For the past four years, Ella Fish has folded flowers: paper lilies, angular daffodils and tulips in hues you won’t find in any garden. Fragile as they are, these origami flowers are more permanent than their natural counterparts. Now, Fish is selling off her stock of roughly 50 flowers to fund the purchase of a new Canon EOS Rebel T7i camera.
“A woman might buy it because it’s enchanting and she wants to put it on her desk,” Fish said. “But I imagine the main audience is men who want to get their girlfriend a flower that’s not going to die in a week.”
Fish’s delicate handicrafts are not necessarily recommended as gifts for small children, she said.
Ella Fish moved to Cordova from Seattle in 2019 with her Coast Guardsman husband David Fish. She is a multidisciplinary artist and musician, an amateur natural photographer and a taekwondo instructor. Studying origami books, she’s mastered designs for 20 flowers. Like photography, origami requires care and precision: a slightly inaccurate fold made early on can yield a severely lopsided end result.
Like real flowers, paper flowers go in and out of season: Fish makes her biggest sales at Christmas bazaars, but is hopeful she’ll be able to move enough over Facebook to make a dent in the cost of the camera. Fish currently sells flowers for $5 apiece and bouquets of six for $25. Fish also accepts custom orders.
“Certain people would find it stressful, but I find it therapeutic to fold paper,” Fish said. “I find it fascinating that you can take just a square piece of paper and make a flower with eight petals out of it, without cutting it.”