Dandi March Micro Sculpted in the Eye of a Needle

Micro Sculptor by passion Ajay Kumar Mattewada Micro Sculpted – in the Eye of a Needle: the Dandi March Scene with Mahatma Gandhi Leading a Group of Seven People. This micro sculpted creation has been donated by Ajay Kumar to the historic National Salt Satyagraha Memorial dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary on Wednesday 30 January 2019 at Dandi in Gujarat; and had found a place at the memorial. Prime Minister Modi exclaimed ‘amazing!after seeing the sculpture under the microscope.

  • Micro Sculpted Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s struggle for freedom is a wax depiction that Ajay Kumar micro sculpted on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Gandhi.
  • Replica of the statue originally on a ceramic base built in Delhi, has been micro sculpted by carving Gandhi and his seven followers inside the eye of a sewing needle!
  • It is not visible to the naked eye and requires a microscope to view it.
  • Each of the eight models, built between the dimensions of 0.18mm and 1.09mm in length and 0.21mm to 0.18mm in width, have been given finesse from the intricate fold on Gandhi’s dhoti to the wisp of hair on the woman following him.
  • It took 30 hours through 11 days for Ajay to complete the Dandi March models.

“It’s a lot of strain to look through a microscope and carve models. Hence, I do not work more than 4-5 hours on a sculpture in a day. The Dandi statues are a tribute to my father who was also a freedom fighter,” said Ajay Kumar who learnt the art of micro-sculpture from his father Mattewada Venkatachary, also a goldsmith

 “I began doing micro-art on rice granules where I painted faces of famous personalities on grains of rice. Later on, I started experimenting with matchsticks and then started sculpting with gold.” “It takes hours to create a micro sculpture. I can work for two hours at a stretch before taking a break as the eyes strain so much. The work demands holding of breath at times as finer details cannot be achieved even with a small disturbance.” The works demands absolute attention and one has to forget the surroundings. “The tools I work with are so delicate that if you blow air, they will bend. You can understand the dexterity involved in it,” explained Ajay the Micro Sculptor.

Ajay Kumar Mattewada, aged 45, a Goldsmith by profession of Warangal city in Telangana, has been into making miniature items since his childhood and has been practising micro-art for the past 28 years. He holds several records including an entry in the Limca Book of Records for his amazing micro items that are functional and made of gold such as the world’s smallest fan, a pair of miniature scissors, and violin.  For the last few years, he had taken up creating sculptures in the eye of a needle and on a pin head with a specially made wax.

Ajay Kumar Mattewada stands ‘tall’ amongst a very few micro artists in the world who create micro statues and is the third micro artist in the world after 61-year-old Willard Wigan and 46-year-old Yury Deulin to sculpt inside the eye of a needle.

Combining the patience of Job and concentration of a rishi, Ajay has created objets d’art that include: Ganesha, Jesus, Horse rider with the national flag, Statue of Liberty, Elephant, Gautama Buddha, Mountaineer, Camel herder, Bird and are some his works done in the eye of a needle.

Portraits Abdul Kalam, PV Narasimha Rao and Vajpayee painted on rice granules were sent by Ajay Kumar to them and for which he received appreciation from these personalities.

  • Gautama Buddha statue carved by Ajay in the eye of needle is 0.52 mm tall and 0.16 mm wide. It has a 24 carat gold chain and features such as eyes, mouth and nose are clearly distinctly visible.
  • Bird in the eye of needle is 0.41 mm tall and 0.18 mm wide and a 0.3 mm tail with all features clearly visible including eyes and feathers.
  • Statue of Liberty created in the eye of needle is 0.92 mm tall and 0.24 mm wide. The folds of the dress, crown with seven sharp needles, flame and book in the hand are all distinctly visible.
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