Author Topic: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai  (Read 25050 times)

Larry Gockley

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #75 on: December 24, 2013, 11:55 AM »
You're right John, only once. THAT'S funny!
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #76 on: December 24, 2013, 01:51 PM »
The impossible.

Of course. But there are other educational and entertaining ways better suited. I find Ryan Neil and Walter Pall critiques to be very edutaining.

We can not kill all our soldiers, then expect them to show up for battle.
 

Joshua Hanzman

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« Reply #77 on: December 24, 2013, 04:48 PM »
What happened to helping Joshua Hanzman haha, i got an idea! Lets have a competition, i recently was reading a neighboring clubs itinerary and they had a competition called style a juni or something and i thought why don't we do that too!? I'm sure its been done before but nevertheless it would be a good way to get some practice and constructive criticism! Everyone gets a >30 dollar tree, nursery juniper stock definitely comes to mind as the best potential... We all then take before and after pictures and we vote and deconstruct what was best overall, what worked, what didn't etc... Who's down to do this? comeeeeonnnn veterans, show us noobs how this bonsai magic gets made  ;)

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John Kirby

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #78 on: December 24, 2013, 05:32 PM »
You want to do instant bonsai in 2d?  And the point is? Over the last year and a half I have given away at least two hundred junipers that were started from cuttings in the last ten years. I usually teach how to make, what Jim Gremel calls, Yamadori in a pot. The point is you wire, you crush, you grow on. You wire, you crush, you grow on and in 8-10 years you have an interesting tree. Taking a crappy piece of big box nursery material and making a crappy bonsai, doesn't that kind of run counter to the conversation in this thread, or am I missing the irony here?
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #79 on: December 24, 2013, 06:07 PM »
OK, getting back to your original plea, help to expand your knowledge. IMO, the path to bonsai knowledge is, in order of priority:
                           1- Help from local club members
                           2- personal experience
                           3-books  ( mostly for inspiration)
                           4-study web sites - ( evergreengardenworks, bonsai4me, Colon Lewis, etc.,etc.
                           5-on-line sites such as BSG
Priority chosen because up close and personal info is the best. Not only from club members, but the clubs I go to have very good visiting artists to get some one - on - one instruction. That's pretty much it. If it were easy , everyone would do it. To paraphrase Robert Steven, it's not the destination, but the journey we love.
 

coh

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2013, 06:14 PM »

Guess I can't stay away  ;D.  John, I completely agree with you on most of those points.  Workshop material is often purchased at a price that is not in line with a quality final product.  This is a problem.  I spend more time talking about how to care for the species and what the next steps are in that case.  It's a tough biz.  I have time and again promoted the idea of longer demonstrations or less raw trees.  I'd take a day or more for most demo trees I'm presented with.  Having to entertain and educated while styling a tree is also complicated.  I like what a lot of the Europeans are doing; a weekend is devoted to the tree and people come and go.  The Mid-Atlantic Show is a step in the right direction as they leave the professional alone for a few hours after the introduction and some work.  Then the tree's design is explained later.  Much better. 


I attended the MABS a couple of years ago (the "headliners" were Mitsuya/Shaner/Tolley, I think it was 2011) and was impressed with the approach used. There was the standard 2 or so hour demo, but the artist wasn't expected to finish the tree during that time. Instead, they took it to a certain point and then went off to continue working in another room while the next presentation was occurring. Participants were free to wander from room to room observing. Often there were only 5-10 people at these "after" sessions, so you could get up close to observe techniques and ask questions.

I don't know the economics of such an approach (how much would it cost a typical club to run something like this, for example) but it was a nice change from the standard, do it all in 2 hours demo that I see.

Chris
 

Joshua Hanzman

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« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2013, 07:24 PM »
If 2-d is the problem than why not just take a short video, problem solved. And the endless supply of junipers at the whole salers near me really do look like yamadori in a pot, good movement.

But np, don't do it if you don't want to, me, I'll use any excuse to style a tree. I mean come on, I'm answering on Christmas eve :/

I'll style my junipers then, i just ask that you give me constructive criticism instead of simply pointing out the irony of my naivete, the irony of my naivety should be a given on a website that answers thousands of posts from people who think your wrong about their indoor juniper needing sunlight and water...

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Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2013, 08:35 PM »
There is really nothing one can't learn through observation. But one must be disciplined to observe.

Trial and error go a long way. Coupled with internet, (no time for a club), observing trees, and Bonsai trees. 2D.

The trees do tell you what they want. Then you write the story for it in the display. If a fault can be explained in the story, it is no longer a fault.

Imagination. Creativity. Telling without talking. Amazing the viewer. Smelling an abundance of flowers, when there is one mere accent.
Seeing the blood of a raptors last meal in the top jin without it being there. Seeing yourself scurrying up the limbs of an old park tree. Feeling the shortness of breath that crisp timberline air brings. Hearing frogs near a cypress. Knowing lightening was there, thinking when, feeling the flash flood through the desert valley. Living the solstice. Dating the Shari. Fall. Winter.shade. cicadas, a dark forest, a pine forest where you feel stalked by the local big cat. 

   If you attempt to convey these feelings, instead of "making a Bonsai", you will make a successful Bonsai.

The rest is 3 seasons of horticulture. Book knowledge.

Not discrediting any Pro Bonsai Instructors. You have the discipline. That deserves the respect. And the living.

I'm with the challenge if it is ok I use that boxwood in Big box buys. But only understanding it does go against the point. But learning is learning and fun is as naive as a 3 year old child!





 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re:
« Reply #83 on: December 24, 2013, 09:13 PM »
Ok cool, so be it, I'll use an urban yamadori box wood that's been in a pot for four years ok? Just kidding, under thirty bucks, any species, any size, any style, constructive criticism is welcome, deconstructive cynicism is not

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John Kirby

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #84 on: December 25, 2013, 10:01 AM »
Go get em, I will try to curb my cynicism.
 

Joshua Hanzman

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« Reply #85 on: December 25, 2013, 07:15 PM »
Haha thanks John, that's all i ask, understand that us noobs just want some hands on wiring and choosing the best front, i think of it like, my clumsy wiring and inexperience as to maximum bending capacity may cost me a tree, but why have that be a nice expensive piece of pre bonsai stock instead of three for thirty Chinese junipers that i have easy access to? I'm still learning to wire and style a tree, no matter what tree it is.

At least give me feedback on my wiring strategy...

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Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #86 on: December 25, 2013, 08:11 PM »
I think its funny, cuz some, or most of the comments match Kermits look of "wtf"!

 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #87 on: December 26, 2013, 08:16 PM »
ok so I spent a few of the late hours yesterday and most of today styling this tree, this is the before pics and then I'll post the after, unfortunately I only have one before, but luckily it's a good one. I'll tell you my strategy for the tree and please tell me where I'm wrong, what I did right...

I remember buying this tree and liking the semi circle movement midway through the trunk, however, when I felt the strength of the trunk, I realized I had to use some advanced techniques to make this tree what I wanted out of it. So yesterday I attempted this technique-

I carved out all the wood from a shari I had made pre viously, after hollowing I placed two 6 mm aluminum wires inside the hollowed out trunk, then I placed wire along the outside of the trunk, and wrapped that with vet tape, then wrapped that in electric tape, then wired normally with 3 5mm wire. I then attached a guy wire and used an irwin clamp, which gives me similar action to a masakuni clamp (anyone else use these irwin clamps? it worked out good imho, here is the one I used- http://www.irwin.com/tools/clamps/one-handed-mini-bar-clamps ). after making this bend, I then chose the front I liked, I did then because I could not imagine how much I would be able to move the trunk, so I didn't pick a front until after this bend. Then I slept, and today I wired up the rest of the tree. Idk what kind of style to cal this, I guess it's an informal upright.

Bottom line, It was so much fun to do this, I would/am gonna do this again real soon! Please give me feedback on the strategy I mentioned above and in general what you think of my choice of front/ strategy.

 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #88 on: December 26, 2013, 09:11 PM »
ok, so here are the after photos, I'm also trying out my new camera (CANON EOS M), so I'm just having a good time all over the place, I love christmas :)

Please let me know what you liked/don't like about the styling, the front, photography,  or anything else related to this tree. And thank you all so much for your continued help, I really appreciate everyone here who helps me when I ask stupid noobish questions...

Sorce, did you start any bonsai work yet!? what do you have in mind for your boxwood? post pictures so we can see it before you do any work...
 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #89 on: December 26, 2013, 09:14 PM »
few more pics...

Where do you think the best front is? I tried to style this tree with a 360 degree view, but I do not thinkk I accomplished it at all, was much harder than I thought it would be...