Jonty Hurwitz took an unusual path to his career as an artist.
Hurwitz earned his engineering degree in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it's during that time he says he discovered "the very fine line between art and science."
"I usually start by expressing a concept using mathematical tools, often involving billions of calculations and many months of preparation," Hurwitz says. "I then explore ways to manifest these formulae in the physical world. Each piece is both an engineering and artistic challenge. The mediums I have worked with are perspex, steel, resin, powder, copper and acrylic."
In his latest, and perhaps most groundbreaking work, Hurwitz spent ten months creating nano-sculptures so tiny it took him 45 minutes to find them after they were delivered to his studio.
So small, in fact, that they could be balanced atop a human hair or easily slipped through the eye of a needle. Hurwitz' figures in the series were created with bleeding edge 3D printing technology and the largest of the seven sculptures was more than twice the width of the smallest.
How small are they? To see the figures Hurwitz was forced to use a microscope that most scientists use to examine tiny cancer cells.
Hurwitz began the project by taking photos of his model in a UK warehouse on a set outfitted with more than 200 cameras, and the resulting data was assembled from the simultaneous images taken of her from every conceivable angle. All that data was then used as what the artist calls 'digital clay' for his final output.
The Weizmann Institute of Technology was then brought on board to create the tiny pieces and their incredibly minute details.
Hurwitz couldn't see his sculptures with the naked eye when they arrived at his studio atop a mirror inside a jewelry box. According to Hurwitz, the seven finished pieces appeared to be no more than the size of dust particles.
Unfortunately, the story ends on a down note.
When one of Hurwitz' studio assistants attempted to move the mirror, the beautiful and delicate nano- sculptures were reduced to, well, particles of dust.