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



Thursday, 24 March 2016

Take Two

Happy Days

Last Sunday we drove the silver bullet (Dave's car) down the highway to Miaoli.  Miaoli is situated at the midway point of Taiwan and is home of many wood fired kilns along with shops selling wood carvings.  

This was my second visit to this famous kiln area and my hopes were high.  My first visit yielded nice results and I was expecting more of the same thank you.  

We arrived late but early enough to catch the buzz.  It really is a magical feeling as your pots come out of the kiln.  You can feel the excitement and anticipation in the air.  People are full of compliments as they see a pot that has been blessed by the kiln Gods.  Everyone understands that the wood ash glaze runs in  unpredictable ways and if you are handed something unique and beautiful the locals are genuinely happy for you.  

To me, seeing my pots coming out of the kiln is like reuniting with an old friend.  I spent time with this pot forming it on the wheel in its wet stage, refining the shape and foot during the semi dry stage, then placing it in the kiln for its bisque stage, then dipping it in the glazing, and finally packing it in a box ready to be sent to the wood kiln.  When I see this pot again after being fired for four straight days, it resembles what I can only call a metamorphosis.  A good one comes to life, looks grown up and mature.  A better one has these qualities in addition to having a sense of character.  

I have to say I was pleased with my haul.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below.

This guy was thrown from clay that was dug up in Miaoli.  

I used a cheese grater on the body to create the angular effect.

This side was a darker brown/purple colour.

I attempted to make an open bowl that curved slightly inwards.  I do like that particular shape but I think creating a more rounded form might look better.

I used a trimming tool to scratch out three wavy lines.  I had no meaning in mind only that I wanted an odd number.



I am trying to add a few more rim lines.  It kind of highlights the rim making it a little easier to look at.

This was my attempt at a zen jar.  One line moving at an angle.  The only reason I etched out that line was when it was in the leather hard stage I saw a water mark dripping down the pot.  I grabbed my tool and followed that line.  Deep huh?

The other side.

I ordered 100 cork lids from China the other day of various sizes.  Guess what?  I found one that fitted nicely.  

Take that!

A tea pot I was experimenting with.  I like the splash of color but I'm not sure if the faceting works.  Maybe it is too 'loud'?  A bit giraffe like?

I was disappointed that a section near the top was chipped off, leaving a white section.  

A tea cup.  Cut up with a stanley knife.  

I threw these guys thick so it gave me some clay to work with when they were semi dry.

Leaving them a touch thick was the plan.  This way the hot tea will not burn your hands.

Another one.  I didn't add any glaze to this one.  A slight coloring but mostly purple/brownish

The far side.

Side angle with seal.

A look down.

For this one I poured a white glaze on the inside and over the lip.  The wood ash did the rest.

The other side.

The inside bottom was kind of cool.  A greenish flash was down there.

Side angle with chop.

This was was one of my favorites.  The glaze dripping down and the ash mixing in with it to create yellow 'flowers'.

One side.

And then the other.

A cool little drip near the foot ring.

I have used this guy to drink some green tea already.  He performs well.


A shino glaze.  It doesn't look too shino but I really enjoyed being handed this guy out of the kiln.  

Upside down with my Chinese mark.

One smooth ride.

A tiny soy sauce pouring... vessel

A nice mark on the back.

I have tried it and it pours reasonsably well.

Hello.

A bowl that was faceted.  This was a technique that I have been practicing.  It takes more time but it does add a little something to the feel.  Some like it, I'm guessing others don't.

I added some glaze to this one.  A change of color is always more interesting.


Again I threw this tea cup thicker and wanted to make it lighter so I dug out strips of clay.

The wood ash had plenty of places to run down.


I did like the smoot yet textured finish.

The lip was warped slightly in the kiln.  I'm going to say this adds to its character.

A bonsai pot. I am planning on making more of these.  It is actually the reason I became interested in ceramics.

This side is less shiny.  Mountain and red sky?

One drainage hole and three smaller tie in holes.

Tea cup with  a white glaze that no longer is white thanks to the wood firing process.

The other side.  Smashed a stick at the base to add some interest.

I tried to turn the foot at an angle that comes in narrower.

Straight up juggernaut.

A variation of cuts.

 
My pottery collection is growing by the month.  I am running out of space in the small apartment we live in to house them.  Please leave a comment if you are interested in buying any of these pieces. 
 
Take care out there!