Inner-est-ing. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to work with non-traditional shapes very often in my art. This is not the first time you have seen this tree…..……nor shall it be the last (….back back, over the falls….)

Cookie cutter bonsai, both in trunk form and branch selection and placement, is easy. Once you learn those artistic principles, you are allowed to exaggerate, edit, or even throw them out. That’s what Art is. But art is also about being successful at what you are trying to convey.

So if you are trying to make a tranquil, natural representation of an upright deciduous tree, you’ll tend to want taper, radial roots, the branch structure, etc. that convey that idea.

If you want a face-hugger, you gotta use something else for inspiration.

I’m looking at changing the pot on this bad boy (I had a reader say that they are never bad boys, they just need a firm hand….).

It’s not a bad pot really, but for this tree, it is. Notice the considerable bulk hanging over the edge?

It keeps tipping over and resting on the lower branches. Not really falling over but resting. And it doesn’t help in keeping that first branch where it needs to be. Wire removal…..


It’s a crazy sexy, beast, amirite?

I came across this cartoon by French cartoonist, Rémi Lascault, that aptly describes why so many people prefer a tree in a leafless state (with permission from the artist)Hee hee!

Now the knife comes out.

My very sharp knife I carry everywhere. Just for cutting things.

Or, you know, cleaning my fingernails.

But I’ll need to retire to the cabin of my vehicle for the surgery. It’s gonna rain!

Somehow a wound developed on the top of the tree (wait, I didn’t introduce you to it yet, did I? It’s a ficus salicaria root cutting I got last year at the Bsf convention from my friend Mike at Emblem Bonsai and Exotics, a very talented bonsai artist in SE Florida who has some of the best developed stock anywhere. And his trees are not average, but of specimen quality).

This wound was not there when I got it but I think it might have come from sunburn. A common bark wound cause here in Florida. I need to clean it out and get to good wood.

Like this.

I can hear the collective gasp. Don’t worry, it’s a ficus, it can handle it. Hopefully.

I think it actually improves the trunk silhouette.

The rain has gone and now I need to repot.

Good roots, which I expected in that deep pot.

Here’s the new pot. I’m not sure of the maker but I believe it’s a full time potter who just made a bonsai pot.

Which explains the quality of the glaze.

If you can tell what that says, you’re better than me (which isn’t hard, I’m low end good, at very few things).

Screened and ready for the tree.

Ahhhhh, that looks better. No more falling over (unless we have a hurricane. Speaking of hurricanes, keep our Carolina bonsai friends in your hearts as they brace for Florence. It was this week last year that Hurricane Irma hit me, and I know the heartache it can bring).

Time to go back to The Nook to wire, after picking up the kids.

Back at The Nook.

Let me try to explain some of the techniques….

The branch in my hand below needs to be twisted back and counter clockwise.

Like so…

The branch behind it just so happens needs to be twisted clockwise.To do that and keep the wire from unraveling, you need to wrap the branch in the direction and/or the way you are twisting the branch. And since I have two branches with the need of opposite twists, I can use them to anchor one wire. Here’s one of My YouTube videos explaining the how and why of wiring.

I don’t need this branch anymore.

Now to the wiring.

That’s better.

Just a little teasing.

It is a great pot. And you can see the root base better in it than in that cascade one.

I’m liking it. But I don’t think it’s much of a face hugger anymore.

And I probably shouldn’t be calling it a swoosh either.

I don’t generally name my trees but I think it deserves one. I’m open for suggestions, leave a comment, let me know what you think.

10 thoughts

  1. It reminds me of a knight who is protecting himself with his shield. Anyway great works as always. I wish good luck to you and all of your friends who are waiting for the hurricane in this week. It should be very scary amd i hope it will not make destruction. Love and hugs to them


  2. “Cliff Hanger”…anywho…as always…unique material! Always a joy to read your blogs. Your blogs make me love Ficus…you have so many quirky pieces you’ve touched on over the years.


  3. I love how you always sneak in a shot of some craft brew you may or may not be enjoying while working. I am going to send (not sure about the legality though) you some local Michigan brews, both because I feel like it’s the least I can do for all the free knowledge you drop, and because I want to see if one or two cans can make an appearance in one of your future blog posts. Thanks again for all the hard work — I really appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

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