Beautiful Cut Paper Looks Like 3D Stained Glass

Looking like 3D versions of stained glass windows or ancient mandalas, these insanely intricate paper-cut sculptures use hundreds of layers of paper to build up their peacefully meditative forms. Each piece looks as if it was carved into a single block of multi-colored paper strata, revealing complex repeating geometric patterns buried in its depths. Even more interesting, not only do these works have depth, but also bands or bridges of paper floating over the carved away sections below. What results are overlapping, interwoven patterns that draw one in to explore what lies underneath.


Created by artist Eric Standley, his often 3 inch thick works pack a lot of detail into their relatively small canvas size. Standley got his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, later receiving an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. He now works as Assistant Professor of Studio Art and the Foundations of Art and Design Coordinator for the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. His bio amusingly notes that he “sleeps on rare occasions and dreams that with hard work and concentration he might one day become a modernist.” While we’re sure he could indeed succeed in the modern world, his classically themed pieces are keeping us very pleasantly fascinated. Represented by the Ada Gallery in Virginia, you can find more of his work at


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