Choosing Branches for Flow–

Flow. In bonsai we need it, and we need it early. We have to decide ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ at the very beginning when crafting our trees, or we could land in a real aesthetic pickle. Flow is the direction the asymmetry of the tree moves, and is essential when it comes to linking the future […]

A bunjin Ponderosa pine gets a new look-

A bunjin Ponderosa pine gets a new look-

Here’s a photo essay of a Ponderosa pine styling that we did last month with a few Seasonal students- The pine after some cleanup on the deadwood, but before doing anything else. The next three photos are each turned another 90 degrees. This was our favorite front. Avoiding the long slow curves, the trunk comes […]

Compacting the Apex of a White Pine

Here’s one for the nerds of bonsai—‘How to create an apex’ is unlikely to raise the ardor of those with a passing interest in bonsai. But hopefully those who are dangerously close to being nuts about bonsai will appreciate the following photos: Next Post: Photos from my teaching trip to Johannesburg, South Africa!

Big Juniper Project: ‘The Fish’: Part I

This post is the first in a series of daily photos of a juniper in progress. It’s about as close as I can come to “real time” blogging. Bobby, my apprentice, and I have been taking our time with this Rocky Mountain Juniper, and enjoying the process of discovering the bonsai within the tree. I […]

Beware Bending that Branch-

Many years ago I held a conifer branch in my hand in a totally shocked moment after it had literally shattered while testing it for flexibility. Eons passed. When I returned to breathing normally, the branch was still in my hand, and the tree was a couple feet away, because I had stood up. I […]

Black Pine Grafted Ponderosa: STYLED

Black Pine Grafted Ponderosa: STYLED

This small pine goes way back to when I was a potter, trying to sell them at my first convention in the mid 90’s in Harrisburg, PA. I met Andy Smith there, and we traded a pot for a tree. He collected the yamadori pine in South Dakota. For years I grew it as a […]