Welcome to All in One Bonsai

Bitten by the Bug


Welcome to All in One Bonsai...a blog that aims to remind me of what I have forgotten. Over the years I have been finding out as much as I can about the art of bonsai. I hope the information in this blog will shed some light to the beginning bonsai enthusiast out there.


I saw some bonsai trees at a corner market one night in Taipei and asked the guy if he was willing to teach me how to create these miniature trees. He directed me to a night school where all the instruction was in Chinese. My Chinese ability is very ordinary at the least so although I was learning bits and pieces, I really wasn't getting all I wanted from the course. The best parts were when the teacher would start pruning a beautiful tree or when he showed us how to repot a bonsai. The mystery was still out there but my interest wasn't waning, if anything it fueled my motivation to find out more. And so I did.


Let the adventure begin...


Recently I have discovered the joy of pottery. Bonsai and pottery are close friends so it was only a matter of time before I was introduced to her. Welcome to All in One Bonsai...and pottery.


Feel free to visit my site where you can purchase some of my handmade pottery. Quite a few pieces have been wood fired as it is the prefered method here in Taiwan:

AllinoneCeramics



Saturday, 19 April 2014

Just Around the Corner

A Nice Surprise

One of the best things about living in Taiwan is the opportunity to see something different or new just around the corner from where you live.  There are 23 million people living in Taiwan so new shops selling all sorts of items that you 'must have' are scattered walking distance throughout the city.  There are coffee shops that seem to pop up in lane ways, and there are little stores that sells specialized pieces like boxes ranging from the size of your thumb to the size of your bed.  It is the land of convenience! 

As Annie and I were enjoying a Saturday scooter ride around our neighbourhood, we turned a corner to escape a busy road and BANG, we found some old bonsai pots being sold by a friendly Taiwanese man in front of his apartment.  

He sold me 9 pots for the equivalent of $3 Australian dollars each.  Thank you very much.  I will put them to good use!  

We bought some smaller pots and a few larger ones. The cargo was going to be a touch challenging bringing back to our apartment on our scooter.  Our man here whistled over to a friend of his across the street and asked him to drive his taxi loaded with our pots back home.  All for free of course!  We politely declined the offer as we were only 3 minutes away.  The Taiwanese heart is big.  

Getting down for a closer look.  I spy some old bonsai pot down there!
He tells me this one is an antique pot.  
This one was my favorite.  A Chinese poem painted on the outside.

I would love to know the history behind these pots.

A concrete pot with a dragon carved on the outside.

A hexagonal mustard coloured pot.  A bamboo planting would look good in here.
As we were driving away our new friend yells out, "Come back and visit if you have any free time!"  
Amazing Taiwan!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

All Fired Up!

From Ashes to Ashes

Please enjoy some recent additions to my pottery collection.  All these pieces were wood fired in the hills of Yamingshan, Taiwan.  

A Japanese style tea bowl.

Height 8 cm.  Width 11 cm.

I was lucky with how the inside of the bowl turned out.  When wood firing, luck does play a part.

A side look.  Weight 400 grams.

A look at the opposite side of the tea bowl.  This side ended up being a touch shinner.  

Important to make your mark!

I tried to make the bowl as asymmetrical as possible but still be balanced at the same time.

A different angle.

The close up of the colour result.  

An idea of the overall shape looking down.



This side happens to be my favourite.  I like the rough textured look.

Resting.

I decided to make some monks who are also best friends.

For each monk, I gave him my stamp.

The back side of these guys looked like rock.  That was the look I was hoping to achieve for the entire piece.  I wanted to look like these monks were carved out of granite.

Maybe they know something that we do not?  The more I look at this photo it looks like the big fella has been punched in the eye...and he is still happy!

A set of four tea cups.

Individual shots of each tea cup.  Each cup has similiar dimensions and weight.

Height 4 cm.

Width 6.5 cm.

Weight 75 grams.

Tea drinking is so important here in Taiwan.  All the locals seem to have their own tea cups.

Wood ash!

Once cooled these cups are totally safe to drink from.

Pairs of cups waiting to be used.

A quick look at the base.

A small bonsai pot.

Height 4.5 cm.  Width 6.5 cm.  Weight 100 grams.

Three legs.

A close up of the drainage holes and two smaller ones that will be used to secure the tree in the pot.

An oval bonsai pot.  I was pleased with how this one turned out.

A close up of the texture.

After firing, this pot developed a reddish glow in certain parts.

My Chinese name!

Length 15 cm.

Width 12 cm .  Height 2.5cm.  Weight 315 grams.

Another bonsai pot.  I tried to mark the pot to look like old bark.

Width 13.5 cm.

One drainage hole and four small holes which will be useful when securing a tree in this pot with bonsai wire.

Height 6.5 cm.

I would love to see an ancient tree living in this particular pot.  Maybe an old juniper tree?  Their bark tends to have reddish parts.  Nice match.

A view looking straight down.  Weight 400 grams.

The next few are of a flattish pot that would house a nice forest plantation of either maple, juniper or elm.

Maybe put cheese and crackers on it instead?

A view of the complete pot.

A close up of the lip.

Rough and ready.

One drainage hole and four smaller holes.  Length 27 cm.  Width at widest part 17 cm.  Weight 610 grams.

I made an old Japanese water bucket?

I plan to plant some small flowers in this one.

The middle part actually didn't hold during the firing.  It would have been better if it did but I can still use it to good effect.

A small drainage hole.  Height 13 cm.

Looking from above.  Weight 70 grams.

The last one I made is an incense burner.  Length 19 cm.  Width 6 cm.  Height 4.5 cm.  Weight 600 grams.

The idea goes that you put incense in the box and as it burns the smoke will travel out through the holes looking all misty.

The plan was to make this incense box look like old wood that had splintered.

This side didn't close that well.  I was not too happy with how the lid raised up a little during the firing.  I need to work out a solution for this.

Some close ups of the texture.

A smoke hole.

The whole clay incense box looked a little too glossy for me. If it was a touch duller and if the lid was a perfect fit I would have been a happy man. 

Signing off!

Thanks for taking the time to look at some of my new additions that now sit in my home.  I plan to plant trees in the bonsai pots in the future. It is now a matter of finding the perfect tree to compliment the pot or should it be the other way around?  It doesn't matter.  Until next time....