Vintage textiles are reimagined in paper form through stunning creations by Ibbini Studio. Based in Abu Dhabi, artist Julia Ibbini and computer scientist Stéphane Noyer have merged their expertise into a unique practice that combines contemporary digital design with traditional craftsmanship. Their series of sculptural works feature ornamental motifs from an array of sources, stretching from antique Persian carpets to Japanese cloisonné vases.
Ibbini and Noyer have collaborated since 2017, resulting in a diverse portfolio of highly intricate pieces cut from thin sheet materials. Some of their most recent works are made from layers of individually cut paper. Each sheet is cut with a laser and then layered together with a complex collaging method.
“Even though we use machines extensively during the production process, the pieces always start from hand-drawn elements, and the end result is always assembled by hand, which can take hundreds of hours and as much skill as the rest of the process,” Ibbini explains to My Modern Met. “I want the work to have that element of being crafted—that someone's hand was there. There is something quite beautiful in that.”
Some of the designs feature perforations so fine and delicate that they resemble lace. Others possess a high-relief quality due to the dense layering, creating mesmerizing textures and curves that attract the eye. “Our work combines contemporary digital design and traditional craftsmanship with extreme intricacy, exploring themes such as historical ornament and pattern using algorithms and new technologies,” Ibbini says. “A specific focus is the creation of visual complexity, either through repetition of simple motifs, elaborate geometric construction, or accumulation of ornamental detail in order to create highly intricate pieces.”