Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spruce Yamadori first syling

After a long wait finally it was time for the first styling of my Spruce. It is a yamadori that was collected by me (OK not completely by myself, bcs of the size with the help of a friend Matija). Start working on such tree is a special moment for me. The tree deserves respect and to really enjoy working on it you have to take the needed time, you want to have peace, not be under any pressure and of course be in the right feeling.

Spruce (Abies Picea) - after collecting

At this stage my goal was just the first rough design with minimal stress for the tree. Therefore I left on the tree much more branches and foliage that won’t be needed in the final image. I also didn’t make any fine wiring of the small branches.

Spruce (Abies Picea) - before the styling

Before and during the work I devoted a lot of time to analyze the tree and key problem of this tree, which is on the other hand also one of the most interesting parts of the tree, is the natural deadwood top. The upper third of the tree died in nature a long time ago and over time nature shaped the dry wood, which is now a very interesting element, but at the same time it is a serious nightmare. The upper third of the tree is completely without any branch, no green mass, nothing. The possibility to style a classic straight spruce based on the “struck by lightning” principle would be easy to do, but I decided to go for another possibility. The idea is that the interesting deadwood natural top will be included in the design but the strongest branch on the back side of the tree will be gradually bend up will be developed in a new, living top, which will complement the natural, deadwood top.

Natural dead top

Another challenge is the mighty old trunk, which is entirely straight without any movement. In fact, this is not a problem, but it is necessary to take into account in the analysis, as this can be something that can affect the final image and can be a very uninteresting element. One way to eliminate straight lines that are not desirable is to create a more dynamic, non-linear crown, which covers the straight trunk, and to style the sharis and jins in the way to add movement. In this case this is my plan but at this stage the branches unfortunately are not long enough so it’s just not possible.

The third challenge is the very thick branches. Because over them there were no other branches and therefore enough space and plenty of light (due to the dead top) they began to grow, as is usual for the spruce, straight up. For this problem at the time and the existing level of my knowledge, I have not found a better solution than bending of the main branches and to cover the most problematic areas with use of small secondary branches.

Spruce (Abies Picea) - after first styling

And this is the current result. At this stage as already mentioned just a very rough shape, which indicates the direction but is still far from the final, desired image. The following development will be focused in the development of the crown, which will over time come much closer to the front of the tree and cover some parts of the trunk. The left side of the crown will be longer, the right side will have more empty spaces. The right upper part of the foliage will be less of a mirror image of the left side as it is now. And of course all the deadwood, all the jins all sharis will be designed in a way that will add dynamics.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Prunus Mahaleb - first step and future vision

Prunus Mahaleb have very nice characteristics for bonsai trees. The trunks usually have lots of movement and interesting dead wood so they offer a lot of different design possibilities. The bark is rough, the leaves are small and next to all this they have beautiful white flowers in spring. The white flowers are like a gentle contrast to the overall rough image of the tree. 

I collected this tree last spring with a great root ball. After one year in the training pot the tree showed enormous health and was very strong, so I decided to make the first styling this spring. The goal was to make the basic branch selection and position the primary branches.

Prunus Mahaleb 02-2012 - before styling

Prunus Mahaleb 06-2012 - before defoliation

A couple months after the first styling I defoliated the whole tree, removed the old wire and wired the whole tree one more time. The nice thing about defoliation is that you get the possibility to develop two development phases in one season. So next to the primary branch structure the secondary branch structure was developed, rewired and put in position. 

Unfortunately, I was pretty clumsy and completely broke off the first right branch. The branch has broken off because I just wired the secondary branches, the primary branch that broke of was not wired, bcs. I intended to position it closer to the trunk with wire tensioning. Since the primary branch had no support with extra wire in the area where it grows out of the trunk, it broke off right at the connection point with the trunk. Lesson learned. I'll never ever tension branches without the support of extra wire to the trunk. 

Prunus Mahaleb 07-2012 - After styling and defoliation

The tree responded nice after the defoliation and in a couple of weeks new leaves and the secondary branches had grown. I'm quite happy with the result at this stage, of course it would be much nicer if the branch would not be broken off. Lesson is learned in the hard way and the branch is gone, so the only possibility that's left is to develop a new one.

Now it is time to leave the tree to rest and make future development plans for the next season. My vision of the future development is going in this direction.

Current stage and future vision

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pinus Mugo Yamadori

This spring I got lucky and one more promising tree joined my collection. Its a Pinus Mugo yamadori which is one of my favourite trees in my garden. Its the kind of material which sucks you in and occupies your brain again and again...

Pinus Mugo - Yamadori

It seams that the tree feels good in the new environment, that it is healthy, so the plan is to keep it that way, to leave it in peace with proper care for a while and when the signs of health and strength will be there I will start to work on it. Until than there will be a lot of brainstorming and developing of the future vision.  

Natural deadwood 
Pinus Mugo - Yamadori

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Prunus Mahaleb - Yamadori

This Prunus Mahaleb is one of the trees that joined my collection this year. It is a very interesting tree with lots of different design possibilities, just the way I like it.

Prunus Mahaleb yamadori 

Prunus Mahaleb yamadori - other side

Prunus Mahaleb yamadori closer view of the trunk and base

Closer view of the trunk from the other side

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pinus Mugo Yamadori

This season some new trees joined my collection. One of them is this Pinus Mugo, for now it looks healthy and in good condition so I will take really good care of the tree to assure it stays this way.

Pinus Mugo Yamadori 

Details of the natural dead wood

Some additional details

Styling by nature

Some of the other trees will be posted in the next days.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Before and after package

In the last months I worked on some Junipers and finally I found the time to write a post. First chronologically the most fresh styling. This Juniper started his bonsai career three years ago as a collected urban yamadori. In these three years many bonsai artists left their mark on this tree. The first styling was done in a school session with Ivo Saporiti and Mauro Fregara, then in the next school session I worked on this tree under guidelines of Enrico Savini and at the end with our bonsai group of Tora. We discussed several ideas and different aspects that created the today's image of the tree.

Juniperus Chinesis - 2012-06

At its beginning the Juniper looked quite different and if we continue at a similar pace I think it will eventually become a nice, decent tree.

Juniperus Chinesis - 2009 - 11

Before that Tomaz Rozina trusted me his Juniper for a styling. I realy enjoyed working on this tree with the greatest pleasure. It’s a very small and interesting Juniper so within hours the first makeover was complete and I think that the little Juniper has a nice future as a good, small, dramatic tree. Tomaz thanks for letting me work on the tree.

Tomažs  Juniper before the stlying 

Tomažs Juniper after the styling

Chronologically before that I was able to get a small Juniper from Rajko. The tree was devoted for his classes with students, but since Rajko is a good guy and I had to practice for the NTC I could work on the tree. Next to the tree I got the evaluation of my work, comments t of the transformation, his critical guidance and advices for improvement. Great. In the end it got even better bcs. the tree got a new owner, my Vesna.

Juniper before styling

Juniper after styling

These trees all together fit in a period before and after these years EBA and NTC competition and as the trees improved and changed before and after, the relations whit bonsai friends improved in this before and after period. 

In some way all of our club members helped me with my preparations for NTC. Tomaž devoted lot of his time for my preparation, generously shared his knowledge, I was present at all his demonstrations, where I could practice and learn... Rajko deprive one of his student for a tree and gave me a lot of useful tips and knowledge, Blaž resigned his working table, .... Matej brought an arsenal of bonsai magazines.... Janez lent literature and openly commented on each styling I made ... Tomaž resigned his juniper and allowed me to shape it, .... many members of the Slovenian bonsai club and other bonsai friends left his mark on this season in their own way ....we all developed in our own way as did out trees and all this together means a lot to me. It will mean a lot after as it did before.

That's it, simply and honest!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EBA 2012

The European Convention, which was organized by the Slovenian bonsai club is over. The feelings are mixed, but at the end of the day it is important to pick up the positive things, learn something from that, make common conclusion and move on.

The event as such was successful in all aspects. More than 1,000 visitors came to the exhibition with 90 trees from 11 European countries. The majority of the visitors and participants went home satisfied. The demonstrators worked for two days almost full time on stage and shared their knowledge with the public. They created some really amazing trees, which will eventually become good bonsai.

Prva nagrada EBA 2012 - Juniperus Itoigawa by Gino Costa 

EBA 2012 Award of Merit - Juniperus Itoigawa by Nik Rozman

EBA 2012 Award of Merit - Pinus Parviflora by David Busai
EBA 2012 Award of Merit -
Chamaecyparis Malus by  Ruud Simons

EBA 2012 Award of Merit - Fagus Sylvatica by 

Celtis Sinesis by Rajko Podgornik Reš

Pinus Pentaphylla by Tomaž Hafner

Juniperus Chinesis Itoigawa by Tomaž Kovšca

Fagus Sylvatica by Aleš Zavodnik

Rhododendron Indicium by Nik Rozman

Juniperus Procumbens Nana
by Roland Petek

Chamaecyparis Pisifera Bulevard by Roland Petek

Ginkgo Biloba by Tomaž Hafner

Pinus Parviflora Kokonoe by Sandor Papp

Olea Europeaea by Andrea Brasini

Taxus Cuspidata by Giorgio Castagneri

Taxus Cuspidata by Luigi Maggioni

Creategus by Tony Tickle

Juniperus Itoigawa by Gardini Ettore

Quercus Ilex by Fabrizio Petruzzello

Pinus Thunbergii by Mario Pavone

Juniperus Itoigawa by Andreay Koos & Eve Koosne Lelkes

Olea Europaea by Luca Bragazzi

Pinus Sylvestris by Baudouin Delorgeril

Pinus Sylvestris by Baudouin Delorgeril

Juniperus Formosana by Josef Valuch

Fagus Sylvatica by Vaclav Novak

Pinus Syvestris by Jan Bučil

Taxus Cuspidata by Walter Schreiner

Pinus Mugo by Herbert Aigner

Larix Decidua by Karl Thier

Juniperus Chinensis - Clemens Marso

Pinus Perviflora by Jeffrevan de Pol

Rhododendron Indiciium by Casper Den Ouden

All in one it was good. In two days I intensely experienced expectations, joy, tension, nervousness, disappointment, sadness, fun, joy, excitement and tiredness but in the end only satisfaction remained. My main conclusion at the end of this event is as follows. At the end of such days only one thing matters - Bonsai. Everything else is not important; everything else is juts irrelevant ballast and a barrier for what it’s all about: "How to create good bonsai, make true friendships and have fun."