Welcome to All in One Bonsa

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:

Esty Shop: AllinoneCeramics

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Shohin Bonsai

Hidden Potential

Shohin bonsai is a term used to describe small bonasi that you are able to hold in your hand.  I have always loved small bonsai but they do present you with challenges.  Firstly, you must be careful that they do not dry out too quickly from the wind and sun due to the small amount of soil.  It is important that these guys do not get forgotten in among the larger bonsai you might have in your possession. Secondly, the greatest challenge is making them look a lot older than they really are.  Giving the illusion that a tree is older than its years is one aspect of bonsai.  Thirdly, is that each branch becomes extremely important.  If you break a branch it becomes a minor disaster.  It is hard to hide anything!  

I bought this small juniper a few days ago at a bonsai nursery in Taiwan.
                                        A close up of what this tree looks like.  
I cut away some dead branches and those that were too close to each other.  I wanted to try and get some space in there.  Some work at the nursery was already done to this juniper.  I could not see any sign of wire being used but I believe that this tree was wound around a bamboo stick which has given the trunk a spiraling shape.  We can work with this and improve the trunk shape.  
I want to use some wire and reshape the trunk to make this tree look older.  I poke up some bonsai wire underneath the plastic container.  I will begin by wiring one wire all the way to the top of the trunk.  I will then use the other wire to make a second spiral 3/4 of the way up the trunk.  This way the thickest part of the trunk will be able to be bent easier having the double wire wrapped around it.  The top part tapers and is not as thick so I do not need to go all the way to the apex again with the second wire.
This is the wire I cut before poking it up through the bottom of the plastic container.  Cut the ends of the wire at a 45 degree angle.  This way the wire can be pushed up through the soil easier.  
                                  After wiring and playing around with some new angles.  I also chose a new apex and made the original apex into a jin - dead wood.  This again gives the illusion that the tree is ancient.

I wired a few of the other smaller branches but I didn't wire them all.  I am not sure about the branch on the lower left.  I may cut it off...I will leave it for now.  All the side branches need to grow thicker before this tree looks a lot better.  The most important part of this tree right now is shaping the trunk.  The trunk is always the key feature.  It takes the longest to grow.  Make the movement of the trunk pleasing first...you can always grow branches a lot easier later.  

The last thing I did was water this tree and placed it in a semi sunny area.  It is scorching hot now in Taiwan and because I removed about a quarter of the original foliage the tree will be stressed.  I don't need the mid day sun beating it up any more.  I will let it rest for a few weeks and then put it back in stronger sun.  
                                                            After - Height 22 cm

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