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Category Archives: Paper

sipho mabona: there’s an elephant in the room

Professional Origami artist Sipho Mabona set out to show the world that there are no limits to what you can make with a square of paper.


His goal was to make a life-size replica of one of the largest mammals on earth – the elephant. In late 2013 he launched a successful indiegogo crowdfunding project to create The White Elephant.


Folded by Mabona and three assistants, a metal structure supports the folded paper sculpture to ensure that the origami mammal can stand.


The elephant in progress.


 Sipho Mabona holds a scaled down version of the white elephant


One of the perks for the funders was a ceramic cast of the creased paper. The folds are the exact folds used to create the elephant. LOVE this concept!

Sipho Mabona’s website

If you enjoyed Mabona’s White Elephant, don’t miss the videos of his Toshiba origami ad campaigns. Nicely done.


jason schneider’s corrugated cardboard and plaster sculpture

Jason Schneider is a furniture designer. The fact that he uses cardboard almost exclusively to make furniture sets him apart from most furniture designers.


Exquisite Cardboard, corrugated cardboard, plaster, 12″ x 5″

Add to that his collection of corrugated cardboard and plaster sculptures and, well, you’ve got an artist who makes my heart pound.


Plaster Push, corrugated cardboard, plaster, 5″ x 10″ diameter
Currently, Schneider is the furniture design and woodworking studio coordinator at The Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado. He continues to transfer many skills learned as a woodworker to develop innovative techniques using cardboard.


Dumbbell Study, corrugated cardboard,  plaster, 22″ x 6″

Although his sculpture is showcased here, please don’t take that to mean that his furniture isn’t worthy. It is. Check out the link below for the furniture portfolio to see what I mean.


Wobble Tops, corrugated cardboard, poplar, milk paint, 5″ x 4″ diameter


Spinning Wheel, corrugated cardboard, plaster, 10″ x 22″

“My exploration into the use and function of this low-status and commonly overlooked material is what drives me.” ~Jason Schneider

joyce utting schutter

Joyce Utting Schutter begins each of her sculptures by welding a fine steel armature. She then hand stitches fibers over the armature before applying paper pulp with a pneumatic sprayer.

Buccinidae's Necklace

Buccinidae’s Necklace
20h x 56w x 17d
abaca, black denim, flax, steel, dry pigment, varnish

The paper pulp is able to adhere to the shape because the woven fibers act as a substrate. Schutter sprays between 4 and 20 layers of pulp, often placing organic elements between the layers.

Arcidae’s Purse


Arcidae’s Purse, interior

Arcidae’s Purse
18h x 35w x 10d
cotton, cheesecloth, bamboo, brass, salix buds, steel, dry pigments

Because of the inherent nature of the pulp, which bonds together as it dries, there is no need to use glue or any other substance to hold the sculptures together. Once dry, pigments are brushed onto the paper to add color. Arcidae’s Purse, shown above, took four months complete.

A Cut Beneath


A Cut Beneath, detail

A Cut Beneath
19h x 20w x 9d
cotton, flax, hemp, pine needles, Sweetgum seedpods, porcelain, steel, dry pigments, watercolor, wax



Seabird, detail

35″h x 36″w x 9″d
flax, organdy, thread, Maple Samaras, steel, dry pigments


The process. . .

“I am becoming increasingly aware of the interconnectedness of all things: bird and wind, eye and shadow, breath and bone. Existence – the whole of it – is one breathing entity: no evaluation, no judgment, no independent opposites, simply a rhythm of complements. Everything in nature, in the universe, is part of the rhythm, just as every breath is life giving. Fleetingly, steadily, each breath gives way to the next.” Joyce Utting Schutter


Joyce Utting Schutter’s website

tissues + origami + stop-motion animation = wow!

I might have told this story already so if you have heard it before feel free to skip right to today’s art!


Origami Bird, tissue 

When I was about 12 years old I was sent to my room – punishment for talking back to my mother. My mom didn’t realize that in my room was an origami book I borrowed from the library, so I spent the afternoon making my first origami animals from a brown paper bag that I found.


Origami Wolf, tissue

Sassing my mother might not have been the smartest thing I ever did, but it is responsible for the beginning of a lifelong love for and fascination with paper arts, including origami. Heck, maybe my mother KNEW the book was there and hoped it would shift my pre-teen-moody-blues!


Origami Reindeer, tissue

At one point in my life I owned more than 50 origami books and folding was a daily practice. I haven’t folded in many years (though now that I am a grandmother that may change) but I continue to be fascinated by traditional and contemporary paper folding.


The animals above were all folded using plain white tissues

When I saw this video of origami animals made with tissues I was mesmerized. An advertisement for a tissue company, the video also showcases brilliant stop-motion animation. Enjoy!

Tissue Animals Video

Making of Tissue Animals Video

via Laughing Squid


“Inspiring Issue!”

I smiled broadly when long time DAM reader (who happens to be an awesome ceramic artist) Alice Simpson commented “Inspiring issue!” on Facebook about the December issue of MAM.

mam_dec_webUmmm…you might not believe it, but that is a fiber sculpture.
More about the artist in this month’s issue of MAM. 

Ditto when Sue McNenly (love her metal clay vignettes) sent an email saying:

“Susan….I can’t even put into words how much I love this magazine. Thank you for doing it. Sooooo inspiring, and I love the tutorial and the artist residency updates.”


Check out the multi-page spread on Thaumatropes

And this from polymer clay artist and dear friend Tracy Holmes:

“This beautifully curated and presented collection of Lovely Things was welcome, overwhelming, humbling… perfect.”


There were many more emails. . .but I’ll save them for another day.

Subscribe today and receive an instant download of the current issue so you can see for yourself what these top-notch artists are talking about!


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