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

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Chop and Change

Does Your Bonsai Tell a Story?

Part of the lure of bonsai is that you can communicate through your trees.  You buy or grow a tree, study it for a while and decide what story you want it to tell.  This thought helps you know what to cut, what to keep, and what to bend.

I have a bunch of little junipers that weren't that interesting really.  I bought them a few years ago and wired them at about that time and just left them for another day.  Today was the day to make them tell more of a story.

We will start with this guy.  I wanted some more movement in this tree.  It was a touch boring for such a small tree.  I wanted the viewer to imagine that the left side of the tree was damaged in a storm by crushing wind.  After I decided that will be this tree's story I went ahead and jinned the left branch.  The added bonus of doing this is that now my vision is not torn left and right at the same time (the two lower branches looked like a continuous line), sending a confusing message.  

The flow of the tree now moves left and then right.  It is simpler and easier to look at.
 The second tree I worked on today had a few things going on.  The left side had a thickish branch going straight up.  I thought it was too tick to bend so decided to make this tree taller.  I wired the turning branch, that was at a 90 degree angle, up.
This tree had some enough branches to do something with.  I wanted branches right, left, and back.  I also wanted to keep some smaller ones for the apex.

I decided to chop off most of the branch that was originally coming straight up and turned it into some dead wood.  The story of this tree?  Some bear came along and sharpened his claws of the lower left branch, killing it.  He now uses it as a back scratcher from time to time.

Have fun creating stories with your bonsai.  Make them realistic and use nature as your guide.

Friday, 9 October 2015

TienMu Bonsai Exhibition

Just Around the Corner

In a Sports University foyer, next to a baseball stadium, we find a fantastic little bonsai exhibition of about twenty or so trees.  The suburb of TienMu has been where I have been living for the past 13 and a half years.  It is here that a bonsai exhibition is held.  The show went for three days and displayed some unique Taiwanese bonsai.  My friend and bonsai leader in Taipei, Jack Lin,  ran and organized this event.

I hope you enjoy.

This is the first Black Pine I see as I enter the exhibition.  Nice thick trunk and plenty of foliage.

This guy caught my eye immediately.  A unique Chinese Elm.

A juniper with dead wood up the middle, adding interest.

Holding the pose.

A compact shohin Black Pine.  Beautiful pot too.

After a lot of clip and grow we can develop branch division like this.  My guess is that the tree will probably be cut back at some stage soon as the tips of the branches are extending to the point where the silhouette will be lost. This is the process of bonsai. 

A larger Black Pine.  Beautiful platted bark is a sign of great age.

The pine needles would be loving this nice sunshine.  The needles are like solar panels sucking up the energy needed to keep the tree healthy.

A solid fellow.  He looks pretty stable to me.

Up into the top third of the tree.  Brilliant bark!

This tree has a lot to say.  Trees that are old or appear to be old are more interesting.  Why?  Would you like to sit down and have a conversation with a 6 year old child or someone who just celebrated their 95th birthday? (one that has all their faculties in order!)  Not sure if my analogy works - it depends who is the 6 year old - some kids are fun to talk to and what about the 95 year old - maybe they are too bitter to spend anytime with you and can't stop dribbling.  I digress.

I love the trunk but in my opinion we need to do something about the apex.


A cool tree.

The main reason I liked this tree is because of what was left at the base. 

You don't see this very often.  Normally, branches growing at the base are swiftly removed.

I didn't quite get the light right for this picture but I wanted you to see the tree before I took a close up of the base.  I'm not exactly sure what kind of tree this is but I know it is a native of Japan and that it grows extremely slow.  This would be a very expensive tree!

I enjoyed looking at the base of this tree.

Jack and another bonsai professional - and Annie entertaining the little guy.

His first bonsai exhibition.

I hope your tress are growing well out there and that they are giving you happiness.