tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o1_1280 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o2_500 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o3_500 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o5_1280 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o4_1280 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o6_1280 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o8_500 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o7_1280 tumblr_n8zbo9FSwX1rv33k2o9_1280Matt Shlian is a Michigan-based artist who describes himself as a paper engineer; he uses his engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture from paper.

I cannot explain how I make my sculptures in a general sense- each one is different.  I don’t share my diagrams or cut patterns.  I learned by taking things apart, doing things the “wrong way” and being curious.  Getting something wrong is way more important to learning than copying something perfectly.

My process is extremely varied from piece to piece.  Often I start without a clear goal in mind, working within a series of limitations. For example on one piece I’ll only use curved folds, or make my lines this length or that angle etc. Other times I begin with an idea for movement and try to achieve that shape or form somehow. Along the way something usually goes wrong and a mistake becomes more interesting than the original idea and I work with that instead. I’d say mystarting point is curiosity; I have to make the work in order to understand it. If I can completely visualize my final result I have no reason to make it- I need to be surprised.