microscope.
The golden sculptures are delicate enough, but the smallest book in the world was most special to me. Only twelve pages long and 0.6 sq. mm, it holds poems of Ukranian people's poet Taras Shevchenko. They are between yellow covers made from immortelle, or "everlasting" flower petals and are sewn together with a strand of spider silk.
Here is a verse from Shevchenko's "The Mighty Dnieper" translated by John Weir.
The mighty Dnieper roars and bellows,
The wind in anger howls and raves,
Down to the ground it bends the willows,
And mountain-high lifts up the waves.
This website shows Syadristy's amazing sculptures.