Time-Lapse Video of the Making of a Life-Size Origami Elephant

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
March 18 2014 9:00 AM

Time-Lapse Video of the Making of a Life-Size Origami Elephant

The life-size origami elephant by Swiss artist Sipho Mabona weighs roughly 550 pounds and is nearly 10 feet high. It is currently on display at the KKLB museum in Beromünster in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Courtesy of Philipp Schmidli

Last time we checked in with Swiss origami artist Sipho Mabona, he was in the midst of launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to achieve his ambition to fold a life-size elephant out of a single sheet of paper.

The other day he wrote to let us know that after four weeks of working with up to 10 helpers at a time, he did it! And here’s the 37-second time-lapse video to prove it.

Mabona mentioned in an email that “the transformation of the sheet of paper into a real [elephant] body proved more difficult than expected." He used glue in some places because the strength of the folds was overpowered by the weight of the paper; clamps and super-strong magnets held certain folds in place as the glue dried. “In this sense the White Elephant is not a classic origami,” he wrote, saying that “origami merely served as the basis of the realization of a challenging work of art.”


The project was crowdfunded by more than 600 contributors from around the globe. The elephant is currently displayed at the KKLB museum in Beromünster in Lucerne, Switzerland, but Mabona noted that its future remains unclear. For one thing, the life-size origami elephant is too big to squeeze through the windows or the doors of the museum.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.