Silky Smooth

pot

We cropped the original photo (just below) so we could get a closer look at both the extraordinary pot and the heart of this magnificent tree. We don't know the variety, but thanks to Silky Jemiran, we do know that the owner is Tri Djoko Endro Susilo.

Yesterday’s Root Over Rock Bonsai with Sherlock Holmes featured a handful of excellent tropical bonsai photos that we borrowed from Silky Jemiran. We liked what we saw, so we’ll just keep going in the same direction.

As we mentioned yesterday, we liked Silky’s habit of listing the owner of each tree (something that is often lacking on social media), and though it turns out that he isn’t able to do it with every tree he features, he does get most of them. However, there is no mention of varieties, and given time constraints, we’ll leave it at that. Enjoy!

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Tri Djoko Endro Susilo

Here it is in all its glory.

All the photos shown here are from Silky Jemiran‘s facebook photos.

robert3

Here's a familiar friend. You may recognize the distinctive hand and eye of Robert Steven, an old favorite here on Bark. We've shown it before at least once, but it's been a while and like the rest of Robert's trees, it's worth another look.

 

Budi Sulistyo

Here's one that combines power and elegance. The owner is Budi Sulistyo, another old friend. No variety is listed, but we're leaning toward Ficus

 

Gedemerta Bonsaibali

If you know Gedemerta (Bonsai Bali) you recognize this rugged masterpiece as one of his. It's another one we've shown before, but it's been a while.

 

unclear

Perfection. I love this powerfully compact little gem. It's the only tree shown in this post that doesn't have an owner listed.

robert

Another of Robert Steven's trees. I'm pretty sure it's a Bark veteran, but it's been a while, and again, it's worth another look and it fits right in with our recent root-over-rock theme.

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Root Over Rock Bonsai with Sherlock Holmes

silky1

Not exactly root-over-rock, but more like root-next-to-small-rock. Still, simplicity contrasted with a wild shape and texture make for a striking bonsai. By the way, I did not commit the sin of chopping off the pot, though I did adjust the image to take out background noise. All three photos shown here were lifted a social meadia post titled ‘Bonsai Indonesia‘ by Silky Jemiran. Silky lists the owner of this tree as Zhylonk Kiakiz Alfarizhy.

Sometimes tracking down the real owner of a bonsai that appears on social media requires the imagination and determination of a Sherlock Holmes. Even then, you can’t always be sure you’ve got it right.

The photos in this post origianally appeared in a Bark post titled Bonsai Indonesia & Sherlock Holmes from January 2011.

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There’s a lot going on here. Not the least of which are: some very distinctive aerial roots, good ramification, a perfect silhouette and an earthy handmade pot. Silky lists Wayan Suwendra as the owner.

Continued from above…
When I first saw the tree at the top of this post, I thought it might belong to Silky Jemiran. Then I noticed that he listed the owner. He also listed the owners of the two trees below. Problem solved. However, in many cases, the owner isn’t listed and you might assume (often incorrectly) that the person who posts the photos is the owner. This is where your inner Sherlock Holmes comes in handy.

silky2

Root-over-rock perfection. Everything works here; including the way the tree and rock merge and the way the rocks on the left mirror the sweeping horizontal branch. Then there's the well chosen pot that provides a sense of earth and balance. Silky lists Rudi Julianto as the owner.

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An Exciting ‘New’ Shohin Bonsai Forum

komcu

I'm a sucker for a tree like this, with its colorful profusion of tiny fruit and its muscular little trunk. It's a Dwarf Kumquat (Kinzu) that I took the liberty to crop in order to eliminate background noise (the uncropped original is below). Our source for this photo (see below) mentions the type tree, but there's no artist/owner listed.

I just discovered an exciting new (to me) forum of, in their own words… “Community for bonsai artists who like mini and shohin bonsai.” Their quote continues… “Please join our community of shohin fans and take part by posting your pictures, articles information or questions.”

It’s called simply ‘Shohin‘ and it provides some of the best photos of small bonsai you’ll ever find in one place
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pine

The caption with muscular little tree reads... "Black pine on display at the 8th World Bonsai Convention in Saitama Japan."

Continued from above…
The only caveat is… in some cases trees are named, but no artist or owner is identified. In other cases the artist/owner is named but no variety is identified. In a few cases both are named and in many cases neither. I know many people don’t care, but if you’re interested in attribution and identification, here’s a post of ours titled Bonsai Ethics & Livelihood from a couple months ago.

 

junpanoramaThere's a lot of information in this photo, and perhaps best of all, the genus of the tree (Juniper) and the artist/owner (Koji Hiramatsu) are both mentioned.

tinypineHere's a sweet little pine with its perfect mini pot and display stand that's easy to love. Shohin's caption reads..."On display at the 8th World Bonsai Convention in Saitama, Japan"

 

displayThis simple and clean little display is a sheer delight to behold, but the artist and plants will have to remain a mystery.

 

ginkgoShohin's caption with this little gem reads... "You don't see many Ginkgo shohin"

 

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Here's that uncropped original I promised you

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Root-Over-Rock Bonsai

bssat

No source is given for this colorful 'Seki-joju' Satsuki Azalea. My best guess is that the tree and photo are originally from Japan; it's not uncommon for Japanese trees to remain unattributed (this is often the case in the Japanese gallery section in Bonsai Today magazine back issues). We found the photo on Bonsai Addicted's timeline.

The othe day we featured a magnificent root-over-rock bonsai from the Philipines that we borrowed from Robert Steven’s timeline and that I mistakenly attributed to Robert. My apologies to the actual artist Marvin Besa, and thanks to Tab Aquino for cluing us in.

Anyway, picking up the root-over-rock theme seems like a good idea….
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putz61This Trident maple root-over-rock by Wolfgang Putz has to be on my top 100 bonsai photos list (if I had such a list). It originally appeared in a 2014 Bark post.

 

sh41 Here's one that started as a root-over-rock and slowly morphed into a root-swallowing-rock (not an official designation, just a spontaneous observation). It's another Trident maple (the most commonly used species for root-over-rock) originally from Kaede Bonsai-en.

 

W2746 - 2013 Exhibits BrochureYet another Trident. You can imagine that if you removed the branch on the right and cut the one on the left back to where it emerges from the crown, this strange tree would look a whole lot more like so many other conventionally designed bonsai. But don’t do it!  Who wants a conventional bonsai when you have a tree so strikingly unique and impossible to forget? The photo is from the National Bonsai Foundation’s 2013 calendar.

 

BT24StewartiaMona3 This unusual root-over bonsai with its dramatic gongshi type stone appeared in a post we did on Stewartias back in 2013. The photo is originally from Bonsai Today issue 24.

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Flying Bonsai & Other Wonders

do4This fluid tree with its distinctive flying pot (by Erik Križovenský)is from Bonsai Do. The caption says with Tony Tickle (I visited Tony's blog and couldn't find it). There's also this quote by Thomas Browne (it's in Spanish on Bonsai Do, but here's the original English): Art is the perfection of nature. Nature hath made one world, and art another. 

Here are some photos we captured from Bonsai Do on facebook. The good news is they have put together a impressive selection of photos along with some famous quotes. The bad news is that most of the trees aren’t identified by species and many don’t list the source.
Continued below…

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do2Spectacular, if just a little fuzzy. The caption says with El Tim Bonsai, but alas, a quick search resulted in a whiff, so the artist will remain anonymous. I'm going to guess that it's a Japanese beech and really go out a limb (so to speak) and say that it's one of the most impressive deciduous bonsai you'll ever see. In every regard, including sheer power, movement, ramification and all the rest.

A little lazy today, so resorting to our old archival trick. This is the third time for this post. The last time was December, 2016. It was originally posted February, 2013. Normally, I might be a little embarrassed for the same post three times, but this one is exceptional and if you’re anything like me, you’ve forgotten about the first two by now

do1I'm not sure I've ever seen deadwood patterns quite like this. It's a European olive and it belongs to Stefano Defraia.

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This photo is from Penjing Master's Zhao Qingquan's Literati Style Penjing (the best and only book in English on the topic and a must for any serious bonsai library). Bosai Do included this quote by Friedrich Von Schiller with this photo (I can't find the English version and my powers of translation leave much to desired, so we'll settle for the Spanish); "Si buscas lo más elevado, lo más grandioso, una planta te lo puede enseñar: lo que ella es sin querer, tú, queriendo, puedes serlo."  

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“One Quick Glance at this Tree Brought Me to a State of Nirvana”

rootoverrobertCU

A close up of a rather spectacular root-over-rock bonsai by Robert Steven (the entire planting is just below). Here's our original caption (from May, 2016)... Robert Steven has done it again. This time it's a perfect root-over-rock bonsai. Here's what Charles Bevan has to say about it: "This is unbelievably perfect. One quick glance at this tree brought me to a state of nirvana."

The three trees shown here are from Robert Steven’s timeline. No varieties given, and though we would rather know what they are, we can still enjoy simple bonsai beauty, with or without a name.

We just received this note from Tab Aquino…These trees are from the Philippines. The rock-grown tree is a vitex trifolia owned br Marvin Besa. The “juniper” is actually a pemphis acidula owned by Alexis Perez.

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rootoverrobert

There are root-over-rock bonsai and then there are root-over-rock bonsai. I think it is safe to say that I have never seen one quite as spectacular is this one. Nor one with such long thin roots supporting the tree. Robert's genius shine through.

 

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Even though we don't know what the trees are, one thing we do know about this forest planting is that it is very large and that such a huge pot most likely cost a small fortune.

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The foliage and deadwood indicate that this is a juniper. But Robert lives in the tropics, where I don't think you'd see healthy junipers (I guess it could be belong to someone who lives somewhere else?). BTW: where's the living vein?

 

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Maple Kissing the Rock (Arce Besando La Roca)

maplerock

That's a rock sticking out on the left side of this Trident maple. According to Juan Andrade, the maple is kissing the rock (Arce "besando" la roca)

We’ve been posting recurring themes these days. For example we’ve run a whole string of Before & Afters lately. Now with yesterday (another before & after) and today, the new binding factor is Juan Andrade. Juan is one of a whole host of young Western apprentices (Costa Rica in Juan’s case) who are studying or have studied in Japan. The photos and quotes shown here are from Juan’s timeline

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maplerockcu
Front view, close up. Here's Juan's caption... "se planto así a propósito desde joven, y el arbol comenzó a "tragarse" la roca. Es un maplecito como de unos 50 años."
 And here's my rough translation... It was intentionally grown this way since the tree was young and began to swallow the rock. It's a little Maple about fifty years old 
maplerockback
The other side

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Before, During & After – Another Radical Bonsai Transformation

baBefore and after. This unusual Japanese white pine, with three trunks merging to give the appearance of one thicker trunk is by Juan Andrade.

Continuing with our Before and After series, here’s one of my favorites, dug up from our archives (October, 2013). It’s a Japanese white pine transformation that is so unusual, with results so striking and unique, that… well, you can see for yourself.

The artist, Juan Andrade is one of a whole host of young Western apprentices (Costa Rica in Juan’s case) who are studying or have studied in Japan. The before, during and after (antes, durante y después) photos are from a photo album on facebook.
Continued below…

all3The progression. It's clear that plenty happens that you can't see. For example, how on earth did he get the left trunk to cooperate? Twisting the trunk to present a different view and then lowering the planting angle help but maybe there's more to it...?
beforeBefore. From this to what you see below is no mean feat. There's that pesky bowed out left trunk for starters, but clearly there's more.

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duringDuring. Still in the same pot, but leaning farther to the right.

 

after

After. Somehow the gap between the trunks has decreased and the third trunk has almost entirely disappeared. And it would be a shame if we focused too much on trunks and missed the highly skilled wiring and trimming of the branching and crown. As mentioned above, no mean feat

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Before & After Bonsai – From Sow’s Ear to Silk Purse, a Remarkable 7 Year Transformation

privetbefore&after

Before and after of one Harry Harrington's famous privets. Here's Harry's caption... "For completion, the large Privet bonsai defoliated, wood-hardened and re-styled last month, now back in leaf and ready to live out its days with its new owner near Birmingham (U.K.). Seen here in 2010 after I was given the tree when it was just a big lump of wood collected from a hedge, and now, 7 years later. Ligustrum ovalifolium/Privet bonsai, Height 16"/39cm, Trunk diameter 7"/17cm, Pot by Victor Harris of Erin Pottery"

It’s amazing what seven years and a whole lot of skill and imagination can do. The almost magical transformation shown here is the result of efforts by Harry Harrington, a bit of a whiz at transforming material that many of us wouldn’t give second look. The photos shown here are from Harry’s timeline. You can also visit Harry’ website bonsai4me,

Continued below…

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privet

After, up close

 

B1FOUND

The Foundations of Bonsai

by Harry Harrington
Like the Privet shown in this post, most of Harry Harrington’s bonsai come from humble origins… If you are interested in quality bonsai, and don’t have the resources or inclination to spend a lot of money,
Harry’s approach might be just what you are looking for
Most quality bonsai starts with quality (usually expensive) stock
Harry starts with whatever he can find (or what people bring him)
If you’re like most of us, you can learn a lot from this approach
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privet2

The other side

 

privet3

Before, close up

 

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