Serial Plane Cut Paper Olympic Figures - Raya Sader Bujana

You might recall the origami world necklace and origami hearts necklace by Raya Sader Bujana of Little Ray of Sunflower in Barcelona that have been featured here in recent months. There's no denying they are pretty/clever/cute or whatever other adjective you would like to use for such fun jewelry, but today I have a completely different side of Raya's remarkable talent to share with you... 

all-white 3D paper sculpture runner

...behold this extraordinary collection of layered paper athletes.
 Paper Sculpture Cyclist by Raya Sader Bujana

First, the back story... about a year ago Raya was contacted by a photographer who asked her to create a series of figures that would represent the Olympics in paper to add to his collection of stock images.

Paper Sculpture Karate Figure by Raya Sader Bujana

After much sketching and discarding of ideas, she focused on the recognizable posture of each discipline.

Paper Sculpture Pole Vaulter by Raya Sader Bujana

Trained as an architect, Raya is skilled in using the serial planes technique for landscapes and found she enjoyed applying the idea to the curves of the human body.

Paper Sculpture Synchronized Swimmers by Raya Sader Bujana

Rays explains, "The whole concept of this design was to express movement using paper. The added texture, light and volume that the technique provides reinforces the fluidity of the pieces."

Layered Paper Gymnast by Raya Sader Bujana

"Digitalising each figure to achieve the correct posture was a challenge that required a huge team effort to get just the right positioning. Of course each section needed to be the exact shape to attain the look of the curve."

Paper Sculpture Javelin Thrower by Raya Sader Bujana

"Then came the cutting... I hand cut all of the pieces and used tiny 3mm separators to assemble them. It was a huge job as some of the figures have around 150 tiny pieces and up to 500 separators. The project required many, many hours of work, but the end result was very satisfying for me."

Paper Sculpture Gymnast by Raya Sader Bujana

When the series was complete, Raya worked with photographer Leo García Méndez (@leocroma) to create the images you see here with colorful backgrounds, as well as minimalistic white.

Paper Sculpture Tennis Player by Raya Sader Bujana

I'm partial to the ones in which Raya is holding the figure in front of natural greenery, but goodness, each photograph is exceptional, isn't it? Not to mention they have me looking forward to the Summer Olympics!

Paper Sculpture Football Player by Raya Sader Bujana

Follow along on Instagram with Raya Sader Bujana to see even more figures and additional projects.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Just stunning. So unique and real. My son is a national swimmer. Would love to see a swimming one.

  2. So glad you enjoyed seeing Raya's figures, Westendpieces. Good idea about a swimmer... perhaps a high diver in mid-air too!

  3. These are just gorgeous!! Such attention to detail...I love it !!

  4. Gorgeous! I'd love one of these for my bookshelf, and I bet I'm not alone. It would be impractical to create them using the original method (I can't imagine how much she must have had to charge to make it worth it, these are truly amazing works of art!) But I imagine you could get a similar enough model using laser cut chipboard, and with the thickness of the board you wouldn't need the spacers. Of course you'd have to spray paint them afterwards to get the pure white, but they could also look cool in black or another bold color, ooh like metallic gold! She could even sell them as kits to assemble yourself if she wanted, that would be even less work for her. I'd totally buy that... For now I'll just have to be satisfied with her amazing photos. Thanks for featuring her art Ann!

  5. Beautiful beyond words!!!! Thank you for sharing these with us!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  6. cate, Jan and Allison, so glad you enjoyed the post! Allison, you're onto something... the figures are proving to be very popular. I'm thinking every sports club needs a set of the photos hanging in their lobby.

  7. So awesome! What a visual beauty! Totally want one or a couple and where can I buy one?

  8. I LOVE the synchronized swimmers!


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