Last visit was: Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:04 am It is currently Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:04 am


All times are UTC




 [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Si Van Nguyen, USA - Non-Professional - Pre-Bonsai Stock
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:05 pm 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Wisconsin USA

Before Image 1


Before Image 2


Before Image 3



Si Van Nguyen - USA
Category: Non-Professional, Pre-Bonsai stock
Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinesis, var. Procumbens Nana
Starting height: 18 in. (about 46 cm)



Hello everybody, I am new here. I have been in this bonsai hobby off and on now for about 13-14 years, but I have always loved bonsai since I first saw a magazine about it in the late 70's. Thanks to KOB for doing this contest. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Here's my humble entry. It is a common Procumbens Nana juniper that can be found in every nursery (at least here in the USA). It is in a 2 gallon-sized plastic nursery pot, and it is about 18 inches tall. I chose this particular tree because of it's interesting angular curves, and because it has a lot of branches and styling options to choose from, so I am sure I can get a decent bonsai out of it in almost any style. Plus it was cheap too. I have to put it in the Pre-Bonsai Stock category because I think it must have been staked up once before, although I see no stake or scars at this time. This type of juniper just don't grow in an upright manner like this unless it was staked up somehow, which is a very common thing to do in the local non-bonsai nurseries. It has several large main branches which split up from two sides at the top of the tree. It also has two cascading branches coming down from the top which are also a very common feature for this type of untrained juniper material. I am planning on some type of literati or cascade style tree at this point. Wish me luck!



Styling Plan

This type of Chinese juniper, the Nana, is very common, affordable, and nearly indestructible. It makes good training material for any bonsai student. The lessons learned from doing such "cheap" material can later be applied to more expensive material such as Shimpaku junipers or other conifers. For me, this lowly juniper is often used to temporarily satisfy my craving for chopping on bonsai.

This particular tree has an abundance of branches to choose from. It has many good styling options to consider, ranging from some informal uprights to a zig-zag literati look to a wind-swept look. When I first bought it, I was attracted to the cascading branches coming down from the up high in the tree. This is a very common feature for these Nana junipers, as you can often see them styled as cascades everywhere. This tree also has a lot of angular curves and one interesting branch shaped like an elbow, which I have decided to keep and base my overall design on. Here's a sketch of how I intend to style it. The design is very feasible I think, and it calls for a minimum of foliage for a really light and airy appearance.

_________________
Global Directory of Bonsai Artist


Top
Offline Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:23 pm 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Wisconsin USA

Quarter Progression Image 1


Quarter Progression Image 2


Quarter Progression Image 3

The first thing I did was pick the front for the tree, then I pruned off all of the foliage on the branches which came off on the left side of the trunk. Now one can see how the branches were arranged on this tree. For the beginner student, it is good to remove only the foliage and not the branches at first, because this will allow one to study the branch structure and decide on the styling options. The pruned branches are not dead yet and can be regrown if needed for a change in the styling idea, or they can be turned into jins once one is sure about the direction of styling.

_________________
Global Directory of Bonsai Artist


Top
Offline Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:23 pm 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Wisconsin USA

Half Way Progression Image 1


Half Way Progression Image 2

Next, in anticipation of some severe bending, the main cascading branch was wrap tightly by raffia. I used aluminum wires here too, which is not really as good as copper, but that's all I have at the moment.

_________________
Global Directory of Bonsai Artist


Top
Offline Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:27 pm 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Wisconsin USA

Three Quarter Progression Image 1


Three Quarter Progression Image 2


Three Quarter Progression Image 3


Three Quarter Progression Image 4

Next, I put some sharp curves into the main branch, in order to match with the existing movement of the tree. Then I moved the branch around the trunk and into position in the front of the tree. (Picture #6 is the chosen front of the tree ). Then all the small branches and foliage are wired down and pointed in one direction, for a gentle cascading and windswept look. I reduced some of the large jins on the left side, and wired and moved some other jins into place for a dead apex. I tried to pay attention to how the front-quarter views would look too, making sure that these views are acceptable, in order to achieve a more 3-dimensional design. To me, the front-quarter views (from the left and right sides) are very important because these are often the first views one sees as one approach the bonsai tree from afar. These quarter views create the first impression of the tree. This is very similar to how humans see each other when they first meet too. And like in humans, all bonsai should have a front, in other words, one and only one face. But also as in humans, the front does not necessarily have to be the "best" view.

Anyway, at this point, the tree still looks rather full. I left a few extra small branches for back up, in case some of them don't make it due to the severe bending. I am sure some of the branches will die back, but I have plenty of other branches to move over and cover any unwanted negative spaces. I always save the final pruning for long after I have removed the wires and potted the tree up properly, usually at least a year after the initial chop and heavy wiring such as what I did here. When it is finished, the tree should be a lot smaller and lighter looking, down to almost a shohin in size. I should be able to put it into a bonsai pot in September for the final picture for this contest. But the wires won't be removed for at least a year from now.
Good luck everybody!

_________________
Global Directory of Bonsai Artist


Top
Offline Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Si Van Nguyen, USA - Non-Professional - Pre-Bonsai Stock
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:15 pm 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Wisconsin USA

Final Image 1 (Front)


Final Image 2 (Back)


Final Image 3 (Side)

I am essentially finished with this tree for now. This tree had put on a lot of growth since June. All the branches survived the drastic wiring. This morning, in the middle of August, I reduced most of the foliage and roots off and then potted it in its first bonsai pot. Here are some pictures of the tree for your consideration. The chosen front of the tree is very close to the orginal intention of the sketch, although, there are still some excessive branches, but I need to keep them for now as back-ups. The jins would have to be refined a bit more too. The back and side views all seem acceptable, which help to create an overall three-dimensional quality to the final composition. The final height of the tree is about 13 inches tall, measuring from the rim of the pot to the jin apex (about 31 cm). I tried not to have a full rounded canopy of foliage on the top. The future maintenance of this design is to keep the foliage only at the tips of the branches and at a bare minimum by constant pinching.

In summary, this pre-bonsai tree already had a lot of interesting character to begin with, which I felt should be preserved somehow. I imagined what the original tree would look like a hundred years from now if it was untouched by man, and left to live on a mountain top some where. So I aimed for that vision and tried to style it accordingly. At first glance, the final tree looks really different than the original, but not really. It's original essence is still there, at least to my eyes.

Well, it's been fun! and thank you K.O.B.!, for this opportunity to contribute something to the internet bonsai community. Good luck and good health to all!

_________________
Global Directory of Bonsai Artist


Top
Offline Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Si Van Nguyen, USA - Non-Professional - Pre-Bonsai Stock
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:10 am 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Wisconsin USA
Total Score: 12
Average Score: 4

Judge 1 - Score: 5
Comments:
This is a common material. The artist tried to use the long "tail" to emphasize the design. To my mind a simpler and shorter "tail" will make it better.

Judge 2 - Score: 5
Comments:
The artist has taken "humble" nursery material and fashioned a nice tree although the final design seems to be a bit unorganized.

The nebari looks good with the exception of that one root that hangs down. Aerial roots are fine on trees that make them in nature as long as they are part of design. This aerial root doesn't add much.

I think the very bottom pad might be a bit better if it were flatter and matched the bottom angle of the branch.

I am not certain about repotting this tree this time of year. Good luck with that. I like the final photograph on the stand. It shows the tree very well.

This is a creative design from basic material.

Judge 3 - Score: 2
Comments:
Again a tree repotted too early after a drastic styling, which endangers the health much. The final image looks unorganized in my eyes, and I am searching for focal point that will make my eye rest.
The idea shown on the sketch has potential and maybe some restyling later on can improve the image.

_________________
Global Directory of Bonsai Artist


Top
Offline Profile E-mail  
 
 [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexa [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group