Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Progressions: Rocky Mountain Juniper #4

This old RMJ was found in the back of Natures Way in Spring 2010, during Woodstock III.
The tree is perhaps 350 years old, and has very straight V-shaped twin trunks, so some thought was given to what styling possibilities could be turned into reality.
Peter Adams suggested the trunk on the right be removed. Different planting angles were also sketched.

The suggested trunk was removed, and some carving done to make the resulting jin look natural.
Still, the long almost-straight remaining trunk did not seem to express what the tree had to offer.

This year there was an infestation of Juniper Inchworms in my garden. These defoliated 3 of my RMJs, and killed a 4th. This RMJ lost maybe 40% of it's foliage.
Going over the tree in the studio I noticed an old borer entry hole which had been missed in 2010. Cleaning this out, the borer trail led past a back branch which had died, and up into the trunk which was removed! Luck was with us this time!

Here is the lower portion of the tree today...
As you can see, the lowest branch is quite a bit more sparse than in the original picture above.
I let my eyes and mind wander a bit, and the question emerged:

What if the lowest branch is grown out, and the remaining trunk is removed?

The lowest portion of the trunk has the live vein coming from underneath, and twisting up and around the large amount of deadwood. With several old jins and some sparse foliage, the power of this trunk would really speak to the struggle the tree has had.

A sketch was made to evaluate the idea:

Of course, the tree must be brought back to good health before any major work of this type is attempted. I think this might be possible in next several years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Working with Francios

Working with Francios Spent three days up at Chase Rosade's working on trees with Francios Jeker. M. Jeker is known for his carving techniques and held forth in classes and hands on about what to look for in carving jin and shari and the way to use tools. Very informative and a good three days. I brought up three trees to work on, my Blue Moss Cypress, my San Jose Juniper and my little Japanese White Pine. There was a lot of using hand tools, carving knives and wire brushes to prepare the wood. He believes you should let the wood age one or two years before you put any Lime Sulpher on the work. On my Blue Moss, he liked my idea of jin and shari on the bottom branch but that was all he wanted to do on it. He wants me to wire and shorten the right side while allowing the left more freedom. He also wanted me to round the top.
I will wire and shorten in the Spring since I had wired the tree in April and taken the wire off last week in preparation for this class. My San Jose Juniper got most of his work, using a dremel with a neat looking bit on my shari which runs nearly the lenght of the trunk. It looks 100% better and I am really happy with it. And I got to sit and use the dremel on the trunk with him directing me which was fun.
He liked my little white pine the best and just chewed on the trunk with a carving tool to expose the wood. He was complimentary of the design and I was truly flattered. He also teased me about the "pot" it is in by Cuisinart. :-) I will try to add a finished photo later.
Like many bonsai people, Jeker likes to draw illustrations of what he envisions the final tree to be but he uses Caligraphy brushes and he is really quick and they look good. When I try, they come out like stick figures.
Last photo is of Francios working on my Juniper. You can't see it but he carves until the tree really smokes. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2K12 Fall: Early Colors to Enjoy!

...Thought I would post some lovely Fall colors from around my yard. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

BSSJ October 2K12 Bar-B-Q (Courtesy of TommyD!)

Tom D. outdid himself! He hosted a tasty club Bar-B-Q event at his private residence.
Weather was balmy, the attendees were glad to be there, and there was a backdrop of bonsai on display. Everyone brought food, in addition to what Tom and Rose provided, and this made for many tasty combinations.

Plenty of deserts too..(I had 2 brownies...couldn't resist!).

A warm THANKS! to Tom and Rose D. for their hospitality!