Author Topic: Penjing - More information needed  (Read 4107 times)

DorianJF

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Penjing - More information needed
« on: January 12, 2015, 11:12 AM »
Hi All.

I just recently got back from holiday where I did some rock collecting to make a penjing Landscape bonsai.  But reading though another post I read the following.

"Penjing rocks are very rare, and must have a certain character for use in Landscape Penjing.
See youtube for the Chinese work, those rocks are well selected and must cost a great deal."

So I would like to find out some more information about this.

Are the following images Penjing Bonsai or as what would you class them as this is what I am setting out to achieve.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 12:42 PM »
Rocks, some are good, some are great, some are not so good.

The quote that the rocks have to be costly is hyperbole. It was likely made to point out that just any old rock will not do.

It is very possible to find useful rocks, but you may have to kick through quite a few, even hundreds in your search before you pick up "just the right one".

I frequently search along the lake shore of Lake Michigan, looking for "good rocks". Every now and then I find one. A worthy pursuit.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 12:50 PM »
Thanks Leo

I recently spent some time picking up a considerable amount of rocks whilst walking through the hills. I took 3 different shades of stone and will start planning my layout and start cutting some stones.

Now I need to get the Penjing pots
 

Anthony

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2015, 06:48 PM »
Dorian,

apologies, I did not mean to discourage.



first 5 minutes or so.
Apologies again.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Anthony

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 07:21 PM »
Dorian,

a simple tale from China for you. This is from the range of stones the Chinese call - Scholar stones.
They gain their value from contemplation and prior ownership.
The idea was to get a stone, which would draw the mind in, and allow the imagination to roam. Bringing inspiration to Calligraphy, Ink Painting or Poetry for example.
The ancient Chinese also loved the idea that someone of cultivation once owned certain objects.
[ apologies if you knew all of this and I am insulting your intelligence.]

Anyhow, a scholar had a stone so shaped that in the mind's eye, he could see, clouds and mist, in it's ranges, dragons would play in the caverns and bring rain to the numerous valleys below.
One day he fell asleep holding his favourite stone and dreamed himself into the landscape of the stone.

Walking amongst the trees and streams of cool water, he met a young lady, who just happened to be a princess.
They strolled through the meadows, and sat alongside brook of cheerfully bubbling water, engaged in pleasant conversation.
As twilight became night, with stars peaking out, anticpating the arrival of Chang E, with the moon rabbit, she asked him home to her castle.

They wondered amidst the beams of cool light, as a zephyr lifted her fine long, coal black hair. Her skin glowed with that touch of ivory, and within her garments of finest, soft silk, it seemed to him that she floated up the meandering steps to her home.

He spent days in joy and laughter, his princess was his all.

With time they married and she gave him two children, a boy and a girl. More time passed and he assumed the role of ruler of the land, a just and kindly ruler.

So many moons and warm sunny days went by, and he reached the ripe age of 50, when a man gains so much experience, that he is seen as a tower of wisdom. By his 60th birthday, his son took over the ruling of the country.
He retired to a small world with his princess, and great were their joys.

One day in his 90's, he was sitting with his family and a hot liquid fell from the roof.

Alas, a servant had spilled tea on his sleeve, and his dream had come to an end.

Enjoy.
Good Day
Anthony

* A Budcida spinosa about 23 years old
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 07:35 PM by Anthony »
 

DorianJF

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 12:40 AM »
Hi Anthony. Definitely not discouraged or intelligence insulted   

Thanks for all that information. It is really interesting and some amazing bonsai/penjing in the video.

I started this post as I would like as much information on Penjing as possible. One thing that I have noticed is that when looking for information on something on the net, for every one piece of info you find, you will find another that is totally against it.

Interesting to see more people's  view on this.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 02:41 AM »
So...

Looking at the first images I posted, it seems that it should actually be called Saikei.

Well Wiki says so.  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saikei
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 03:13 AM by DorianJF »
 

geoffhobson

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2015, 04:51 AM »
That is correct. They are saikei not bonsai not penjing. See this months Bonsai Focus for an article about Penjing in China.
Bonsai evolved from Penjing and is different but similar.
Saikei uses rocks and is a landscape. They did look good, are well made.
Usually the rocks are glued to the base to stop them from moving about.
I want to do one, but have not got around to it yet.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2015, 05:20 AM »
Thanks Geoff.

It is on my list of things to do.  I am trying to get the flat white pots now.

I am going to do one in the next week or two but with a shallow rim pot but I will post on that later.
 

geoffhobson

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2015, 06:25 AM »
I don't think the colour matters, the demo I saw used a deep Mica pot and it did look good. You can use a shallow tray, but it is a bit more restrictive. I have most of the bits I just have to find time to do it.
 

Anthony

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2015, 07:58 AM »
Dorian,

Chinese work tends to be a bit more on the Intellectual side, and you might find some deep reading more beneficial.
The white containers are carved marble and you can also try white cement mixes.
The Chinese love plays on words and images.
My grandfather used to love to tease us with ideas.
Good Day
Anthony
 

DorianJF

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2015, 08:01 AM »
Thanks Anthony I will definitely look into that.

I never thought of making my own pot with cement.  Mmmmmmm.  Now the brain is really starting to work.
 

Anthony

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2015, 08:07 AM »
Dorian,

you can use poly fibres chopped up to strenthen your mix. Just lightly sand anything that sticks out.
There are concrete mixes that are porous and non-porous.
Cement colours are purer in white cement, gray works well on dark colours, modifies nicely.
Good Day
Anthony
 

J.Kent

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2015, 10:21 AM »
You are all trying to put very specific labels on things.  There's a LOT of overlap in the definitions of Penjing, bonsai and saikei.  All three can be designed around rocks/stones.  Or not.  All three can be one tree or several. 

Landscape penjing and saikei are designed around rocks.  The rocks are -- in general -- much more important than the trees.  Few of the rocks pictured here earlier, are suitable for these kinds of plantings.

Landscape bonsai may have rocks in them, but the rocks are secondary to the overall composition; or, there may be no rocks as in a forest planting depicting a distant view of many trees.

In MY opinion, westerners are ill equipped to attempt to create/imitate a Chinese penjing landscape.  We need to concentrate on designing landscapes WE are familiar with
 

Anthony

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Re: Penjing - More information needed
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2015, 10:49 AM »
J.Kent,

this is why I suggested that Dorian, read up, and then his mind will evolve the ideas to where he lives.
The rocks he looks for will be backyard stuff [ most likely ] and so will the landscape.

As an example, our version would be mud with moss [ as grass ] and suggestions of sea. No real example of stone, save for the area up in the North East where the seas have eroded our elevated, normally lower depth igneous base.

Mind you we have found sources of Scholar stones similar to the Lake Tai Wu stuff and the wax stones, with figure suggestive mudstones. More than enough for us to search for, once in awhile.
Good Day
Anthony