by Roman Gorelik and Lev Gorelik
Edited by Jane Rosemarin
The Playful Fish, designed by Roman Gorelik and his son Lev. Folded and photographed by Roman Garelik. See PDF diagrams.

According to three separate test-folders, this fish is easy and pleasant to fold. There are only 20 steps. Duo-color paper produces a color change for the pectoral fins, the mouth and the lower half of the caudal (tail) fin. I recommend using thin, strong paper for this model.

The most enjoyable step, in my opinion, is the locking of the caudal fin by inserting triangular flaps into pockets (step 17). Be careful with this step, though: It is easy to rip the paper at the pocket’s edge because the insert is quite thick as it is comprised of many layers. My nine-year-old son, Lev, discovered these pockets, and we worked together to design this model.

The third and final locking step, which occurs on the top portion of the caudal fin, prevents the model from splaying. This step also creates some interesting striations on one side of the fin.

Initially, I called this model Simple Fish but later found that this name was already taken by Joseph Hwang’s lovely model of 2017, also published in The Fold. So, I changed the name to Playful Fish because I have already had some fun with it. For example, I made a kiwi bird from it as well as some fish variations. Please see the photographs below.

I hope that you will enjoy folding this fish, and, if you are into designing, making something new out of it. If you do, please share your creations with me on Instagram @playful_origami. Happy folding!

Fish variations and a kiwi. Folded and photographed by Roman Gorelik.