An artist is working on a 3D portrait of Cillian Murphy made from thread and 78,000 nails

8 February 2024
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When you hear the word “portrait,” standard art supplies come to mind—paints, pencils, erasers, and pens. But it turns out that with the help of threads and nails you can achieve just as good results, and proof of this is London artist Ben Koracevich, who has been doing string art for many years and sometimes spends hundreds of hours creating realistic illustrations.

This (still unfinished) piece is inspired by the character Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy) from Peaky Blinders. Koracevic began work by forming a head from about 40 kilos of modeling wax and several cans of foam. Having completed the sculptural part, he added 78,000 nails to the resulting head. He applied them to every centimeter of the surface at a relatively equal distance from each other.

With the nails installed, Koracevic was finally able to move on to his specialty: weaving. Just like with all his 2D works, he deftly wrapped black thread around the nails. This created a uniform color in the sculpture, after which Koracevic began to cross the thread in key areas, which ultimately resulted in opaque shadows.

An example of one of his 2D works:

Although the bust is still a work in progress, it already has amazing realism, such as eyebrows, irises and pupils. Koracevic has already used 5,000 meters of thread, but this is not the end. Once this step is complete, the artist is going to fill the bust with epoxy resin.

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