born in siret, romania, artisan cristian marianciuc (see our previous coverage here) moved for study in sydney, australia, where he took a course in japanese culture and became fascinated with origami. in 2015, he returned to romania where a feeling of misplacement took over him. he felt alienated and readjusting proved to be even more difficult than he thought, leaving him with a desire to move into a new realm. marianciuc began crafting a paper crane per day, following the japanese tradition of senbazuru: a folktale which says that he who folds 1,000 origami cranes is granted a wish. and like this, what began as a challenge, turned into a passion.

cristian marianciuc crafts intricate paper cranes full of extraordinary details
a handcrafted paper crane handcrafted
all images by cristian marianciuc




present in chinese mythology and folklore, cranes are a symbol of taoist immortals who had magical abilities to transform into these birds and take flight. cristian marianciuc was inspired by this very mysticism and enchantment and since then, he tries to capture it in his origami creations. with vibrant color schemes and intricate patterns, cristian adds his own contemporary twist to this ancient art of paper folding. his fantastical flock of birds are embellished with feathers, pressed flowers and leaves, paint splattered, beading, stitching and even recognizable architecture balancing on their wings. from minimalism to avant-garde, his paper masterpieces convey a feeling, a memory or an experience.




‘for me, origami is very therapeutic and a way to find balance in life. it is a way to silence some voices and make others louder. it is about not doing things on autopilot, but to be involved, in the present,’ explains cristian.

cristian marianciuc crafts intricate paper cranes full of extraordinary details
three paper cranes handcrafted by cristian marianciuc



to create these precise paper pieces, cristian marianciu uses a faithful set of tools. through his craftsmanship and meticulous hand gestures, he achieves his miniature marvels. he uses paper which is between 90 and 120 grams per square meter, a K26 fit grip knife with blade #11 from excel blades and a variety of other tools used for scoring and shaping the different elements of each piece.

cristian marianciuc crafts intricate paper cranes full of extraordinary details
portrait of the paper sculptor cristian marianciuc




#EverydayExcellence — based in geneva, switzerland, the michelangelo foundation celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship around the world and strengthens its connection to design. these series discovers more artisans and the special stories behind their unique masterpieces, through a series of digital initiatives, which place focus on craftspeople.