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Koi - Nishikigoi - Carp

Koi or more specifically nishikigoi , literally "brocaded carp", are ornamental domesticated varieties of the common carp Cyprinus carpio. They are believed to have originated from Eastern Asia, Aral, Black and Caspian Seas. Earliest records of Koi have been found in China and have been widely spread in Japan. The ornamental cultivation of carp flourished under the Chinese Qing Dynasty and Japanese Edo Period. They are very closely related to goldfish and, in fact, the style of breeding and ornamentation has become very similar, probably through the efforts of Japanese breeders to emulate goldfish. Koi and tattoos of koi are traditionally considered lucky.


correction from one of our viewers...

Looking good! But please correct your koi information on page one- Koi do originate from common carp. And it is CARP that originate from the Caspian and Black sea regions- not koi. And Koi did not originate in China. Carp were domesticated and bred in China. Koi, or Nishikigoi ( like the name of your club) are a unique product of Japan. Niigata region of Japan, to be specific.

And finally, the Japanese koi, although related to the goldfish, is not breed to emulate the goldfish?! A goldfish is bred toward mutation of the physical body and finnage. A koi is a natural fish which is only selectively bred for color and pattern. In fact, the desire is have the body remain exactly like the wild cousin. This is actually the OPPOSITE of goldfish goals.

Sorry to mention this but lots of people read things on the Internet and take them as fact. Your facts are incorrect and terribly misleading. You have a responsibility to get these things right- especially if you going to sell art work to koi kichi .

Inspired by the beauty of the living jewels

I am a member of our local Koi club, "Nishiki Koi Club" located in Orange County California. I am also the club's webmaster.

We meet monthly at one of our member's home. There we are given the chance to view their pond and koi. The knowledge the club has to offer is wealth of information. Every month the club invites a guess speaker to cover topics the members will benefit from.

This is a hobby both my wife and I enjoy; moreover, we enjoy socializing with the club members, they are a lot of fun and great to be around.

Caesar Yanez

bronze koi conceptbronze koi sculpture concept update

Here is the rough concept sketch for the bronze koi project. The sketch depicts three koi 26", 14"; 12". I believe I will use Japanese Val plants. The very top will have a lilly with a frog leaping from it as the larger koi approaches. The plants will be anchored to a piece of driftwood. The bronze may include a granite or marble base that will sit on a hardwood base.

The image on the right is the revised composition. It was suggested that the first draft was too busy... I agree... less is better


Steve, owner of sacramento koi gave me a few pointers while I attended his seminar on building koi ponds. The video footage is of his beautiful pond and koi, the night time footage and poor resolution does not show the awesome colors of the koi

concept for bonze koi
concept for bonze koi
These koi images were taken from one of the member's pond. I believe the koi pictured here were about 24" to 26"s.
koi bronze sculpture
koi bronze sculpture
Working on creating realistic scales
This is the medium koi I will be producing for the bronze sculpture. It measures about 14". After this koi is complete I will work on the larger koi that will measure about 24" - 26".
koi bronze sculpture
koi bronze sculpture

It took me several attempts to develop the scale technique.

Better view of the scales. The scales will vary from koi varieties. Some koi varieties are scale less.

koi bronze sculpture
koi bronze sculpture
The koi sculpture is still in its rough stage. I plan to take the sculpture to the next koi meeting for some valuable input from the experts.
The fins will be added once the body receives more detail. Right now I am not sure if I will leave the koi in this pose.
koi bronze sculpture
koi bronze sculpture

A view of the koi's under side

Here you can see the wire I added to support the pelvic fin.

mid size koi 14" clay stage
mid size koi 14" clay stage

This mid size koi is just about done. The fins will need more work.

other side of the 14" koi clay sculpture.

mid size koi 14" clay stage
mid size koi 14" clay stage

left side profile of the koi.

another view of the koi, the fins will be adjusted once all the koi are placed into the scene.

mid size koi 14" clay stage
mid size koi 14" clay stage

More images of the mid size koi.

Right profile of the koi.

mid size koi 14" clay stage
mid size koi 14" clay stage

Birds eye views of the koi

bronze koi sculpting measures 26 inches
bronze koi sculpting-birds eye view

Here I have the rough clay sculpture of the 26 inch koi.

Birds eye view of the 26" koi. So far I am happy with the pose.

bronze koi sculpting- rear view
bronze koi sculpting

Back side view...

Other view... the tooth picks are the areas where the fins will attach.

bronze koi sculpting- 26 inch koi
bronze koi sculpting- profile top view

The koi is still in its very rough stages. I spent several hours studying the Japanese Grand Champ's confirmation on what ever I was able to locate on the web and in the KOIUSA magazine.

I tired to give it a graceful feel, trying to image how the koi would move as it approached a frog on the surface.
bronze koi sculpting-scale image
bronze koi sculpting- detail of scales

The scale pattern is scribed on the clay using a dental tool.

Hard to tell on this image, but some of the scale detail has been applied.

bronze koi sculpting
bronze koi sculpting- all three sizes

This image shows the koi with the entire scale pattern scribed on. The scale detail will be tackled within the next two weeks.

All three size koi are pictured here... 26", 14"; 10"



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