BONSAI by the HARBOUR 2014 – Bending Techniques

I have already published a couple of stories from this event, but why do they call it “Bonsai by the Harbour”? I hope the next¬†photo will help explain the name:-

The view from the window

The view from the window

It is a very tranquil and peaceful setting and what better way to enjoy a bonsai learning experience than at this location.

After a splendid lunch the next item of interest for me was a session on advanced bending techniques that was presented by Grant Bowie. Grant has been practicing the art of bonsai for more than forty years and his skill and experience is greatly admired around Australia. When people think of bending a vision of great twisted trunks and branches springs to mind, but Grant showed the appreciative audience that there is more to this than first thought.

First up was a pine that had a very unattractive 90 deg bend towards the top and to be honest it was a tree with not a lot going for it.

The before look

The before look

The plan was to rap the trunk and branch in raffia, add a few lenghts of wire, and then rap another layer of raffia before adding wire in the conventional method.

The first "coat" of raffia

The first “coat” of raffia

After the length ways wire and a second coat of raffia, wire is applied

After the length ways wire and a second coat of raffia, wire is applied

 

Explanation to the crowd

Explanation to the crowd

Not only was the branch straightened but the trunk and and branch were twisted to add character. The straightening and twisting would not be possible without the support provided by the raffia and wire application.

Twisting and straightening

Twisting and straightening

The after look

The after look

This is the initial styling for this tree and there will be a few more sessions over the coming years, but this has set this tree on the road to becoming an attractive literati style bonsai.

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