A Great Bonsai Honor & Okatsune’s 500,000 Cuts

jun

Mariusz Folda's Shimpaku juniper that exhibited at this year's Kokufu Exhibition and was featured in the Japanese bonsai magazine Bonsai Sekai. Here's Mariusz's caption: "I am very happy that the Japanese bonsai magazine BONSAI SEKAI featured the tree that I exhibited this year at Kokufu ten.
  It is an honour. Thank you one more time to master Masahiko Kimura for all the help and effort in preparing the tree for the exhibition that took one year in the master garden. The tree is now in Poland at IBUKI" (Mariusz's studio).

I’d like to use this post to introduce you to Mariusz Folda (well, reintroduce, we showed one tree of his back in 2012). Tomorrow we’re going to feature an article Mariusz wrote on soil (particularly on the uses and limits of Akadama).

Meanwhile, it’s a great honor to have a tree accepted for the famous Kokufu Exhibition (you can visit Mariusz on facebook for the whole story). Enjoy!

Continued below…

500,000 cuts, all beat up and still cutting. I know two people that own Christmas tree farms here in Vermont. Both trim thousands of trees and make hundreds of wreaths and both use only Okatsune shears. Here and here are more on Okatsune from previous Bark posts

TWO NEW TOOL SALES

25% off Okatsune Bonsai & Garden Tools

OKATSUNEset4

Okatsune Japanese Bonsai & Garden Tools
cut like butter and last forever
(the other new tool sale is below)

 

junCU The trunk with its distinctive living vein

 

display

Mariusz's display at Kokufu

Japanese & Domestic Bonsai Soil
SASQ




mag In the Japanese magazine Bonsai Sekai

30% off 2 or more Bonsai Aesthetics Tools

a favorite for the novice bonsai enthusiast
and for all of us on bonsai budget
TC-SET5-AESTHETICS-680a small sampling of the 25 different
Bonsai Aesthetics tools and tool set we offer

 

Extra Savings for all Stone Lantern Orders
10% off orders 100.00 or more

and FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 49.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

Bonsai Today & Deadwood Carvers Extraordinaire

yewEvery time I open Bonsai Today issue 106 and lay my eyes on this wickedly powerful old English yew, my mind does a little double take. Like many stylized bonsai that we've seen over the last 30 years or so, it doesn't look exactly like anything you'll see in nature, but it certainly jumps off the page. It's by Kevin Willson, bonsai artist and deadwood carver extraordinaire. Photo by Simon Carr.

Today, I set out to put together a post on Harry Harrington, but got distracted by the Kevin Willson tree above. There’s a method to this madness; Harry has mentioned Kevin and I believe they have worked together. Anyway, most of this post is borrowed from our archives (May 2011).

Stay posted for Harry Harrington tomorrow. Meanwhile, you might want to delve into Harry’s unique instructive approach to the how-tos of bonsai in The Foundations of Bonsai (on special at Stone Lantern).

Continued below…

When a good sale is coming to end, you deserve a heads up…

BONSAI WIRE SALE ENDS TONIGHT

30% off Yoshiaki Japanese Wire
100 & 400 gram rolls
wireYoshiaki Annodized Aluminum Wire
Is Stronger & Holds Better
sale ends TONIGHT, sunday AT 11:59PM EDT

 

Before

Yew wood is very hard. Harder than almost any other type of wood. In this light, take a look at the photo below and then at the photo above. Now imagine all that carving with only hand tools…. Okay, I’m kidding. Kevin used power tools. But still, it’s a labor of love (and considerable skill).

These three photos of Kevin Willson’s yew just scratch the surface. The sequence of steps is covered in great detail in Bonsai Today issue 106. Thirteen pages of photos (38 in all) and informative text.

Continued below…

B1FOUNDREPOT

When it comes to carving...
Harry Harrington has some chops of his own
This photo is from Harry's The Foundations of Bonsai
Now on special for 19.95

 

Getting started

How about yew? OKay. I know this pun is a little lame…. but if you are interested in deadwood carving (and why not?) we suggest you start with hand tools. Once you get the hang of it (there’s more than meets the eye) you can graduate to power tools.

Speaking of Bonsai Today, our inventory is shrinking
moment to moment…

NEW INCREASED DISCOUNTS
65% – 70% off Back Issues of Bonsai Today

bt100cover-500x642Individual issues of Bonsai Today are disappearing fast and
Once an issue is gone, it’s gone!

Extra Savings for all Stone Lantern Orders
10% off orders 100.00 or more

and FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 49.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

Bonsai Artistry in Red & Yellow

har5There are few things more delicate and beautiful than fresh spring Maple leaves. This exquisite tree and pot are perfect expressions of the artistry of Haruyoshi.

Heavy spring snowstorm this weekend. Need to get dressed and get shoveling, so we’ll take the easy way out. This one is from September, 2015.

Shoin bonsai & ceramic artist Haruyosi does a couple things that set him apart. First, he regularly posts masterpiece shohin and mame bonsai and pots, and second, he posts a lot of photos that reveal the creative process. For both trees and pots.

More exquisite bonsai by Haruyosi below…

Japanese wire is usually a little expensive, but with this sale (which ends tomorrow night), the price might fit your budget…

BONSAI WIRE SALE ENDS TOMORROW

30% off Yoshiaki Japanese Wire
100 & 400 gram rolls
wireYoshiaki Annodized Aluminum Wire
Is Stronger & Holds Better

Extra 10% off Stone Lantern orders 100.00+
This sale ends sunday night

 

har6Red on red. In a previous Haruyosi post (Very Red and Very Rare), we mentioned that red glazes are expensive and not that easy to do. Apparently, neither the cost nor difficultly deter Mr Haruyoshi. The tree is an Elaeagnus pungens (Siverthorn in English, Kangumi in Japanese).

 

harMore delicate spring beauty. This time the pot is yellow. It turns out that, like red pots, yellow pots aren't all that common. The tree is Malus halliana (Hall's crapapple).

Continued below…

Our Japanese & Domestic Bonsai Soil
is all bagged & ready to ship

SASQ

 Free shipping in the continental U.S. for orders 49.00+
(if you select it… see below*)

even for heavy soil

 ____________

har3This luscious little Japanese quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) looks old and yet is so small. As is the sweet little pot (small, not necessarily old). I know I've mentioned this before, but there's something about the brilliance and purity of quince flowers.

 

har4Just another Haruyosi masterpiece pot. Red and yellow together, but I guess you probably noticed.

Here’s something if you’re thinking of upgrading your bonsai tool selection and you appreciate quality Japanese steel and craftsmanship…

Koyo Bonsai Tool Sale

25% off all Koyo Japanese Tools
Tools-Koyo1-500x303
this might be a good time to take a close look at our
Koyo Masters Grade Stainless Tools

Enjoy an Extra 10% off Orders 100.00+

and free shipping for continental U.S. orders 49.00+
only if you select Free Shipping when you check out*

 ________

*we treat all orders on a first come first serve basis
however, if you don’t select Free Shipping

we’ll assume you want to pay for service
which may be faster (depending on your choice)
once your order leaves our warehouse

Masterful Bonsai, Brilliant Pots & Glimpses of Monet & Van Gogh

RB

One of three magnificent Junipers (Juniperus chinensis) that you can find on Ryan Bell's Japanese Bonsai Pots website. Or, you can go straight to the source, Bonsai Sidiao master, Cheng Cheng Kung's site.

Yesterday, Ryan Bell offered a friendly heads up on a boneheaded mistake by yours truly. After wiping the egg off and correcting the mistake, I decided to visit Ryan’s Japanese Bonsai Pots to see what he’s been up to lately. As always, it was a click worth making. Especially for someone who enjoys brilliant ceramic art and equally brilliant bonsai.

Continued below…

Here’s something you might like if you prefer stronger Japanese wire
to softer Bonsai Aesthetics wire…

BONSAI WIRE SALE

30% off Yoshiaki Japanese Wire
100 & 400 gram rolls
wireYoshiaki Annodized Aluminum Wire
Is Stronger & Holds Better

Extra 10% off Stone Lantern orders 100.00+

_____________________

RBP

Here's Ryan's caption for this Ogurayama pot, "Ogurayama creates some of the best winter scene painted containers I’ve seen, from any painter.  This piece is sublime, with just enough color to focus the attention on the figures crossing the bridge.  The demon feet are a great touch, and show his carving work in addition to excellent painting."

RBP3

Great pots, great presentation. The pots are by Roy Minarai. There's no caption with this photo, so I don't know about the box.

RBP3C

A closer look at just the pots

Continued below…

You might like our Koyo tools if you’re looking to upgrade your bonsai tool selection and you appreciate Japanese steel and craftsmanship…

New Koyo Tool Sale

25% off all Koyo Japanese Bonsai Tools
Tools-Koyo1-500x303Just a small sampling from our selection of
fifty Koyo bonsai tools
this might be a good time to take a close look at our
Koyo Masters Grade Stainless Tools

 

RBP2

Two sides of the same pot by Ogurayama. Here's Ryan's caption,   "Two sides of a fascinatingly colored rectangle.  The upper seems like a Monet, the Lower calls to my mind Van Gogh.  Really interesting and unique style here."

RB2

Two more brilliant Junipers by Cheng Cheng Kung

RB3

 

Just in case you missed it, a couple weeks ago our spring shipment of Bonsai Soil came rolling in…

Japanese & Domestic Bonsai Soil
SASQ

Enjoy an Extra 10% off Orders 100.00+

and free shipping for continental U.s. orders 50.00+
only if you select Free Shipping when you check out

Our system automatically defaults to regular shipping
which is often a little faster than Free Shipping and is still quite affordable
so, if you want Free Shipping, you have to select it

Two Powerful Bonsai & A Point of Distinction

pinusparviflora2This gnarly old Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora) (completely asleep at the wheel... but thanks to our friend Ryan Bell, we now know that the tree is 2 needle pine rather than a 5 needle... thus a Japanese red or Japanese black pine)is from a Japanese gallery that originally appeared in Bonsai Today* issue 85. It looks a bit like something you might find on Point Lobos (more about that below). Artist unknown.

This post originally appeared in January 2010. It was inspired by a visit to Point Lobos on California’s Monterrey Peninsula. Hyperbole aside, it’s one of the most mindbendingly beautiful places on this planet.

Continued below…

The following ad is for any of you who might be looking to upgrade your bonsai tool selection and who happen to appreciate quality tools…

New Koyo Tool Sale

25% off all Koyo Japanese Bonsai Tools
Tools-Koyo1-500x303Just a small sampling from our selection of
fifty Koyo bonsai tools
this might be a good time to take a close look at our
Koyo Masters Grade Stainless Tools

 

22_lr

A piece of Point Lobos. Shooting landscapes is a bit like shooting bonsai. No matter what you do, the shot is never as powerful as the real thing.


juniperusrigida2

Juniperus rigida (Needle juniper, sometimes called Temple juniper). Also from Bonsai Today issue 85. Artist unknown.

 

Point-Lobos

*Images from Bonsai Today are shown courtesy of Bonsai Focus

As long as we’re on the topic of Bonsai Today and just in case you aren’t familiar with this benchmark Bonsai magazine… each richly illustrated issue provides detailed how-to instruction by many of Japan’s and the world’s greatest bonsai artists

NEW INCREASED DISCOUNTS
65% – 70% off Back Issues of Bonsai Today

bt100cover-500x642Individual issues of Bonsai Today are disappearing fast and
Once an issue is gone, it’s gone!

Extra Savings for all Stone Lantern Orders
10% off orders 100.00 or more

and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

The Beauty of Bonsai and Masters Grade Stainless Tools

B1BEAUTY2-605

Looking though our image library for photos to use on our upgraded website (coming soon) and this one jumped out. It's a Japanese flowering apricot from the The Beauty of Bonsai.

We’re in the process of upgrading our Stone Lantern website, and have been spending hours going though our massive digital image library in a quest for suitable photos. Here are a few of the hundred or so we’ve pulled aside for consideration. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Continued below…
The following notice is for any of you who might be looking to upgrade your bonsai tool selection and who happen to appreciate quality tools…

Brand New Koyo Tool Sale

25% off all Koyo Japanese Bonsai Tools
Tools-Koyo1-500x303Just a small sampling from our selection of
fifty Koyo bonsai tools
this might be a good time to take a close look at our
Koyo Masters Grade Stainless Tools

 

B1BEAUTY1Here's another one from The Beauty of Bonsai that you might like. It's what can happen when you have a high level of bonsai skill along with some design sensibilities (other resources might also help).

 

B1EXTREME4 copy

This Camellia is from Extreme Beauty a Japanese book that was very popular with our customers, even though it was expensive and written in Japanese. Unfortunately, it's out of print.

Just in case you missed it…

Our Spring Bonsai Soil offering is here!
SASQAkadama Japanese Bonsai Soil
Kamuna Japanese Azalea Soil

Lava & Pumice for mixing your own
& the Japanese favorite…
Aoki blended volcanic soils

 

B1FINE2

This prize winning Shimpaku (Sargent's) juniper with its brilliant shari belongs to Kunio Kobayashi. The photo is from Fine Bonsai, Art and Nature.

 

b1kato-mixed-forest1-280x300

I've always loved this mixed planting by Saburo Kato. The photo is from Mr Kato's (Kato-sama's) Forest, Rock Planting and Ezo Spruce Bonsai.

Here’s a sale for those of you who appreciate the difference between Japanese and Chinese bonsai wire…

BONSAI WIRE SALE

30% off Yoshiaki Japanese Wire
100 & 400 gram rolls
wireYoshiaki Annodized Aluminum Wire
Is Stronger & Holds Better
Extra 10% off Continental U.S. Orders 49.00+

and free shipping for continental U.s. orders 50.00+
but only if you select Free Shipping when you check out

Shohin Bonsai… (Copper Wire Sale EndsTonight)

MM

Judging by the leaves and fruit, I'd guess that this might be a dwarf Kumquat of some sort. Whatever it is, I know it's small because of the proportions and because it's part of Shohin display. Beyond that, I can't read the Japanese script, so there's nothing definite to say about the artist or the type trees shown here.

The Shohin bonsai in this post may not be the most sophisticated or otherwise fantastic that we’ve featured over the years (we have over 200 posts in our archives where Shohin is at least mentioned), but there’s something uncontrived and basic about these little trees that I like.

Continued below…

Copper Bonsai Wire Sale Ends Tonight

40% off 2+ rolls of U.S. manufactured Copper Wire
Only 15.00 each

Wire32-500x159

Our U.S. made Copper wire is annealed, but not for bonsai
The result is what we call partially annealed
which is stiffer than copper wire annealed for bonsai
This is the reason for the large discount

 

M6

Because you can count the number of needles in cluster (two) in this photo and because we know the anonymous artist is Japanese, you might conclude that this pine is either a Japanese black or a Japanese red. Judging by the bark, a little flaky looking and perhaps a little reddish in spots, I'm going to guess Japanese red.

M5

Shimpaku with a curly trunk

NEW WIRE SALE

30% off Yoshiaki Japanese Bonsai Wire
100 & 400 gram rolls
wireYoshiaki Annodized Aluminum Wire
Is Stronger & Holds Better

 

M3

If the tree at the top is a Kumquat, then this one must also be a Kumquat.

M2

Shimpaku with fern

M1

If you look at the tree's mass, this strange Shimpaku seems unbalanced. Though I guess with the deadwood pointing and thrusting to the right, the problem, if you want to call it that, may be corrected.

NEW SALE

20% off Bonsai Watering Cans, Nozzles & Misters
Watering Cans

Extra 10% off Continental U.S. Orders 49.00+
but only if you select Free Shipping when you check out

Sweet Companions

SBMAIN

This sweet little planting with its distinctive little pot belongs to Sigrid Brecht. No plant names were provided with any of the photos shown here, so your guess is at least as good as mine

These enchanting little gems all belong to Sigrid Brecht. The Japanese name for these plantings is kusamono. However, if you feature them with bonsai, then the term is shitakusa. Or simply companion plant.

We don’t usually feature whole posts on companions (or on suiseki for that matter). Based on clicks, most bonsai enthusiasts haven’t developed that much appreciation. But in this case, I couldn’t resist.

Continued below…

NEW WIRE SALE

30% off Yoshiaki Japanese Bonsai Wire
100 & 400 gram rolls
wireYoshiaki Annodized Aluminum Wire
Is Stronger & Holds Better
Extra 10% off Continental U.S. Orders 49.00+
but only if you select Free Shipping when you check out

 

SB3

Snail

SB4

b1junwatering

NEW Watering Can Sale

see below

SB1

 

SB2

NEW SALE

20% off Bonsai Watering Cans, Nozzles & Misters
Watering Cans

Impressive Nebari, Wild Deadwood, and a Colossal Wire Sale Ends Tonight

L1A

I cropped the original (below) to get a closeup of this rather impressive deadwood. Even though there is no variety listed, the fresh buds look a lot like a Yew in full spring glory.

All the trees shown here were posted by Luis Vallejo. Because Luis is a highly accomplish and prolific bonsai artist, we can assume they are all his (unfortunately, and due primarily to laziness, facebook and other online sites are rife with unattributed bonsai).

Conitnued below…

Our great sale
on 500 gram rolls of Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
ends tonight

wire

30% off 2+ rolls of 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
only 9.45 each
sale ends tonight, sunday 11:59pm edt

 

L2

This shot give a good view of the spread of the nebari. Conversely, part of the rather impressive trunk is hidden by foliage. Typically, bonsai are shot with the trunk eye level, rather than from above. No variety is listed, but it's easy to see that it's a Trident maple.

L3

This is an unusual tree. It looks like at least two Japanese maple varieties, but it also looks like a clump style bonsai with a single root system. The easiest explanation is that at least one trunk has reverted to the foliage of the parent tree (Japanese mountain maple) while the rest have maintained the more colorful, smaller cultivar foliage (I won't guess the variety).

L4

Another tree with an impressive nebari. Looks a lot like a Stewartia with its reddish exfoliating bark and that nebari (Stewartia, like Trident maples. are known for dramatic nebari).

Our Spring Bonsai Soil is here!
SASQAkadama Japanese Bonsai Soil
Kamuna Japanese Azalea Soil

Lava & Pumice for mixing your own
& the Japanese favorite…
Aoki blended volcanic soils

 

L1

The uncropped photo of the tree at the top of the post

L1C

An even closer look at the deadwood

Luis Vallejo is not new to Bonsai Bark. Here’s a link if you’d like to take a look at some earlier posts featuring his bonsai.

NEW INCREASED DISCOUNTS
60% – 65% off Back Issues of Bonsai Today

bt100cover-500x642Individual issues of Bonsai Today are disappearing fast and
Once an issue is gone, it’s gone!

Extra Savings for all Stone Lantern Orders
10% off orders 100.00 or more

and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

Cedars? Hornbeams? What’s in a Name Anyway?

carpinus-coreanaGreat trunk, brilliant fall color, excellent pot and then there's the apex. This powerful old tree belongs to Wolfgang Putz. The pot is by Ingrid Kralovec. The tree is a Korean hornbeam. The botanical name is Carpinus turczaninowii, though you’ll sometimes see them referred to as Carpinus coreana.

Up to my old tricks. The photos shown here originally appeared in March 2013.  There’s more history involved, but we’ll leave it at that.

The two trees below are Thuja occidentalis, a tree that may have more common names than almost any other species on this planet… Continued below…

Our great sale
on 500 gram rolls of Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
ends tomorrow

wire

30% off 2+ rolls of 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
only 9.45 each
sale ends sunday 11:59pm edt

 

Boreal Bonsai. This White cedar (Thuja occidentalis) belongs to Paul Chong of the Toronto Bonsai Society and the Lakeshore Bonsai blog. White cedars grace much of northern New England, though the best ones for bonsai are usually found further north and west in Ontario, along the escarpments and near the northern tree line, where sparse rocky soil and cold winds provide just the right degrees of difficulty for spectacular wild bonsai like this one.

Continued from above… Ten that you might stumble upon, are: Cedar, White cedar, Northern white cedar, Eastern white cedar, Atlantic white cedar, Swamp cedar, False white cedar, American arborvitae, Eastern arborvitae and just plain Arborvitae..

 

This White cedar seems like it’s getting ready to go somewhere. The Lakeshore Bonsai caption just says by David J. Nice tree anyway. 

NEW INCREASED DISCOUNTS
60% – 65% off Back Issues of Bonsai Today

bt100cover-500x642Individual issues of Bonsai Today are disappearing fast and
Once an issue is gone, it’s gone!

Extra Savings for all Stone Lantern Orders
10% off orders 100.00 or more

and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out