Sugary Stained Glass

Religious imagery meets a sugary materiality in the latest’s works by artist and origami master Sipho Mabona.

These colourful panels were inspired by classical church windows. The geometric shapes are filled in with a material mixture made by combining sugar together with tinted watercolours. The result is a sugary glass that is semi-translucent and gives a warm, vibrant glow much like stained itself.

As a material, sugar glass has been used for many years in the film industry because it looks like the real things but shatters into soft pieces, making it appropriate for use in stunt work. It is also a dynamic material to work with because it can achieve a wide spectrum of vibrant colours by either combing the sugar with paints, as is the case here, or heating the sugar glass mixture to create a range of colours from light yellows to vibrant reds and ambers.

For more sugary architecture inspiration, be sure to also check out the sugar glass greenhouse by William Lamson.

Photos by Driaan Claasen