Kristin Hohenadel, at Slate:
… The Lucerne-based Sipho Mabona folded his first paper airplane at age 5 and has since made a career producing stunning origami animals, roses, human figures and insects, among other more abstract creations. He has shown his work and taught origami workshops around the world.
Now the 33-year-old artist is appealing to Indiegogo’s crowdfunding angels to help him realize his ambition of folding a life-size elephant out of a single sheet of 50 x 50 meter (164 x 164 foot) paper. (So far he’s raised $13,843 of his $24,000 goal with 3 weeks to go.) Mabona says his aim is to show what a single sheet of paper can do by using it to create a replica of one of the world’s most imposing land-dwelling creatures.
Mabona told me by phone that he developed the pattern for the elephant in about a month, a process that was sped up by having already worked out how to make patterns for origami tigers, bears and rhinos. He said that his process is a combination of precise geometry and artistic intuition. To make a work of origami, he makes all the folds in the paper before refolding along the creaselines to assemble a finished 3D object. The beauty of a piece of paper with intricate creaselines has also inspired him to produce crease patterns as wall art and ceramic plates…
I’ve been fascinated by origami since before the American Museum of Natural History started their annual Origami Holiday Tree (even though I never got beyond the basic folds). This project just tickles me, which is, of course, the intention of its creators.