A TWO-inch masterpiece created by a micro-sculptor will be making a 500-mile journey to Paris.

Artist Hedley Wiggan has spent 40 hours perfecting a full body sculpture of Muhammad Ali into the nib of a graphite pencil for a fan who commissioned the work.

He is now preparing to send it via DHL across the country and through the English Channel to France.

The collector tasked Mr Wiggan, a father-of-one, to create the artwork of the boxer, who he has always admired.

Mr Wiggan was allowed to choose the image of Ali on which to base his creation.

Mr Wiggan, from Tonge Moor, said: “I started the sculpture about three-and-a-half weeks ago. It has taken me about 40 hours and was challenging. When you are using a pencil the technique is very limited.

“When I started doing the boxing glove a bit of it broke off but it worked out all right in the end as I took my time. I start working at night when it’s quiet.

“Sometimes I work from 2am or 3am when I have finished working as a porter at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

“I also paint and find that more relaxing as when I do a carving I have to be very disciplined. When I do a painting I just throw my heart and soul into it.”

The 48-year-old is the brother of famous artist Willard Wigan, also a micro sculptor. The artist is taking no chances posting the creation long distance after a tiny sculpture of Jimi Hendrix was broken beyond repair when the recipient in Bristol saw the person delivering it throw it over a fence.

Mr Wiggan has seen an increase in his work since he appeared on Channel 4’s Four Rooms last year and won the interest of four entreprenurs.

He said: “I have since been asked to do a sculpture of country and western singer Waylon Jennings and Bruce Springsteen.”

For more information on his work, visit hedleywiggan.co.uk.