The 2016 Bonsai Societies of Florida annual convention is coming up (go here for details, there’s still some room in the workshops) and I, again, have a tree in the dog and pony sho…aaa, the exhibit this year so it is, again, time to prepare a display…… You know, in Japan, they have specialists that put together displays for the shows. It’s a totally separate (but related) discipline and there are few bonsai artists really qualified to assemble and judge a display. Kunio Kobyashi and his student Peter Warren are two that come to mind. I need one of those types of experts.
Myself, I like trees. If we could display them alone with a black background and on a plain white stand, I’d not mind that at all. But….we must follow the conventions and mores of the societies we inhabit, you know, please and thank you’s, wear clothes in restaraunts, cover our sneezes, wash your hands after bathroom breaks, ropes and chains by consent only…..so, here’s my stand and how I came to make it. Hopefully it’s not my last stand.
I think the new one works….for now.
But I had a different vision in mind (as you will soon see). Their work is good though, I suggest you check out their amazing and innovative designs (www.missourishoku.com) and maybe give their Instagram a follow.
Anyway, here’s the piece of wood I’m using:Whoops, the tree peed on it. There’s whole categories of videos about peeing on wood….or so my buddy Seth tells me. First I need to size it and cut to length.
As you can see, the sawdust is red. Red sawdust means you either chopped off a finger or the wood is red. The type of wood is actually red cedar, which isn’t cedar at all, botanically speaking, but a type of juniper native to the eastern part of the USA, called juniperus virginiana. It has, like all junipers, a red heartwood and a white sapwood.
The white part tends to rot first (I’ve had this board outside, aging. It came from a tree that had been blown down after the three hurricanes of the 2004 hurricane season, Charley, Frances and Jeanne. I scavenged the wood from the roadside and carved myself a throne out of a big chunk of the trunk. This board is a piece I saved from the ritual….I mean carving).
Since most of the sap wood is rotten, I’ll just carve it off.
It couldn’t be from the fact of me using a chainsaw to mill the wood. Nah. I have a steady hand. The board needs feet. Or legs. Or whatever we are calling them.
Yeah, that’s where it needs to be. That looks right. What do I have hanging around for the feet? Ah, a block of red oak. Its from a broken door, in fact. Who said those doors are useless? Well, they are useless for keeping two very active little boys who like to pick at any chink, any splinter, that presents itself for removal. Or for repeated kickings because their sister is in the bathroom, fixing her hair while they need to “really really pee!!!!!” But they are good for various carving projects made out of the reclaimed wood after your boys have chewed them up and spit them out (they are not cheap to replace, I’ll tell you what).
I’ll be hand carving these,with my pocket knife no less, just to show off.
To get the sharp edge transition from square to round, I have to make what’s called a stop cut. Basically, as I carve off the material I come to a perpendicular cut that the blade will stop at. I could do it with the knife.
And three and four. They are all different heights to accommodate the warped and unevenness of the piece. Like m….sorry. Made that joke already. Now to drill some holes. I found this under the bench. That looks about right. Yay! Lucky me!
Hitting bottom I see. That’s not a bad thing. I like to hit bottom.
Now I just need a companion plant to complete my display……