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HomeBonsaiRy2Tree2 Bonsai Weblog: Haunted Hollows

Ry2Tree2 Bonsai Weblog: Haunted Hollows

Supply materials: 2019, October-November

          This week, I’m particularly glad to share that I’ve completed making use of to my Ph.D. applications! Now I can lastly return to my extra artistic pursuits and share them with you all once more. Fortunately, I’ve not too long ago been impressed to create some new, distinctive, and seasonal methods to show bonsai. My first-attempts at Halloween-themed bonsai shows are cataloged right here.


1. A Pumpkin Portray
2. A Pumpkin Accent
3. A Pumpkin Pot

My mountain hemlock with a mountain jack-o’-lantern backdrop and my spooky flashlight face because the accent.

1. A Pumpkin Portray

          As I returned dwelling from the pumpkin patch with a wheelbarrow stuffed with pumpkins, the primary concept I needed to carve on my pumpkin originated from Japanese three-point shows. Defined briefly, many conventional Japanese shows of bonsai timber embrace extra parts than simply the tree. A tree is picked to match with a stand, pot, and generally accent vegetation, collectible figurines, viewing stones (suiseki), or a scroll-style portray. The mixture of things goals to set a broader scene than the tree can by itself. With evergreen timber, for instance, the usage of sure imagery like snow within the scroll portray can point out winter (like this instance), whereas the usage of a flowering accent plant can point out spring. That is fascinating as a result of an evergreen tree by itself doesn’t inform a lot of a narrative about seasons, so these additional parts add to the story of the show. Likewise, the scroll or accent plant can depict sure environments equivalent to a mountain, grassland, or coastal space by what sort of portray or plant is used. Different outstanding bonsai artists equivalent to Jonas Duplich and Invoice Valvanis have already gone to some lengths in cataloging and describing these compositions in better depth – extra pictures and studying on conventional and trendy shows can be found right here, right here, and right here.

This composition from Aarin Packard is an efficient instance of a standard Japanese show mixed with trendy American Halloween aesthetic. Learn extra right here, and pay attention to the tootsie roll accents! He is a really artistic man that we’re fortunate to now have as curator of our native Pacific Bonsai Museum

          With these concepts in thoughts, I made a decision this yr I’d carve my pumpkin within the stead of a standard Japanese scroll portray to depict Mount Rainier – probably the most iconic mountain right here in Washington state, and after we are fortunate sufficient to have clear days, it’s the most outstanding mountain within the Seattle skyline. My most developed tree – a mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) which I wired fully final winter – can be the topic of the composition. Now, I’ve by no means considered myself as notably good at artwork exterior of bonsai, however I pleasantly shocked myself with this one! I used a scalpel from the plant dissecting package I initially utilized in botany class to assist with a few of the closing particulars. I’m fairly proud of my work on this one haha. Sooner or later, I will give it one other go and see if I could make an much more elaborate pumpkin portray.

My moon is a bit screwy however that is okay 🙂
This pumpkin was THICC. I needed to carve about an inch and a half in on these cracks to let the sunshine by means of.

          You may acknowledge the tree I used from a earlier teaser image I posted on my social media. That is the primary time I am really returning to the subject of considered one of my teaser footage, however I am hoping to construct on that custom!

Trunk close-up of my yamadori (naturally-sourced) mountain hemlock bonsai (Tsuga mertensiana).
Authentic collector unknown, however the earlier stylist together with the person that did this carving of the jin was my buddy Hansy, a fellow scholar of Dan Robinson.
The tree responded very properly to final yr’s wiring and pruning. I now have many tremendous branches to selected from for the longer term path, however I didn’t prune or re-wire right now as there are some wire scars to heal first.
I like the bonsai’s shadow. My fancy lighting used for this shoot was a pumpkin spice candle.

          I’ve another pumpkin backdrop concept
to carve that I didn’t get to finish this yr. I w
rote it down so hopefully I can
revisit this and problem myself with one other pumpkin portray sooner or later.

that I’ve these concepts in thoughts, I need to additionally type my timber to suit a extra
spooky aesthetic so they are going to
harmonize higher with the Halloween theme subsequent
yr. Fortunately, Dan’s historic timber and carving work at 
ElandanGardens supply nice alternatives to search out bonsai timber with spooky
vibes. There I introduced a small pumpkin and scouted round for timber that had hollows, deadwood, or naturalistic eerieness with the thought to make use of my pumpkin as a casual accent plant.
One other considered one of my previous “Teaser Tuesday” social media posts coming again to hang-out you lastly!
This Japanese maple has fairly a little bit of deadwood. After I took this photograph, Dan not too long ago reworked it, eliminated rotting wooden, and lime sulfured what remained. There’s all the time new work to see at Elandan!
A larch in peak fall shade. I imagine that is additionally an japanese larch.
Discover the pumpkin!

3. A Pumpkin Pot

third concept for Halloween-themed bonsai was to create a brief show with a
pumpkin as a pot by sli
p-potting considered one of my timber (this method includes eradicating the pot with out pruning any
roots). I initially picked a warty pumpkin out for the thought as a result of I favored
the feel, however that pumpkin spoiled earlier than I received to make the composition. I
was shocked that the tree I had in thoughts, a Japanese Elm, aka Zelkova, took so lengthy for its
leaves to vary shade for fall. By the point the leaves had turned shade, I used to be
too in any other case with grad apps in any case! Fortunately I had one other medium measurement pumpkin
for the job which had no punctures and due to this fact went unspoiled all the best way
till the tip of November once I carried this out. Sadly, at the moment
I noticed, for me perform this operation with out pruning roots was not
sensible for the pumpkin I used to be left with. As a substitute, I photoshopped my tree into
the pumpkin for now; a brief composition for the aim of 1 photograph was
not value disturbing roots at first of winter and endangering my tree’s
well being. Bonsai is all the time in regards to the tree’s well being first. One other concept left to
pursue once more one other yr, however I’m as glad as I might be with the product for

Hmmmmm… one thing’s not proper right here…
My zelkova/Japanese elm photoshopped right into a pumpkin pot for a belated Halloween celebration. Subsequent yr, with higher planning, I will give it one other go.

          Extra to return on the event of this Zelkova subsequent time. Pulling it out of hibernation for this photoshoot prompted me to do a little bit of wanted clean-up on it.

4. Different Artist Shows

          Lastly, get pleasure from a couple of other Halloween bonsai shows which different folks have made earlier than.

A jade bonsai with somewhat Halloween accent by “littlejadebonsai” on instagram.

Extra inspirational Halloween bonsai shows can be found beneath (together with many Nick Lenz compositions).



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