Simple Science of Origami Stained Glass

Stunning art display of origami patterns turned to stain glass use a scientifically simple technique.


Sipho Mabona is an artist who has become famous for mind blowing origami.  His life-sized elephant origami which he designed for a museum in Switzerland was a hit in 2013.  (See the video.)  He recently used his unique background to come up with some absolutely stunning art which are a lot like a new take on stained glass.

The process behind this new exhibit is surprisingly simple.  He uses a laster cutter to cut origami crease pattern designs out of wood.  Using melted sugar colored with liquid watercolor, he pours the mixture into the hollowed frames of the crease patterns.  After they fill up, he lets them cool off.  The biggest challenge, he says was in not overheating the mixture.  “Otherwise it would have caramelized and turned brown.”

In Search Of… the name of this body of work was on exhibition at GUILD Design Fair in Cape Town.  The floating panes of stained glass resembling that of church windows were hung as a maze.  Visitors were welcomed to walk through.  The simple chemistry making up the art made it so that the art was constantly changing.  “The windows went from translucent to foggy as the show progressed. Depending on the climate, they could have even fell apart. ”

I often find myself very intrigued by geometrical art, such as Alex Grey paintings.  These patterns based on the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, I never would have thought could look so good.  Kudos to Mr. Mabona!  I would love to see this in person.









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