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



Wednesday, 29 October 2014

And on and on it goes...

Fire, Gas, Electric

I have been pottering around over the last few months making this and that.  I'm finding that I am putting off more and more things I should be doing in my real job so I can spend time squeezing clay.

  I have the feeling that because my current job has been a little stressful lately, when I get to play around with clay it becomes a welcome release.  I wonder if I didn't have a busy time at work, would I enjoy the clay as much?  My guess is probably not.  Bitter sweet comes to mind.  Sweet, sweet? 
                                                                          
Not as yet.

I had the chance to wood fire, gas fire and use the standard electric kiln for these pieces.  It is always a gamble what will come out of the wood fired kiln and in this case I'm on the fence.

A slab built vase.  Happy to announce NO LEAKS.
I have begun using a wheel lately.  It is a magical thing.  The trick is to get a good teacher and expect to fail miserably for the first 6 months.  Again this water bowl was wood fired in the same kiln.



I do like the change of colour. I tell myself it is the sun rising.

Mark your name in Chinese even if you are Australian!  For some reason I think it looks a little mystical.

        Chop stick rests
I was recently married and the plan was to make chop stick rests for all the guests.  I lost patience and only made 30.  Annie taught me how to scratch 'married' in Chinese characters on the side of each one.

                                                        
                                                 
                                   I tried to make each one slightly different in cut and shape.

This particular glaze was gas fired.  I know very little about gas firing, least to say it has brilliant results.  I love this smooth glaze.  I have to thank my teacher for glazing them for me.  He won't tell me how he made the glaze.  Secret.
I wrote an earlier post about buying some glazes.  This is the first time I have used them.  

I was pleased with the result - I was hoping for more red speckles but it is good enough.

Cheers
My first coffee mug.  A touch small.  Perhaps tea?

                       Brilliant animals are bulls!  The young bull, old bull joke is a favorite of mine.
I tried to make an old bull.  More challenging than I thought!  4 days work.
You might notice a few bruises and broken limbs here and there not to mention a damaged horn.  I would like to say I incorporated these aspects into my bull design, being a fighting bull, but the reality is that it cracked and I had to glue some of it together after the glazing.


The END!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Taiwan Bonsai Exhibition

What a Weekend!

This weekend gone we discovered a local bonsai exhibition in the foyer of a sports college in the suburb of Tienmu.  We live a 10 minute scooter ride from this venue so we decided to spend some time here.  A friend, Jack Lin, was organising the event and his was the first face we saw as we walked in.  The exhibition is free but you are required to sign the attendance book.  Jack told us that over a thousand people visited these bonsai on the day we arrived.  And for good reason - they were excellent, some boasting an age of over 200 years!  

I hope you enjoy viewing some Taiwanese styled bonsai trees.  

These guys won 1st place for the smaller tree category.

A compact juniper - Juniperus chinensis - Shimpaku

Nice movement and ramification

Black pine

Juniperus chinensis - Shimpaku

I like the distinct levels and brilliant dead wood

Good use of space 

Hard to look away from this one!

A well developed deciduous tree.  Many years of watering and pruning have yielded results

A great trunk!  

Top to bottom

... this tree was standing proud
The full tree

Interesting trunk

This was one of my favorites.  It wasn't very big but I enjoyed looking at the large moving base and delicate tips
                                     
                                     
A white pine
                                      
This juniper doing its thing

A robust box wood tree
                                     
A gnarly old black pine with some character

An impressive large juniper with amazing trunk!

A raft style pine composition

More of those bigger guys - there were 3 - all high quality trees.  When I first began becoming interested in bonsai I didn't really like this style.  I preferred the more natural look - however, someone told me -"You have to appreciate the time and effort that has gone into shaping and ultimately creating a garden scrub into something like this."  I have a far greater appreciation of a tree like this I you realized how difficult it is to do this yourself.  This tree is perhaps over 150 years old.

It really is a work of living art

Some rocks on display - known as suiseki

The best suiseki are those that appear to be a large mountain range in the distance - this one qualifies  

At first glance this juniper looks to have a very strong trunk

Upon closer inspection you can see the thin trunk grown in a rock crevice!

Nice scale and taper

A very beautiful tree - my second favorite


Chinese elm
A close up of the branch structure
                                   
The apex
                                     
The dominate lower right hand branch
                               
Not the best photo but a powerful tree!

The lowest branch pad protrudes the furtherst distance from the trunk and then each progressive pad is pruned closer to the trunk.  This ensures that all pads receive adequate sunlight without becoming shaded over 

Strength

A wild and woolly one
Looking up into the canopy.  It could easily be a tree in your local park

A different angle 

Experienced hardship and is surviving

The next couple are of a famous Taiwanese forest planting - Chinese elm trees

This particular planting was photographed years ago and placed on a local stamp!

Lime sulphur was painted on parts of the trunk to create the feeling of the tree lightly covered in snow

A good example of a jin emerging from the apex of a juniper.  When pruning make sure you leave the cut branches long enough to include some jin in your junipers!

A mix of man made and earth made

Oh, and I also married Annie!  What a weekend...