Sunday, November 2, 2014

BSSJ November Demo w/ Jim Doyle

Yesterday's weather was conducive to indoor activities, so BSSJ members obliged! Jim Doyle from Natures Way Nursery visited South Jersey, to demo initial styling on a nice Larch.
In spite of nasty November wind and rain, (18) Members turned out, listened, watched, and learned!
Here are some of the photos, showing the work progression, and the final result.

The tree was raffled off and the lucky winner was John Grisafi!

Jim then provided critical styling commentary on Members' trees...see photos.

Jim discussed some basics before beginning styling on this nice Larch. This tree is from Randy Knight's nursery, out in Oregon. It has been field-grown, and was brought into Natures Way Nursery in Spring of 2014...


The Larch is very healthy, so a lot can be done in this initial styling...


...finding a good 'front"...


"What if we take off this branch, which really does nothing for the style, and use the branches closer in?"
Jim puts a cover over the branch so all can visualize the tree with the branch removed...


...Yup...it came off! Another needs to come off as well, but can be used as a nice jin...


....doing some refinement on the remaining jin...

The foliage was trimmed up, and the whole tree wired. Jim then positioned branches in a way that shows off what the tree has to offer...




..this branch was positioned and held in place with a small guy wire. This will take a few years to take a set...


...sketching idea for the future of the tree, as it grows into it's new style...


...comparing the first styling to future development so everyone can visualize the tree's future look...





The Larch was then raffled off...and we have a winner!


John Grisafi is all smiles!


Jim then began critique of members' trees.

Tom DeSimone brought an Azalea root over rock. Jim suggested some minor changes with the branching, and opened the possibility of another "front"...


Jay Burton has a nice tropical with good movement.

Some judicious carving can improve this tree nicely!



Flex brought an Amur Maple with nice Nebari, and powerful trunk.

Jim suggested that the top half be removed, and new apex branching be developed at the cut.

This can happen any time the saw is sharp!


Doc Stone brought a nice Chinese Elm with beginnings of wonderful trunk features. This tree is beginning to bark up with a more mature Chinese Elm look.

Jim suggested improving the holes already started in the trunk, and making a number of new ones.

These holes should go deep into the trunk, creating shadow and mystery!


As can be seen, one can still find great buys in nurseries. 
Mike Dewoski brought this Boxwood from a nursery on the Black Horse Pike in south Jersey.

This tree has what looks like a nice twist to the trunk, and many developed branches. It should be thinned out, and some of the internal multi-branch "whorls" can then be addressed. The bark can be cleaned with a mild brass wire brush.


Andrew DuBrul brought this Pine. It has a nice base, lots of jin possibilities, but foliage which is far out on branches, away from the trunk.

Jim suggested several ways to mount it, including a cascade style, which can make good use of foliage way out at the end of branches...


...and here is the cascade....


Karen Smith brought a Trident Maple with nice nebari...



This Mugo pine from Joe Giangrasso seems to be a good starter tree to practice on, but has been in the nursery pot too long. The roots have started circling the inside of the pot, so will have to be removed in the Spring to preserve the tree's health.

This one can provide lots of technique practice!


Tom DeSimone brought this Pine. Jim suggested that it can benefit from removal of the lower left branch, and jinning it.

Additional deeper carving is needed on the shari running up the right side of the trunk, and the foliage pads can be compacted into nice pads....


Ton Kruegl brought an older semi-tropical...

Some of the foliage can be chased back to compact the tree more, but the basic style is set and needs little change!


Karen Smith brought this little Hinoki can benefit from a few more years' growth, to thicken up the trunk.

The straight left trunk can then be killed off, and jinned, while the right trunk, which has more movement, is then styled nicely..


Tom DeSomone had a Spruce, which can benefit from judicious wiring, to create more movement in the pads.

When next repotted, the mounting angle could be changed more to the left to improve the look of the tree.


John Grisafi had a Willow-Leaf Ficus, with a dead section at the trunk base, and very straight trunk...

Jim suggested splitting the trunk so it could be bent. Here the splitting has begun...


...and a "spirit" in the tree which had not previously been noticed....

Jim added some thin slices of cork to keep the trunk split.
The trunk was then bent, and a heavy guy wire was used to hold the new bend in the trunk.

This placed the branches in a nice way, so they can now be wired to create a nice small tree...
The owner will now have to wire out the branches, and do a little styling.

Most of the work falls to the tree, to grow out and fill on branches!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4th US National Bonsai Exposition, Rochester N.Y.

There are by now many Photos on blogs with shots from the National, so let's add to that number!

We arrived Thursday, and pulled all Natures Way items out of the travel van, and placed in the assigned booth. Friday was setup day, so with everything already there, setting everything in place was a breeze. This provided a little time in the afternoon to casually stroll the exhibit as it was being set up.

The new venue Bill Valavanis found is in East Rochester, in the Total Sports Experience building. Quite a different venue from 2012, which was in a poorly lighted quonset hut!
The display area was about twice the previous size. The vendor area was about 4 times the previous, as was the demo area. The lighting was extremely good, so every detail was clearly visible. This made shopping a breeze! The flooring was covered by artificial turf, so was pleasant to walk on and see...

Sara Rayner was there with more pots than I had ever seen her bring to any show! By the end of the show, she sold about 75%!
 Ron & Sharon Lang pulled in early Thursday, so I helped them unload. Some of the containers were fresh from the August Kiln Opening.

 Suthin had a stand just down from natures Way. Some very sweet little trees there!
 MC2 was there, just across the way from us, also with some extraordinary containers.

 John Bierley of Quiet Spirit Arts brought some harvested trees, and some he has been working for awhile. Loved the mascot! This received many interesting stares from the little children who escorted their parents...
 Natures Way had a great stand...something for everyone! And...it was right by the exit door, so we always had fresh air!
 Ross Adams of Nitju had very nice containers. This was the first time for Ross, so he received some good exposure to the national community...a very necessary thing.
 Another shot of Sara's stand...
Mike Pollock had a killer Spruce...can I take it home mama, please?
 Julian Adams had already set up Thursday, so was taking a well-deserved break...
 Suthin always has a smile for us...
 ...and so does our own Karen...
 ...who we interrupted while she was discussing collected yamadori with Andy Smith.
 Jim Doyle had a very nice tree in the show (an old Ginko) and several stones. Turns out he had to water them as well!
 "Jim...my shoes don't need to be watered!" Mike Pollock was a fellow student under Colin Lewis, my first teacher...
 Sean Smith of Harrisburg entered a tree which was a discussion point for the exhibition...
 Jim Gremel had a sweet cascade Atlas Cedar...

 These shohin were planted in Yusen pottery...extremely rare. The owner has received calls from Japan about them! Really beautiful artwork...

 This Yusen pot is about the size of a large thumbnail.
 A very nice shohin cascade Pine...
 These cranes were found in an antique shop...for $13!
 Brian Hollowell had a magnificent Rocky Mountain Juniper in the exhibit...it took one of the top prizes! And well deserved..the foliage was perfectly placed and properly wired. The pot was understated, and the color worked very well with the live veins and the deadwood.
Well Done Brian!!!!!

 One of Suthin's little Pines...
 Dave Knittle discussing display tables...he brought over (30) commissioned tables to the exhibit for use in the exhibit!
 Larry Jackel was there, all the way from Colorado. We had a great discussion on collected yamadori over a sumptuous Japanese dinner!
 My overall impression was that the National is showing the same jumps of progress and quality as Ginko did in Europe. Each successive show is better than the last, and the tree quality has improved dramatically.
The creativity of American bonsai artists is quickly catching up to the rest of the World!

Cheers...
Flex