Sunday, September 27, 2009

2 Friends + 2 trees = Good Times

This was a planned project; My best friend Aaron and I planned to work on 2 trees one evening, and have a ‘sculpting’ night with trees instead of just making bonsai pots.   I picked up 2 Dwarf Japanese Juniper plants, (or Juniperus Procumbens ‘nana’ for those who also desire species knowledge.) from one of my more favorite nurseries to haunt.   

We each got a tree – mine was more directional and ‘whispy’, it would need a lot of removal and vision to make use of some of the branches it came with.  Aarons on the other hand looked really bushy; but underneath it held a few firm, good branches to work off of to build pads.

While we did not discuss this beforehand – in hindsight I can see immediately that we each picked the same style, but different ‘method’ of presentation.  We both created an ‘Informal’ tree – that is, a tree that goes up, but has bends in it’s main trunk, and is not straight from ground to apex.   However, I went with a ‘Far’ view of the tree, while Aaron created a ‘near’ view of his tree.   I believe that we internally arrived at these decisions based on the material, and also the ‘vision’ we each inferred from our little trees.  This I found interesting in itself – as this was Aaron’s first real ‘tree sculpting’ (and first time I ever guided anyone through the process), yet we both came out with some interesting creations.

Take a look!

Aaron’s 1st Bonsai sculpting – Informal Bonsai ‘Near’ view

This is what he started with, after cleaning all the dead material off and getting it 'cleaned’ and ready for action.


Rotated it slightly to find it’s front, and this is after branch removal, wiring, and some pad work.


All cleaned up, final trims and pinches done.



A view from higher up, you can see the pads already nicely formed – I think Aaron’s done a great job on his first tree sculpting.

JayVee’s Informal Juniper #4 – ‘Far’ View

Here’s what I started with; alot of motion in the main trunk, with many branches to work on (and remove – too ‘sticky’)


I found it’s front, and moved many branches around.  Looking to form a broad crown, from left to right with the apex in the current ‘center’ of the tree.  Lots of shari to create on this one!


Shari worked in, nothing too eye boggling for now.  I have a good vision for this little tree, it’s going to have a ‘Far’ view – that is, seen better from a few feet away and thought of as seen from a ‘distance’ than right up under it’s branches.  In time, it will look good from anywhere..  :)


View from the left rear angle; Here you can see the trunk motion a bit better; very angled with ‘masculine’ features in this already masculine species.  I’ll be making a rectangle pot with strong features to put this little Juniper into next spring!

It was a great evening; hanging out with my best friend since childhood, working on trees and teaching the little knowledge I’m ‘sure’ of so far into my Bonsai experience.  Good times..   :)
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