Carmen Wires a Scots Pine
Here’s a tree that Carmen Leskoviansky, my apprentice, worked on.
Carmen has been here for two years now. Prior to that she was a very quiet Seasonal student. She isn’t anymore. Daily I hear the animal report—the latest about the crows she’s befriended (her favorite gift from them was a dime), the rabbit nibbling the quince in the backyard (!), and the raccoon escapades. In between all that she has time for her family and wiring a lot of bonsai.
This Scots Pine was Carmen’s latest project. The pine came from Teleperion Farms. Photo is from a recent repotting.
The same pine during another work session, after pruning. It’s been wired, but the branches aren’t set yet. This second wiring—it was wired for the first time a few years ago—will finalize the design.
And after setting the branches.
Nice job, Carmen!
I often get asked how apprentices learn. The work often appears to progress backwards—with the apprentice maintaining and wiring fully developed bonsai in the first year, and only progressing to more raw stock in their second and third years. Knowing where to go with the raw stock springs, oddly enough, from repetitive work on finished trees.
Apprentices finish a tree to the best of their ability, then we discuss ways to improve technique and design, if any. With this Scots Pine, those suggestions were being bolder with pruning and putting stronger curves into the branches to shorten them. But unlike with newer apprentices, I didn’t touch this tree.
At the rate Carmen is going we’ll run out of trees here. If that happens I’m hoping she’ll rewire the electrical in the studio. Always been a bit off.