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Origami Artist Creates Stained Glass Art Out of Sugar and Watercolor

Artist Sipho Mabona is well known for his incredible origami works, like the life-size elephant sculpture he made from just one piece of paper. Recently, he used his background in origami to create stunning art pieces that resemble a modern day version of stained glass. Using a laser cutter, he cut crease patterns of origami designs out of wood. Then, he melted sugar and colored it with liquid watercolor. Finally, he poured the mixture into the designated fields of the crease patterns, filling them up with the hot liquid and then letting them cool into place.

Mabona said that one of the main difficulties was to not overheat the mixture. “Otherwise it would have caramelized and turned brown,” he states.

This body of work, called In Search Of… was exhibited at the GUILD Design Fair in Cape Town. They were made to resemble the stained glass you often find in church windows.

The floating panes were hung as a maze that visitors were welcome to walk through. Because this artwork was predominately made of sugar, it kept changing. As the artist told us, “The windows went from translucent to foggy as the show progressed. Depending on the climate, they could have even fell apart. “

Sipho Mabona's website
Photos by Driaan Claassen and Hayden Phipps

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