All posts by greatdividebonsai

The 85th Mefu-ten

John Milton Bonsai

The 85th Meifu-ten exhibit was on earlier this month and I’ve just got round to sorting through the Photo’s. It is a local show but, is one of the biggest in Japan and it is on at the same time as Gafu-ten so often people will visit both in the weekend. I didn’t take pictures of all the tree’s but, the one’s I thought were worth taking a picture of.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Winter Projects

11/30/2014

It’s been awhile since I have posted but I have been enjoying reading everyone’s post. It’s hard to slow down during the winter months while the bonsai are sleeping.

However, I have been staying busy. Trying to gain knowledge, reading about techniques and working on bonsai display stands.

Here are the ones that I have and am still working on recently.

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The one on the left is much less traditional. I tried to replicate a vintage factory cart. It has been hard to find small parts to mimic the much larger versions. I think it might look interesting with a rugged yamadori spruce or pine.  What do you think?

The ‘Helix Root’ Limber Pine Styling-

michael hagedorn

Until a couple of years ago, I’d never worked with Limber Pine, one of our North American white pines. It’s growing on me. Buds back well, nice short needle, strong. Has a nice name, Limber Pine, which comes more trippingly off the tongue than Loblolly Pine, for instance. And it has great deadwood features.

This Limber Pine was styled in a Seasonal Workshop a couple of weeks ago. It was collected by a student of mine, Steve Varland of Backcountry Bonsai, who was able to be in the Seasonal to help style it. Loads of fun!

Photo essay follows our journey with this tree-

DSC_0267 Limber Pine from one side…

DSC_0270 …and from the other side.

DSC_0271 And a couple of shots of the base, with the ‘helix’ roots.

DSC_0273 Other side.

DSC_0300 We discovered that a large area of the trunk was dead. That is, not obviously dead. We might call it ‘pre-shari’…

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Sept RMBS Workshop

9/20/2014

Spent a wonderful morning at Allen Hills home for the RMBS Sept workshop. He has so many impressive bonsai along with a lot of stock planted for the future.

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Love this ponderosa-

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However, my job for the day, my little shimpaku.

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I want to reduce the hight of this bad boy by splitting the top of the trunk at the Y towards the top. Then, bring all of the foliage in and, reduce the foliage for a fresh start in spring. It was nice to have Will Kerns come by to discuss my process with me. I knew what I wanted to do but his words of wisdome gave me the confidence.

Thanks Will!

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Much of the branches have a lot more character. The Y in the trunk has been split and bent over. A new apex has been created off to the right and will probably be worked over to the left in the future. The bottom right branch that comes left is actually a second trunk. It will either get jined, removed or worked in in the future. Once the rafia is removed from the split section of the trunk, I should have some deadwood to work with on this young shimpaku adding a little more age appearence to it. For now, it’s R&R for this guy. more work to be done in the future.

 

Please leave feedback. I would like to hear ideas. Thanks

$10 juniper

My wife and I were strolling through the local garden center early this summer. I came across this upright juniper wedged between all of the summer stock. Starving for a ray of sunlight, and looking pretty shabby, I asked if I could get a discount. $10 bucks was the price and I gladly accepted.

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I removed all dead, yellow and dying branches from the tree and wired all of the primary branches.

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I also cut down the pot about an inch and raked away all of the old top soil. And created a dead tip on the top of the main trunk. The second trunk will be pulled over to creat some movement and to allow the viewer to see the outline in the background.

This last weekend I finished wiring secondary branching, created a bit of Jin that will be extended later. I also removed a bit more of the old top soil and used a chopstick to aerate the soil. The second smaller trunk was also cut shorter than primary trunk.

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Special thanks to Michael Hegedorn
http://crataegus.com

Summer boredom

8-27-2014

So with the lack of education this summer my boys almost constantly complained they were bored. Hmmm, they complain when their in school and they complain when their not; yep, I remember those days.
Finally I decided I would get them started on a project. I went down to the local pottery store, picked up some clay, a few tools and ran home to educate myself on YouTube.

Allowing the kids to make pots would serve to purposes, (I’d hoped). We could learn to make bonsai pots and they would stay busy and I could get some real work done. Right?

Well, it worked! For two days anyway. The boys actually worked very hard and, had fun too. After I got off I joined them. We made several pots and with help from a local pottery we were able to bisque fire them, glaze and cone fire. Keep in mind the only experience the boys and I have were the ashtrays, wait, I made an ashtray in school however, these days the boys made bowls. Ashtrays are no longer socially acceptable. Lol
Anyway, below is a picture of the results. Nothing to impressive but I will certainly put trees and accents in these pots. I think I may even try again. Hope you enjoy.

We have a few more pots that are waiting to be bisque fired. If you or your children are board during the winter months, pacing the house waiting for the first signs of spring. You may want to give this a try. It’s very inexpensive for the basics. However, I’ll leave the professional stuff to the professionals.

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