Presentation > Bonsai Stand Discussion

Choosing a shoku

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Irene, I will try to include some photo's of what designates some of the more easy to determine styles. This is by no means a really conclusive list nor does it mean that just by includeing the appropriate stand your display will win. It will go along ways towards keeping points being deducted and that may be all that is necessary.

In a artist profile done a few years back at AoB I talked about the need to improve how we choose the right table for a tree and the need to get it tree appropriate. I think we are moving in that direction as I see tree table matches improve every year.

First the Japanese stand. Mostly subdued and simple. Feet will usually turn outwards. Like bonsai pots, stands started in China. Japan took off with the idea and improved as well as simplified the lines. Sometimes  Japanese stands will carry a sumari or fuedal flavor which can be very powerful with the right tree.

Most antique stands were Chinese or Japanese writing tables. Much like the small plastic table we give our kids while sick in bed to take their supper. Japanese children would sit on the floor and place this writing desk over their legs to study. Many of the tables became bonsai stands from necessity since they did not have tree specific tables. Many would just cut the legs down to make a lower table.

The Chinese stand will have more inturned legs. The table will have carving or lace effects or carved designs. High polish on the finish will make the stand more "in your face" at a display.

Freeform stands do not have any real qualifiers as to country of origin. They allow a little freedom of expression and can really allow plants to shine when the table is done right.

A formal type stand will be of such simplistic ideals and smooth lines. It will have very rigid lines and square corners. It will be the stand that goes unoticed in the display. It is there for only one purpose...To give a solid platform for admiring all the tree has to show.

The informal stand will have soft curving legs and unlike the masculinity of the formal stand the informal stand will have an air of femininity.


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