Cliff Dwellers & NEW Bonsai Tools

Nature does it just right. This breathtaking photo is by Mario Komsta. No need to try to collect this beauty, it’s perfect right where it is. These attractive Bonsai Aesthetics tools are every bit as good as their Japanese counterparts and they are more affordable. For example, your price on this set of 3 is only 14.95. Each one is also offered individually. Bonsai Aesthetics is owned by Robert Steven. Robert, one of world’s foremost bonsai artists, personally stands behind every one of his tools. NEW tools at Stone Lantern We’ve been bringing new bonsai and garden tools from Japan … Continue reading Cliff Dwellers & NEW Bonsai Tools

Why Our New Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Is Such A Great Deal

It’s mostly about price… But it’s also about quality… Have you tried our NEW BONSAI AESTHETICS WIRE? We started selling it in June, and about a half ton later the verdict is in: it goes on easily and it holds very well. So well that’s it’s hard to tell the difference with wire that costs twice as much. Which brings us back to the price… 100 gram rolls are only 2.95 each with easy to achieve volume discounts of 10% to 30% 1 Kilo rolls are only 21.00 each also with easy to achieve volume discounts of 10% to 30% … Continue reading Why Our New Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Is Such A Great Deal

Trunks & Trunk Chopping Techniques

I borrowed this mesmerizing ancient black pine trunk from Andy Rutledge’s ‘the bonsai journal.’ Trunk chopping 101 for deciduous trees There’s an excellent article on trunk chopping at Andy Rutledge’s bonsai journal. Andy bills it as trunk chopping for beginners, but I suspect there are experienced bonsai people out there who might also benefit (like me, for example). I’ll just show you an illustration and a little text here, and encourage you to visit Andy’s site to see the whole article (and plenty of other useful stuff). Cutting back to an existing leader Here we have a likely candidate (above). … Continue reading Trunks & Trunk Chopping Techniques

Time for Spring Cleaning

A set of Koyo stainless bonsai tools in a brown suede tool roll (the suede rolls we offer now are black). Now that we’re sure it’s really spring Today I watched a Robin eating a worm on my back lawn. It was the first Robin of the year (for me at least), so now that I’m sure it’s really spring, it’s time to break out the bonsai tools, pots, soil and all the rest and get ready for that hectic digging and potting season. First things first: cleaning tools For some reason I didn’t finished cleaning all my tools before … Continue reading Time for Spring Cleaning

Dragon Tail & Other Random Shots

Dragon Tail. Wood sculpting by Mother Nature and Father Time. Photo by John Palmer. John is the blissfully retired founder of Stone Lantern and Bonsai Today. Have you visited Stone Lantern lately? On March 13th of this year, we started seriously lowering prices on our website. We’ve pretty much lowered everything at this point: bonsai books (other books too), bonsai tools and other tools, fertilizers, bonsai soils, the works. So, if you haven’t visited for a while, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. A great shot of a convoluted old pine trunk. My apologies to the owner, but I’ve lost … Continue reading Dragon Tail & Other Random Shots

Pushing the Limits

This wild and gnarly yamadori (collected bonsai) exhibits some classical flaws. Two of the most obvious are the long straight taperless section of mid-trunk and the cluttered roots around the base. However, that’s the way this tree grew and those flaws tell part of the story of its struggles to survive and thrive in an inhospitable environment. Without them, the story might not be so interesting. Classical vs Eccentric There have always been classical bonsai (ones that conform to accepted norms of an earlier time) and there have always been more eccentric bonsai that push classical forms and norms into … Continue reading Pushing the Limits

The Facebook Dilemma & Japanese Tools

Nice tree. From facebook; Liang Lim’s photos. Beyond that, we know nothing. Except that we are swamped (it’s corporate tax time and etc….). The Facebook problem We receive several bonsai photos every day on facebook. Almost none mention the artist, unless the artist happens to be the same person who posts the photo (you’d be surprised how often this is NOT the case and how difficult it can be to determine whether or not it is the case). When we have time, we try to track down the owner/artist, but often, this is easier said than done. Beside, who but … Continue reading The Facebook Dilemma & Japanese Tools

Wire Cutters: A Little Tip from Graham

Graham Potter of Kaizen Bonsai holds up his stainless wire cutters so you can get a good look. From one of Graham’s excellent bonsai instruction videos. No more twisting I always thought bonsai wire cutters were shaped the way the are (with stubby blades) so that the tip of the blade doesn’t damage the bark when you remove wire. I still think this is true. However, Graham Potter says that it’s designed this way so the wire doesn’t twist when you cut it. This is news to me, but as I reflect on it, I think it makes sense. Anyone … Continue reading Wire Cutters: A Little Tip from Graham

Jinning: A Tidy Two Tool Tecnique

The type is almost microscopic, so we’ll synopsize a bit (see below for a slightly magnified version): 2. Use a concave cutter to score around the base of the branch you are jinning. 3 and 4. Crush the bark with pliers. 5. Pull the bark off with your fingers. 6. Create a natural shape by using concave cutters to apply small cuts and to pull of the resulting wood threads (you can use pliers to pull the threads if you want). From a article by David Benavente in Bonsai Today issue 85. An elegant solution, but what about other tools? … Continue reading Jinning: A Tidy Two Tool Tecnique

Satsuki Art Blooms at the National Museum

The sky blue pot is the perfect compliment to the light pink flowers on this powerful Satsuki Azalea that resides at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington DC. There are a multitude of cultivars in the Satsuki group of azaleas. This one is a ‘Nikko.’ It was donated to the museum by Masayuki Nakamura. As you read this… … one of the best and most breathtaking exhibits of blooming satsuki azaleas is taking place at the National Bonsai &  Penjing Museum. It has already started (May 29th) but don’t despair, it runs until June 13th. Even if you … Continue reading Satsuki Art Blooms at the National Museum