Juniper Itoigawa

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Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:27 pm

I styled this juniper in Japan at school. Oyakata Urushibata was away when I did it.
When he came back he asked me if his son Taiga Urushibata who trained with Kimura for 6 years helped me. I said no.
It sounds like boasting and probably is, for I was so proud that he liked it.
The whole day he kept telling the people around....this is perfection. I felt like jumping up and down. He is a very kind man.
It took me two full days...but finally I managed.
Any way here it is:
Before

and after:


And this one for sure is funny:





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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Cronic on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:08 pm

very nice tree! grats!

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:34 pm

It's a great tree.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Tona on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:42 pm

Great job Neli!! Beautiful tree!!
Tona

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Orion on Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:05 pm

A real beauty!

Love the foliage pad development and excellent ramification.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  jtay123 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:00 pm

You have every right to be proud, great job.

John

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  twyama3388 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:14 pm

as good job as your faith!

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:17 pm

Thank You, for the kind comments. I was supposed to post some more pictures but was interrupted by visitors.
I created some jin on it, rearranged the branches , removed some, cleaned it and added lime sulfur to it.

This is how I arranged the apex area:


This juniper still needs the pads filled up but it is almost there:
Notice here how one of the pads was split into two levels. A common practice for longer branches with suitable foliage, that can be incorporated and is needed by the design.

Junipers are styled very differently from any tree in Japan. I was shocked during the initial lessons. A tree can be styled from one branch only coming from the top. That branch can be brought down to form the first primary branch. From the top shoots will be developed and brought down for second primary and crown... That is not the case always...but just to show you how things can be done.
Some time a branch will come from the top from behind down and form a first primary branch.
In general Junipers go through several different stages of styling very different in nature. I have been planning to write an article how to style junipers in detail on my blog, but I have been a very lazy girl.
I shall give here few examples of styling junipers the way I was thought or more precisely how i understood it all.
Just that I will do it a bit by bit so I dont run out of steam...he he he!

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:28 pm

Most important thing is if I can learn this every one can...The most important thing is to understand how it is done...I never did understand it before I went to Japan. I was doing everything wrong. Ones you understand it everything comes into place intuitively. I hope I shall manage to convey this understanding here, with my follow up posts.

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consideration 1

Post  Neli on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:37 pm

The first thing Oyakata tried to emphasize is the general nature of juniper styling. He said:
Remember Bonsai Mama (that is what he called me)...junipers come from the mountains...from very harsh conditions. they are subjected to the elements...animals...and in general adverse condition. You need to portray that in your design. You should never do junipers with symmetrical silhouette...Make sure your first primary branches are never at the same level, in order to symbolically express the conditions in which they are grown.
So I always keep that in mind.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  twyama3388 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:48 pm

Each bonsai reflects the creator's mind at that time while he creating it.

And each bonsai is also unique.

It can not be right or wrong or bad to comment.

In fact, it is all so-called "master" bonsai works, always from ordinary people.

Since that "master", his disposition will reflect this in his work.

The kind of work often due to their own mind with some kind of mental stress resulting in distortion.

Please do not give yourself pressure learning, while you creating it.

Because both potted plants or gardening, people are to learn to understand nature, with nature,and relax themselves!

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:03 pm

Thank You for the comment. I did not understand everything very well.
Some of what I understood is possibly true for many people...I know my mood affects my work, and I know I can mess up if in a bad=impatient mood. So I just stop all work...to aboid accidentally braking or cutting branches, but this I did not understand:
Please do not give yourself pressure learning, while you creating it.
With bonsai I feel there is so much to learn...horticulture...techniques...procedures and much more...
Creativity is something you have or dont have...for me it is a feeling and the expression of that feeling...and feel guide lines can help those people without it.
Here I dont attempt to teach people how to create...I would only try to convey the methods used during creation in order to achieve your vision.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  twyama3388 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:51 am

Neli wrote:Thank You for the comment. I did not understand everything very well.
Some of what I understood is possibly true for many people...I know my mood affects my work, and I know I can mess up if in a bad=impatient mood. So I just stop all work...to aboid accidentally braking or cutting branches, but this I did not understand:
Please do not give yourself pressure learning, while you creating it.
With bonsai I feel there is so much to learn...horticulture...techniques...procedures and much more...
Creativity is something you have or dont have...for me it is a feeling and the expression of that feeling...and feel guide lines can help those people without it.
Here I dont attempt to teach people how to create...I would only try to convey the methods used during creation in order to achieve your vision.

In fact, no one knows more about the delicate relationship between you and your bonsai than you, even if your bonsai teacher as so.

Bonsai is a microcosm of life, It not only make people learn to thrive and grow lush pay but also people learn to wither and die of old age care and lay down ........

Focus is not much you can carve a beautiful plant, nor is it you have been go to Japan to study bonsai., Because the meaning of bonsai no standard answer, The teacher can only tell you that he already knew but can not tell you that he does not know .

If some day you can understand this,Then you can tell people do not know the answer about bonsai, And you also be able to take care of bonsai heart to care for the people around you, then your " bonsai " is not just a " bonsai " was.

Something you naturally understand without any pressure learning like bonsai, If you ever thought about.


Last edited by twyama3388 on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  fiona on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:45 am

Excellent post, Neli and a stunning tree.

Neli wrote: Creativity is something you have or dont have...
Couldn't agree more. And this is the bit I have the biggest difficulty with personally as I lack the "eye" for the tree within. It's also the reason why I tend to buy part-styled trees so I can overcome that initial lack of vision but still manage to take some satisfaction from having done at least part of the "creation" work.

Neli wrote:With bonsai I feel there is so much to learn...horticulture...techniques...procedures and much more...
And this is the bit I can do.

Man, I really need a bonsai partner so we can create as a team.  Wink 



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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  fiona on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:51 am

Trying not to sound too gushy here but if readers wanted to chart a real "progression sequence" then it would be done by looking back at Neli's chain of posts since she joined.  Prepared to admit that your early attempts were not perfect, never shy of asking all those questions the rest of us are too timid to ask (occasionally asking them of "masters" and not letting them away with dismissive responses too  Wink  ), and by taking the time out to go and learn from the best, the amount and speed of your "progression" is impressive.   Hats off to you.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Twisted Trees on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:00 pm

A masterpiece.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Thank You Fiona, You are a Darling...I dont have from whom to learn here. I am the only one that has bonsai. So I was lucky some friends managed to arrange the apprenticeship for me. I learned a lot, lost 10 kg, he hehe! And my fingers at one point were bleeding from wiring from morning to evening...But it was fantastic. I tried to specialize in junipers and pines only instead learning bits and pieces of everything and ending with nothing at the end..
I am going in July to learn carving from Graham Potter and in Oct to Indonesia Malaysia and Thailand to learn how they do their trees and pads for I find them so different and fascinating.
My main resolution is to come out of the box. Not do the usual stuff but unique and different trees. I find that most of the time creativity also eludes me...I need to be inspired...and I take now a longtime to decide how to style a tree. But if I get inspired...things go smoothly...and I get this feeling that I am on the right truck...I know I am OK.
Just that I forget the inspirations...so Now I bought a printer...all design virtuals are printed and put in a water proof file, that can be carried in the garden.
The problem with me is I am perfectionist...and things bother me if not OK...then I sit and try to figure out what is bothering me and correct it.
I know in future what will bother me and chop ruthlessly now so I dont waste time later, after growing it for a long time, and lots of irritation to have to chop again.
For me in bonsai all the fun is about creating...That is the most satisfying part of it.
I like to but prebonsai (just trunks) and go from there.
Horticulturally I am OK since I have had 3 garden centers for close to 30 years,,,but bonsai was news for me. With everything I try to understand things first before I try to remember them. So I hope I shall be OK soon. BTW I did a demo in Japan about pines at the garden fair...for the foreigners. A very small one..on repotting.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:54 pm

Twisted Trees wrote:A masterpiece.
Thank You.

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Consideration 2

Post  Neli on Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:02 pm

Now after the first lesson Oyakata made me think and tell him what elements of the tree can portray harsh conditions and rough existence in the mountains...
The conclusion eventually was the dead wood like jin and shari and extreme movement of the trunk are elements that also convey that feeling.
That is why junipers are traditionally done with lots of this design elements, and when styling a tree, this elements must be included as focal points, incorporated in the design and emphasized.
So this was my contribution for today. More tomorrow.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Orion on Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:14 pm

Thank you Neli for taking the time and effort on these tutorials; you've certainly learned very well and you communicate the essence of juniper development in an effective and interesting way.

Please keep up the good work.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:40 pm

Thank You I shall try and hope it will be OK on the end.

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Consideration3

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:22 am

Look at the tree. Look at it from all directions, see what you like best about it.
Is it the nebari?
Is it a dead wood feature?
Is it the movement of the trunk.
Branches are rarely considered in Junipers...they can be brought from another area or grafted.
Decide which is going to be your front.
If you are not sure take your time....the more you look at it the better you will get to know your tree, and one of those days you will get a flush and know exactly what to do with it.
Ask, post your tree also...Listen to what people have to say...Two heads are always better than one.
I shall start here with first styling of juniper.

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Consideration 4 make a virtual

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:37 am

Ones you have decided on a front it is time to decide on a style, and the first thing you do is make a virtual.
Here is Oyakata teaching me how to make a virtual:
He would always say first: Find the front and call me. Make a virtual next. As I advanced...he will give me a stick and tell me: Make it wind swept style, and that was the hardest...he he he.

Here is the virtual he made:

Here is a picture of the tree before styling from the top and other views.

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:40 am


After removing some foliage but before wiring and styling it:





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Consideration 5 Planting angle

Post  Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:54 am

This is the tree after its first ever styling.
Notice the lowest left branch. It comes from behind. The first structural styling of junipers is done with very few branches...some time one plus the apex...some time two...very rarely more than that. This type of junipers are sold with very few branches...and if they have more...they are cut off very often. I shall give more examples later so it is understood better.

As you decide on the style. Turn the tree around and tilt it in different directions. Decide if it needs a change in planting angle and put something under the tree before styling it so when wiring the branches the angle of the later planting is put into consideration.
Many trees are left in the growing area at the future angle of planting, to grow. It helps the tree to adjust its habit of growing and root direction. Often an empty pot will be used to tilt the tree at the desired angle.
Oyaka stiled this Juniper for Kinbon magazine japan. I shall post a progression later.


Notice that the second right branch needs to be adjusted to a better angle. The second left branch is not yet wired since it is just too small.
In the next post I shall do a post mortum and how this tree was styled and how it will be developed in future.


Last edited by Neli on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:27 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Juniper Itoigawa

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