Sipho Mabona is a Swiss based origami artist who has created a life sized paper elephant from just one sheet of paper measuring 15 by 15 meters. The project was financed through Internet-crowdfunding site Indiegogo where he raised over $26,000 from 631 funders. A webcam was installed that allowed people to watch the massive elephant take shape. The elephant, which stands more than 3 meters tall, took a team of nearly a dozen people over four weeks to create. Mabona had originally expected the attempt to take three to four people. The work is now on display in the museum KKLB in Beromünster, Switzerland.
Mabona 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. Sipho Mabona started making paper planes when he was just five-years-old. By the time he was 15, Mabona had run out of designs for the planes and so he turned to other inspirations taking tips from nature and the environment. Each design can take him a day to as long as six months to develop, working on and off, while the actual folding process can take up to 20 hours. The quickest origami Mabona can come up with is Koi carp, but even that takes him an hour to fold.
His incredibly intricate designs sell for more than $,2400 and are exhibited in galleries in Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Spain and France.
A small scale model of the paper elephant