Following all the changes around here it’s becoming evident that everything has worked out well. Our output is up by more than 20% with no more mouths to feed than before and I have, for the first time in years, time on my hands. Not that I am looking for something to do. If I had a staff of six JUST working on trees eight hours a day we would NEVER get finished, we just have TOO many plants to deal with. I am the only one that actually does any bonsai work around here and so I have to content myself with knowing I can hardly scratch the surface.
Last week I spent my early mornings and evenings sorting out some of the less desirable trees I have laying around. Even after all these years it still amazes me what a couple of carving tools and a bit of wire can do. There’s nothing here worth a dam other than my paltry wages…
Creating bonsai trees from collected material is a skilled process of knowing when to get involved and when to leave alone. Failure to carefully observe your material and act appropriately generally results in a poor outcome. Too much work is every bit as bad as too little. We don’t create bonsai, we can only point our material in the right direction, it’s the tree that creates the real magic when we are indoor eating corn chips and drinking beer. Getting a good start is important and every good start begins in the engine room, under the soil. Once that’s kicking out enough power we can make small inroads with a rudimentary shaping after which we need to step back and let the tree get on with its job. Most of these are rough as guts but there is always a time in bonsai when things APPEAR to go backwards and this is that time. Next work will be much more refined and fulfilling. Sadly many folk have a problem knowing or understanding this first work business so here are a few images to illustrate Day 1 bonsai training.