An artist has created the world's smallest sculpture only for it to be accidentally crushed by a finger while being photographed.
Jonty Hurwitz's creations are so tiny they can rest on a human hair and are the same size of an ant's head. Having spent months working on the pieces, the 45-year-old from Chichester, West Sussex, took them to a photographer to have them pictured under a microscope. But within minutes his work had been destroyed by the stroke of the lab technician's finger.
'I went off to have the original sculptures photographed so I found a laboratory with an electron microscope and the photographic technology,' said Mr Hurwitz.
'The technician went to change the orientation and then for the next half an hour we were looking for the piece through the lens. Eventually I noticed there was a fingerprint exactly where the sculpture used to be and I was like "man you have just destroyed the smallest art pieces" ever made - I slightly freaked out.'
The sculptures are less than 1mm tall and are produced via a process called nano-painting. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye so must be viewed and photographed under a microscope. Mr Hurwitz uses a 3D printing technology to produce them.
Describing the process on his website, he said: 'The structure is created using a ground-breaking new 3D printing technology and a technique called Multiphoton Lithography.
The sculptures are believed to be the smallest representation of the human form ever created by man.
Mr Hurwitz has produced a number of nano sculptures using the same technology though the naked woman above is believed to have been the smallest.
'Ultimately these works are created using the physical phenomenon of two photon absorption. Art, literally created with Quantum Physics. This two photon absorption occurs only at the tiny focal point - basically a tiny 3D pixel (called a Voxel).
'The sculpture is then moved along fractionally by a computer controlled process and the next pixel is created. Slowly, over hours and hours the entire sculpture is assembled pixel by pixel and layer by layer.'
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