Thursday, July 26, 2012

Steve (Harleyrider) Jackson.

My friend, Steve Jackson (Harleyrider) passed away yesterday. Although I only met him once at Burrs last year, Steve and me often shared our thoughts and jokes over several years on bonsai forums. Steve made a huge impression on me in that time with his sarcastic,quick, inteligent sense of humour, writing ability and enthusiasm for little trees. Native trees seemed to light him up and I passed on one of my English Elms to Steve when I met Tony Tickle at the Joy of Bonsai in 2010.    
Steve in action and always keen to help out. (Photo courtesy of Morea Pubben)
The two following pictures courtesy of Tony Tickle
Steve spent a lot of time with Tony and the articles Steve made on Tony's trees and exploits were superbly written and very funny.
Shortly before the tragic news came that Steve had passed, I had been working on this English Elm (Ulmus Minor) over a couple of evenings and knew how much Steve like this specie.

I have to dedicate this tree to his memory. Steve was a huge inspiration for me and will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
To Steve Jackson. Rest in peace.
Potted into a much larger vessel for development of the air layered roots. They are still thin in comparison to the trunk and need weight and age. In turn the top will develop much more quickly as well
An Elm called Steve.
Summer 2013

Now the wire has been removed and a light trim. I may plant it in the ground to speed this trees development. The back branches are very small indeed and need to put on some serious thickness. The split branch on the left has also been sawn and pulled down further with the aim being to root it at soil level. I will bend it further once the branch has gained strength.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Bushukan and Southend Bonsai club

Last night I was invited by the Southend Bonsai Club held at Bushukan Bonsai at Hockley in Essex. They asked me to create some carving so I took down an easily attainable Privet (Ligustrum) that I had collected a couple of years earlier. Rudi Spanko had recently sent me his new range of carving bits to try out so I thought I would combine the two. I used all but the third from left. They all cut both forward and sideways and very smoothly too.

Tree allowed to extend until midsummer
This tree has had nothing other than the clip and grow technique over the last 3 years. Branches being allowed to extend all Summer and then cut back hard and allowed to extend again.
The tree had 3 holes punched through to create a hollow trunk
I tried to add as much detail as possible but as most of the wood was still green (sap wood) it will be left to season before the real fine detail will be added.
The slightly fluffy appearance of the sap wood

I am pleased with the work carried out so far but the tree has another couple of sessions of carving before it is finished.

Update on this tree Summer 2013. I took this back to Bushukan to extend the deadwood and work on the canopy
The canopy was cut back, thinned and some branches wired to space correctly.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Update of the Cotoneater

Update for the Cotoneater. Leaf pruned and wired in July 2012.
This is the second wiring so far. For the full history click on the link

The sun shone today so I took a better picture

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Troll and other carving work in Denmark

On the third day Ole asked me to refine the carving on a few of the trees in his personal collection. The first work was on the root of this yamadori Larch.         
Depth was added to the rather flat looking root
The fluffy stuff was burned away. This seems to toughen the wood as well.
I also did a small amount of work on this old piece of Yew. The front and front right branch had been carved but too many tool marks remained.
I need to get a more finished picture of the next two pics as I forgot to take them at the end.
The right branch
Chuhin sized yamadori Larch
There were a lot of cut and oversized stubs to deal with.
Some deep hollows were made and the stubs reduced diguise them
Unfortunately the really fine carving tool that I add minute detail had gone missing so that will be left for another time
The cut at the top was carved to add further movement and hollowed considerably.
Detail of the two large branches on the left at the base that were hollowed and  made to look like a much larger old scar.
The Troll starting to appear
Two ears, eyes, a big nobbly nose and a mouth. Good fun this one.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nordic bonsai Summercamp (day 2 workshop)

Day 2 of the Summercamp was a workshop with  9 students and a variety of trees at different stages of development but mostly excellent material.I didn't get a before picture of this sylvestris but I could see a much smaller tree within the branches.                                             
Larger branches were removed
And the same on the front.
The Pine was wired and shaped to add movement to the initial part of the top and cascade branch. Some work was done to the heavy jin as well. I will update the blog with the first styling when I get the picture.
Two sylvestris that were collected together. It was suggested to move the smaller one in closer to the larger one and the larger one had wire placed along the entire length of the trunk and was slowly twisted to place the longer branches on the outside or left side of the front. The trunk was twisted through180%
Another sylvestris with an unusual trunk

No needles were removed at this stage as backbudding was needed and the strength of the tree was paramount. Initial styling carried out
A large Hawthorn had some initial carving carried out.
Some block carving on a small campestre

Peter carving his Prunus.
Styling work on another sylvestris.
Lower branch nearly finished. Very few finished pictures and sorry about the quality of these. I will update the thread once I have some more pics.