434: Sipho Mabona’s African Elephant

When I first saw this model, folded with elegance, playfulness (in outrageous colours) and joy by Sipho Mabona, I wanted to try it myself:

Designed recently and soon I hope to be included in a book so I can purchase the diagrams, I stumbled across a video tutorial and had to have a go. Used as WTF#6, I first folded it in white, then decided to give my newly purchased VOG paper a go.

I had a huge piece of burgundy/purple paper, rough texture on both sides and decided to use it for this model – so glad I did. The texture looks a little like craggy elephant skin, the paper holds it’s form and was a delight to fold.

Some astonishingly complicated manoeuvres are necessary to tuck most of the paper away yet leave enough bits to make something so completely elephantine.

I am in awe of this model, and with only a couple of supportive bits of double sided tape to keep some of the seams from spreading, it is free standing and very sturdy – a masterpiece of design that is the very essence of an elephant.

Now watch the master fold his own masterpiece:

2 thoughts on “434: Sipho Mabona’s African Elephant

  1. Hi, i was wondering what video you used to fold from? Was it the time lapse? We’ve been searching for instructions and had no luck. My son has autism and is origami obsessed. He really really wants to make this elephant, but we cant figure it out from the time lapse. Can youoiffer any suggestions for us?

    Thanks so much!
    Jen and dylan

    1. Unfortunately I cannot now find the 2 part video tutorial I used – it was on Youtube by fmatheus from Brazil – it appears to have disappeared close to when Sipho Mabona announced his lifesize fold attempt of this model

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