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Demonstration at the Country Craft Market on Saturday, 28 April 2012
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Bonsai Techniques by Stan Holroyd of Hare-Yama Ryu

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28 April 2012

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It might seem odd to do a bonsai demonstration as winter is taking hold, yet there is much to do in winter as many trees, especially the deciduous ones, show their true nobility when the masking effects of colourful foliage is absent.

 

 

 

At the Country Craft Market of 26 May, the last for this season, Stan Holroyd will be demonstrating some bonsai techniques that need to be remembered in winter. He will also show techniques that you will need to correct structural flaws in developed bonsai, and help to enhance the style of your trees. When you visit the market, be sure to visit the Hare-Yama Ryu stall to get some bonsai tips and even bring your bonsai for some guidance or just to show them off.

 

 

loretta and glassware

 

 

The art form of bonsai captures all the essence of Japanese art and their view and respect for nature. In early paintings like this one of Hokusai, trees reflected that special character that remains an important aspect of bonsai to this day.

 

Much of the character of Japanese art forms comes from their ability to simplify what they show, using line and form rather than complexity to carry the message. This is especially relevant in bonsai that is in effect, an art of illusion, making small plantings look huge, young plants look ancient and man-made effects look completely natural. Indeed, it is the very act of producing natural effects that makes a good bonsai. Poor craft produces a poor illusion.

 

 

Studying nature and the effects of the elements of plants is an important pastime for any bonsai grower, as Nature has written the textbook for bonsai and we would be wise to follow it and learn all about the craft  necessary to create believable images of age and enormity.

 

 

 

head cushion

 

 

This Senegalia (acacia) Galpinii (the monkey thorn) stands about 30 cm tall and through the use of relevant bonsai techniques, conveys the image of an old tree that has stood through many years and faced many hardships - but is still thriving.

 

 

 

 

 

But without imagination, bonsai would be only a craft that echoes countless plants that all look alike. This illustration below, shows how with small variations, the same plant can be trained to look quite different, and show different effects of the natural elements on it. The limits are only in the imag9nation of the bonsai grower - and his or her patience.

at her stall

 

 

 

giraffe cushion

 

As with many Jaoanese art forms, it is not what one puts into the artwork, but what one leaves out.

 

 

This photo shows how by trimming to remove clutter, a bush becomes and grove of trees.

 

 

 

 

giraffe cushion

 

Still, in the small world of bonsai, it is particularly important to pay attention to detail as clumsy work can produce unnatural looking results, Bonsai should not look contrived and should simply capture in their forms, the effects of the natural events that (supposedly) shaped the,

 

 

 

table cloth

 

 

 

Many branches simply confuse a design. 

 

By careful choice of trunk form, branches and leaf pads,

interesting designs emerge.

 

 

 

 

and nature will reward your good work with fine flourishes

at her stallat her stall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But never to be forgotten is the importance of the art of the container. While the container obviously must enhance effect you want to create with your bonsai, it is also its home and needs to fulfill some specific and very important specifications to ensure it survives and thrives. Come se Stan at the Hare-Yama Ryu stall at the next Country Craft Market on 26 May, and learn more about this noble Japanese art form.

 

at her stall

 

See my other demonstration report

 

 

Last Updated 01 April 2014 15:57