Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cheap car boot Pine

Picked this Sylvestris up for £5.00 at a bonsai car boot sale in 1998.
I soon became bored with the lazy s shape of the trunk and began to look for an alternative design.

The Pine as it was in 2007 and filling out quite nicely.

2008 and picture taken just after it was sold to a friend. Looking back, there is no way I would buy that original tree now but it just shows what can be created from very little.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sketched projects

Yan's French Sylvestris that was posted on the European bonsai forum:
as were the others. Members were asked to create styling ideas for their trees.

My idea.

One of two very good trees posted by Steve. Both sylvestris.

My solution

Steves second tree

My drawing.

Peters Mugo Pine.

The tree that we discussed in a workshop and on the forum.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New carving tools

I was reading a post on one of the bonsai forums and notice a new carving tool maker. Rudi Spanko from the Slovak Republic, as well as supplying me with 2 carving bits, has also sent a couple more for me to test
This is the tree I will be carving. Taxus baccata from nursery stock
Close up of the base and roots. I will start the carving next week and give the new tools a whirl.

Some of the live veins died on the top of the tree when it was repotted but I will use these in the design of the carving.

I initially used Rudi's tools to hollow out the trunk. This was done by punching 5 holes in various places up and down the trunk. Because the tools I ordered are 100-110mm, this was an easy task

Through lack of sleep with night shifts I gave up after a couple of hours as I was knackered and in danger of making a mistake.
A good night sleep and back at it again. I was rewarded with sunshine and temperature well into the 20's.                                                One of Rudi's tools in the Makita.

Rudi's tools removed the internal wood with ease. All four tools were used but the largest one(top picture on the right) was not used much. The tree was too small to really let it lose and as my previous carving bits are on the dull side, sharp tools take some getting used to.

I would certainly reccommend Rudi Spanko's new range of tools for block carving (roughing out) More delicate work should be done with smaller bits and I'm sure Rudi will extend his range over time.

5 hours work in total. Rudi Spanko can be emailed at....

It's been a long time coming but I finally got round to styling this tree. Still a lot further to go with the backbudding but an experiment with other feeds didn't help the health of the tree. Mixing chemical feeds with organics seemed to set the tree back but once I moved back to 100 percent organic, things have improved.
 The tree has been plucked of all old growth and terminal shoots were pruned back. This helps with both wiring and back budding
Some smoothing was done with a sander on the deadwood
The whole tree wired and a couple of guy wires to add interest to the first branch and bend down the old apex or heavy branch

                                                  First styling complete. Summer 2013

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spanish holiday 2011

                         Some pictures of the stunning scenery around Girona and the Costa Brava

                                       The first few are in and around the Pyrenees mountains

                                            Lots and lots of cattle grazed Hawthorn in this area

Some wild flowers in the mountains

Face in the root of a Beech tree
Prehistoric burial chamber in the mountains behing Girona

The whole area was covered with Cork Oak
Huge swaithes of Cork Oak

Wierdly pruned Pines on the coast
Wonderful bark colours

                                                           Limestone cliffs and caves
Some of the coastal flora
Pines fighting for survival

Medieval street in Pals
                                        And the most picturesque of them all in his swimwear