Have you ever seen a tree that you wanted to work on but, unfortunately, wasn’t yours?
When I first saw this tree I knew I would own it one day.
The back story:
Believe it or not, the tree was purchased from Jim Smith, in Vero Beach.
It was picked up by the Central Florida Bonsai Club for a possible demo in the future.
Well, it was cut back and allowed to fill in a bit. A few years later the board decided to have Mike Rogers give a demo on it.
Here is the tree after it was auctioned off (which, as I said, I won)
I got it for the deadwood.
I am a carver (if you didn’t know) and
I think that a tree needs deadwood to look old…among other things.
And the amount of possible carving and deadwood on this juniper was enough to give me that far off look in my eye and the little half smirk that, if you know me, you’ve seen, and were either frightened by it, or you wondered if I was losing my mind.
You should probably be frightened and I am probably losing my mind.
But that’s another post, I think.
Fast forward to a week or so ago and I began prepping it for a carving demonstration for the Hukyu and Sundamizu clubs.
It’s grown in quite a bit:
In fact, the wire is cutting in in several places.
Let’s talk Hollywood junipers.
Many people don’t think this type of juniper is suitable for bonsai.
They say that it grows too fast or it’s foliage isn’t ideal or it’s color is too green.
Characteristically, the foliage is almost always scale (adult) foliage. A plus.
It grows, in what looks like to me, flame shaped foliage pads (Rocky Mountain juniper does too, but it’s not as tight a growth pattern).
It is really green but so is a shimpaku, if you compare the two.
I’m wondering why it’s not used much.
To the victim.
I did say it grows fast. Like I said, the wires are cutting in.
What I’m going to do at the nursery, before the demo, is some boring prep work.
Remove the old wire, remove the bark off the deadwood and remove the weak and unneeded foliage.
This branch was guy wired in place for the new apex. Let’s see if it will stay in there.
I guess not.
That’s ok. I need it higher any way.
Now, the knife:
Mike had killed off most of the top but he didn’t remove the bark. It’s usually easier to do when the bark is alive.
Wait a minute…. Do you see the pink?
I’m not sure how, but the trees bark is still alive there. There’s no foliage supporting it and hasn’t been for close to a year.
Good for me I guess, it’ll make the stripping of the bark easier.
Finally, some decent before shots.
Now I’m ready for the demo.
Off to Clearwater!
The demo/workshop is a combined one for the Hukyu (Tampa) and the Sundamizu clubs.
Two great organizations. If you’re in the area look them up and give them a visit.
I didn’t get many pics at the demo as I was working but I got some and I’ll include some of the workshop trees too.
Before the work (above)
Some club members-
An extreme close up-
What a sexy beast I am, right?
Just a mild case of dandruff. (This is a pic by Jeff)
After the demo we had a break, Clif Pottberg spoke a bit and we had lunch.
Then it was workshop time.
A few pics:
A parsonnii juniper-
We made those Jin but they were all straight. By wiring movement into them just after you strip the bark, when the wood dries, the Jin will keep the bends and curves.
And then this juniper, which was a straight and uninteresting tree, just needed some raffia and wire-
Overall it was a good time; thanks to Jeff and Clif and Marty for setting it up. I hope I get to go back soon.
Back at my nursery the real work begins.
These are the before shots
And this is the front as I see it:
Give or take a few degrees.
The branches are pretty thick and to bend them I’ll need to use some raffia or….lookee here at what I have-
It is “self-amalgamating” electrical tape, which means it only sticks to itself.
This one is 3m brand but all the other tape manufactories make something similar.
It will take the place of the raffia.
Now we are ready for some fancy bonsai; although that looks kinda kinky.
Some heavy wire
One more wrap, at least three I think.
An esoteric implement.
A branch bender.
And a bit of grunting and cursing and sweating:
For those who’ve done this, it’s not the bending that’s hard (mostly) it’s the branch staying in place. That’s the purpose of the wire. And that’s why you’ll see, a lot of times, all kind of heavy wire and a guy wire.
I got lucky here, it’s staying where I put it and I got side to side and front to back movement in the branch.
To give you an idea how much I’ve moved it-
Now we have something to work with.
Looking at the branches now, I’m going to remove this back one-
It’s kinda odd, and I think we could use some more Jin.
Some wire (about 2 hours later….)
And there’s a nice structure now:
Some side views:
This sketch is how I see it filling in.
It obviously needs some more growth.
To borrow some terms from another artist, this tree is at about level 3, it needs probably about 2 more stylings before refinement.
If it’s growing well I’ll do a half repot on it in January/February (I’m in Florida, don’t use my timing unless, well, you’re here too). I’ll replace the soil it’s in with bonsai soil and reduce the pot by half.
I don’t expect it to be in a bonsai pot for 3 or 4 years.
TTFN my friends.
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- March 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
Recent Posts: Adam's Art and Bonsai
Now available! Get your fashionable apparel now! Limited time offer! No shirt no shoes no service! Insert pithy sales pitch here! T-shirts, cotton blend with logo on front, please specify size and color-$15 plus shipping. T-shirt with logo on front and artwork on back: $20 plus shipping. Current artwork:Artwork will have a limited run, so … Continue reading Bonsai gear! →
If you’re in Orlando on vacation or are a resident, my nursery is open most days from about 9 until dark. Please call to make sure I am here (I do like to wander sometimes) The number is (407)399-1224 I offer every level of tree from seedlings to show trees and every price range (some … Continue reading Visit the nursery! →
Click here for the blog https://adamaskwhy.com Bear with me as my friend Nick and I put together an awesome website that will be three times as good as it is now. With three times the bad jokes. Promise. Thanks Adam Lavigne