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Artist Uses Engineering to Fold Mesmerizing Geometric Paper Sculptures

Stunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt Shlian

Paper engineering artist Matt Shlian produces incredible forms from the ubiquitous, everyday material. Making strategic and precise folds, he creates stunning geometric designs built with tessellations. The three-dimensional pieces are often crafted in bone-white or black-colored paper, which highlights the beauty of each shape through subtle shifts in tone. Large or small, each of these monochromatic sculptures has a mesmerizing repeat element to it.

Shlian’s interest in the medium and his engineering skills have yielded unlikely collaborations. He’s worked with scientists at the University of Michigan “on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to microfolds.” The two groups click because of their shared sense of curiosity. The scientists use the folds to visualize cellular division and solar cell development. Shlian, on the other hand, says that he’s guided by wonder. “I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over,” he writes. Continuing, “My work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization.”

Paper engineering artist Matt Shlian handcrafts intricate paper folds to produce stunning geometric forms.

Stunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianStunning Paper Engineering by Artist Matt ShlianMatt Shlian: Website | Instagram | Facebook
h/t: [Colossal]

All images via Matt Shlian.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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