One of the great things about making pots is the opportunity to make a pot for a specific tree, and the thrill if that comes true. You know, the tree actually looks good in the pot made for it.
So a kiln opening brings much anticipation as well as excitement and when you see your work come out you are either proud or think you could have done better. Under the tutelage of my teacher I think I have improved and I am really enjoying the process.
The results of this kiln opening are an improvement and I am pleased, and as such here are a few photos.
It will be a few months before another kiln opening so that will teach me some patience.
One of the great benefits of being part of a bonsai society is the opportunity to talk with other members about trees you are having difficulty with. This Yew is one such tree.
It was purchased from the owner of a closed nursery and they had no further use for a couple of yews and this is one of them. When I first bought them the height was about three metres and I had to cut it down to two metre just to get them home. After that this one was cut down again to about one metre and some branches that were unhealthy converted into jins. This tree then sat for a couple of years gaining strength.
The growth pattern of this tree caused me to wonder how best to style it so I took it along to a meeting of the local bonsai society and a couple of people assisted me in finding a style and direction. That was a couple of months ago and I only got around to commencing the styling recently but I think it now has a future and I hold great hope for its continued development. As all bonsai demonstrators say now, just five years of refinement before it will be anything.
This is a short post and only has my display that was in the exhibition. I went to considerable lengths to design a display that was different to the usual and to put it mildly was quite “miffed” when I saw it set up around the wrong way, completely destroying the feel I wanted to engender. It was set up correctly in the staging area but some how got messed up in the process of moving. That said you would imagine that the experienced people who set up this exhibition would know the subtlety in how a box stand must look but alas I was very disappointed.
Anyway, here is my display for the exhibition even though it is set the wrong way around.
The box stand was made with the Shou Sugi Ban technique and the colour of the stand is the natural effect of that process and although it looks black in the photo up close you can see the natural indentations and wood grain.
There was robust discussion amongst visitors about the use of figurines and other accents that were used as part of the exhibition. While I am not a big fan of plastic sheep and cows being used I personally didn’t really see these “additives” and just concentrated on the trees first, then the pots and onto the stands. I think that might put me in the league of an old timer?
This event was held at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra on 27 and 28 February 2021. I have been to most of these exhibitions over the years and I thought the quality of the trees on display was the best so far, so well done to the artists whose trees we all enjoyed.
Following are a few of the trees on display. I was curious why there were quite a few bonsai where the apex moved away from the viewer, it made the displays appear to be falling over (backwards) but maybe that was just me.
One of my favorite trees and took a photo just for fun. I particularly like the nabari and the aged bark. The ramification is improving each year and now looks quite good in winter. I enjoy this tree at all times of year and I hope you enjoy this late summer photo.
As this is the last day of summer this is the last photo in the series. I hope you have enjoyed these.
This olive came from South Australia and was a gift from a friend, good friend.
I have been trying to develop this for a few years now and I recognise it stills needs work but it is on track to being better. Removing the straightness of the first left branch would be a good start.
This poor old thing is wild and bushy so therefore in need of some love and attention.
I took the photo so I could keep a track of its progression over the years and also as a reminder to take better care of it. In saying that I appreciate that some times you need to let a tree “grow out” to get some strength and hopefully it will be better off for that experience.
It does need a repot and some new potting medium may also assist in its strength building.
I think this is a Chinese quince however I am not sure. It was dug a couple of years ago from a property in the hills, from what I would describe as an abandoned garden. Anyway I was very grateful to be able to get this stock.
Last year I planted it into this pot that I made and I think it looks OK. Many years of development to go but it is on its way.