Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Roof Goyo

Posted: February 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

This white pine has been living on the roof of Aichi-en since I have been here and is a piece I’ve always admired. It has good leaf, old bark and interesting movement. It is a tree that Mr Tanaka bent the trunk a long time ago, it was a hard bend for such a thick trunk (about 6cm). For some unknown reason the second trunk on died a year or so ago, strange as this trunk wasn’t bent hard (This is the crazy Jin near the base). It was unfortunate because as a twin trunk it was a little more unusual and unique. However these thing’s happen and we have to make the most of the material that it is now. It was re-potted into this terra cotta growing pot, has since gained strength and is now ready for a styling.

The old needles had already been pulled so I set about wiring the tree, bring branches down and making pads.

It’s wasn’t the easiest of tree’s being quite leggy and it has a long way to go to fill out but, hopefully in a little time it will be on its way to being a bonsai.


Bending with shari

Posted: October 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

A while back three collected tosho which had been grafted with itogawa shimpaku foliage came to the nursery. They came from a nursery not too far from here but, they had been commission grafted by Iura-San some time ago. 

They were sold as a group, at one price. They were only bought to sell as business tree’s to buy, style and sell quickly. 

All three tree’s were raw and it was a first styling they had since being grafted.

Two of the tree’s were chunky and were pretty much just a case of bring branches down and make pads. I did these first but, haven’t posted about them.

The third tree was of the least value being a more skinny bunjin. 

As you can see from the photo’s the material has some interest but, is rather boring especially in the middle section. 

My idea to in fact solve this issue was to bend the trunk down to compact the tree on the second looping bend. In normal circumstances with just a live vein and no dead would this would be simple but, this tree had thick deadwood and tosho/needle juniper wood to add. Tosho wood is hard, very hard, often tougher than collected shimpaku wood and this was no exception.

One option is to cut the dead wood, separate the live vein and hollow the live vein. It would then be very pliable and bend very easy. The only problem with this is there would surely be deadwood that would look unnatural, look like it has been touched by man, no matter what you did. What I decided do instead was to bend the whole trunk. Judging by the position & angles I estimated that it would be possible to bend without damaging the live vein significantly. The deadwood would either break or fray, either way it would look more natural.

I placed an iron bar through a gap near the base of the tree and used a wood block to help brace the metal bar against the shari. Using the iron bar gave me more length and leverage to bend the trunk, which really was needed with such hard wood.

I then used the largest steel jack (we have) to start bending.

The wood was tough but, the tree bent without much difficulty with the right setup. Here is a picture as it started to split.

Here the tree got quite far and the live vein started to split a little too but I still wanted it more compact.

I proceeded to bend more which put more stress on the live vein but the cracks were vertically with the live vein and not across so still safe and the tree would survive.  The wood frayed and pulled apart a little but, didn’t break. 

This was the final damage on the live vein after bending.

This was the final position of the trunk after bending, held in place with a stainless wire and screw.

Initially before bending I thought that the first picture was going to be the front side     because it would hide the straight section behind the trunk. However after bending I change my mind because ther is some interesting deadwood which can only be shown from the other side.

I re-angled the tree, tilting it forward and to the left, creating a half cascade and wired the branches. The tree is very raw still but now with the bones set it should grow into a decent chuhin in time.

The tree has in fact survived well and didn’t blink an eye to its styling. Out of the three now this would actually be the most valuable and I look forward to seeing it transplanted, to its new correct angle and a more appropriate pot.

Recently I was give a goyomatsu/white pine to wire for Meifu-ten baiten/sales area. White pine’s need a lot of wiring at the best of times, this was no exception and was certainly the most wiring I’ve had to do on a tree yet. I missed my planned time to finish the tree but, not by too much. I was pleased to get it done in the end.



I just hope that it finds a new owner at Meifu-ten this weekend.

Here we go again…

Posted: June 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Time has gone quickly and I’m at this moment, at the airport waiting for my 14-15 hour flight to Nagoya, Japan. I can’t say I’m a big fan of flying but, needs must and it’s certainly going to be worth it. 

It has felt like a stressful month or so, trying to sell my tree’s, relocating tree’s, organising everything and buying what I need for my departure. It will be nice to go back, work hard, learn some new stuff and just focus on doing some bonsai.
I’m looking forward to meeting Juan, who I believe will be my sempai (older apprentice/guide) and I hope we can be good friends. I’ve been told he’s very passionate about bonsai & very talented already which, sounds awesome and I’m sure we will hit it off. It will be nice also, to see my Oyakata and all the family again.
It is a strange feeling knowing that I will be away for potentially  5 years or at least 3 years, with only an occasional brief visit home. I imagine it would feel very alien to some people but, I have to say it is quite refreshing to me, experiencing other people’s culture. Though, I’m sure there will be moments when I miss home and the UK. I find it’s only when your away you really appreciate your country and feel most proud of it.
Finally I’d like to thank all who enquired/bought my tree’s for sale. I hope they do well/prosper and I look forward to seeing some of them again when I return. Any of the tree’s that are left are now relocated and not for sale.
I’d also like to thank all my friends/well wisher’s for their continued support and help. 
Also, a special thank you to all the friend’s who have offered to care for some of my tree’s, it is greatly appreciated.
Lastly a very special thank you to John Trott of Mendip Bonsai Studio. With out him this certainly would never of happened.
It is strange how life sends you on certain path’s and if someone had told me I would be doing this 5 years ago or even a year ago, I would have thought they were completely mad.
Thanks for reading.
Over and out, for now.