Prayer engraved on speck of gold valued at more than £250,000

Artwork - Graham Short / SWNS
Artwork - Graham Short / SWNS

A micro-artist spent 11 months and needed the help of Botox injections to engrave the world's smallest copy of the Lord's Prayer in the eye of a needle.

Graham Short engraved the 273 words on to a speck of gold using a specialist needle. Each letter measures just 50 microns in height - half the width of a human hair.

The finished work, which can only be read using a microscope, is now valued at more than £250,000.

Mr Short, 76, takes beta blockers to lower his heartbeat to just 20bpm and works between beats to ensure his hand is as steady as possible.

He also takes Botox injections around his eyelids to stop involuntary muscle movements disturbing his concentration.

Artwork - Anita Maric / SWNS
Artwork - Anita Maric / SWNS

He works exclusively at night when traffic noise and vibrations are at a minimum outside his workshop in Birmingham's busy Jewellery Quarter.

"It's got to be the world's smallest Lord's Prayer, I can't go any smaller," Mr Short said.

"I've had to restart dozens of times because I use a fine needle so I can slip quite easily, which happens all the time.

"It's hard to say how many hours I've put it into this particular project, but I do roughly three nights of work at a time.

"If there was just a couple of words on it, that would be easier. With 273 it's insane. I wouldn't try anything like that again."

He added that the work was his "signature piece", and what he wants to be known for.

Artwork - Anita Maric / SWNS
Artwork - Anita Maric / SWNS

Mr Short added: "I have a cataract in my left eye, I don't have perfect eyesight, people often think I do. I have to use a really powerful microscope.

"I can't do any better. I wouldn't ever think of doing that again."

Mr Short also created the world's smallest nativity scene in time for Christmas last year. It, too, was mounted inside the eye of a needle.