Why ? any ideas

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Why ? any ideas

Post  tim stubbs on Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:47 pm

just some questions that have come to me

Why is everything in a bonsai book right if thats what they do in japan ?

Why is it a man from the tropics can style two european trees better than people from the northern parts can ?

Why is a product expensive if its got bonsai in japanese written on it written on it?

Why do people look at european trees as inferior to those from japan ?





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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  JimLewis on Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:24 pm

Just because.

That's the only answer there is.

They're not all always true -- or false.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:33 pm

tim stubbs wrote:just some questions that have come to me

Why is everything in a bonsai book right if thats what they do in japan ?

Why is it a man from the tropics can style two european trees better than people from the northern parts can ?

Why is a product expensive if its got bonsai in japanese written on it written on it?

Why do people look at european trees as inferior to those from japan ?






Hi Tim.
Most if not all of the questions you thought about is applicable to Western/European mentality only I think.
but my take on those are different.

-Here in the tropics we rarely consider Japanese bonsai as the ultimate right approach to bonsai, thus not everything written in a book is the gospel truth if it is done in Japan. Most of the people in the tropics prefer the Taiwanese, Chinese or Indonesian style/ approach to bonsai, and probably found found the style more natural if not superior to Japanese design.

-If you are talking about "Budi" -he is a natural artist, doing bonsai specially demos require a natural talent and not just learned talent from experience (IMHO), Any kind of trees you asked them to do will be done superbly if the guy got an inborn natural talent... Tropical or not. Probably some naturally talented westerner will deliver the same superb result if you asked them to do a tropical specie alien to them.


-Everything coming from Japan is expensive. Only their Honda and Yamaha are cheaper Compare to BMW and Harley Very Happy . and oh! their wasabi is cheaper too.

-Lastly...the only difference is the maturity of the stocks of trees they got.They just got the started earlier than you.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  marcus watts on Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:46 pm

jun hits the nail on the head in one line............the japanese trees have the maturity to have a big head start.............i do believe they (the japenese) have perfected many techniques that create very high quility results though - and these results take many years to achieve. i think the rest of the bonsai world is still too desperate to make bonsai in a hurry so they are perfecting short cuts rather than perfecting the better techniques.

today i read the story of a six year path to bring an already very high class tree up to an even higher standard ready for a show - this is a credit to the japenese trained western owner/stylist - many people think they can make a tree show ready in 6 months !! but this is the 'must rush' mentality again and it shows when the trees are seen for real rather than in a picture.

i think initially a book will guide a person and they will get results rather than fail........then they get confidence and move away from the book - there will be a few failures but more is learnt and the individuals talents will start to show in their trees.

on your last point a great many european trees still are inferior...that brings us to the start again - maturity and technique - the european trees can often look good in pictures but are poor when you see the many crossed branches and coiled up sections hidden under the foliage. it boils down to a japanese grower unselfishly styling a tree for a future generation to get the credit and enjoyment, while other artists around the modern world want the result and 'fame' for themselves..... that will always be the culture gap

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  tim stubbs on Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:05 am

marcus watts wrote:

on your last point a great many european trees still are inferior...that brings us to the start again - maturity and technique - the european trees can often look good in pictures but are poor when you see the many crossed branches and coiled up sections hidden under the foliage. it boils down to a japanese grower unselfishly styling a tree for a future generation to get the credit and enjoyment, while other artists around the modern world want the result and 'fame' for themselves..... that will always be the culture gap

so the credit should go to the grower NOT the artist , wherefore the only grower Pavel , Walter , Mauro have is what mother nature gives them , i know which i would rather have

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  marcus watts on Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:41 pm

tim stubbs wrote:
marcus watts wrote:

on your last point a great many european trees still are inferior...that brings us to the start again - maturity and technique - the european trees can often look good in pictures but are poor when you see the many crossed branches and coiled up sections hidden under the foliage. it boils down to a japanese grower unselfishly styling a tree for a future generation to get the credit and enjoyment, while other artists around the modern world want the result and 'fame' for themselves..... that will always be the culture gap

so the credit should go to the grower NOT the artist , wherefore the only grower Pavel , Walter , Mauro have is what mother nature gives them , i know which i would rather have

yes, in the case of an imported tree the grower should be credited for the creation, ability and skill that goes into producing high quality workable material, just simply styling is one of the easiest parts of our hobby - keeping the tree healthy, thriving and improving over time is far harder.

with Yamadori of course mother nature sculpted it - the credit goes to a concientious collector who can see potential in the material, collect it in a manner so it survives, and then, as above, have the husbandry skills to enable the tree to overcome the shock. The collector may be the stylist, they may not be if they buy it, but once again the styler uses what they choose to buy or choose to dig up. 99.9% of yamadori from the entire world will not have ideal branches in ideal places, so they will have un-natural bends, snaked and crossed branches etc - and when you see these trees for real, peek under or behind them they tend to disapoint rather than amaze -

i think this japenese import white pine ramification is very good (bottom branch too), the skill in producing it comes from generations of knowledge passed down, there is no need to cheat the wiring so the pad looks full in a picture as a piece of bonsai material like this was created in a slow patient manner


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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  tim stubbs on Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:59 pm

the thing that i dont like is the nursery grown imports all look similar , in that you must have this branch , that branch etc , because they have to look like bonsai in japan .

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:51 pm

marcus watts wrote:jun hits the nail on the head in one line............the japanese trees have the maturity to have a big head start.............- maturity and technique - the european trees can often look good in pictures but are poor when you see the many crossed branches and coiled up sections hidden under the foliage. it boils down to a japanese grower unselfishly styling a tree for a future generation to get the credit and enjoyment

Marcus, I am so glad to see someone else say this, but I wouldn't limit it to European trees. There is no such thing as instant bonsai and to think that a tree can be finished in a demo with a branch arrangement similar to the wires behind my stereo cabinet is a major fallacy of western design. It's the same reason why I dislike guy wires in a tree being shown. If it needs a guy wire it is not ready to be shown. Another that makes me shake my head is to burn deadwood with a torch to "make it look old" instead of letting time do its work. These are fallacies of some western design.

To my delight, one thing that was apparent at the two US national exhibitions sponsored by Bill Valvanis was that most of the top tree (and there were many), had maturity on their side. They had been patiently worked on for many years. And while nursery grown trees developed over several decades don't always have the flash and panache of yamadori's taken from nature, they have elegance and elan and to me that is what bonsai is mostly about.

Side note, the advantage of growing a bonsai in a tropical climate is that the maturity of a design can come much quicker than for a temperate tree.

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  will baddeley on Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:23 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote: Another that makes me shake my head is to burn deadwood with a torch to "make it look old" instead of letting time do its work. These are fallacies of some western design

??????????????
I shall probably be accused of picking on you again but I'm sure you put wire on your trees and forgive me if I'm wrong but I'm sure you were pictured with a dremmel in your hand recently?
Both the above are used to "make it look old instead of letting time do the work"

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:21 am

will baddeley wrote:
Rob Kempinski wrote: Another that makes me shake my head is to burn deadwood with a torch to "make it look old" instead of letting time do its work. These are fallacies of some western design

??????????????
I shall probably be accused of picking on you again but I'm sure you put wire on your trees and forgive me if I'm wrong but I'm sure you were pictured with a dremmel in your hand recently?
Both the above are used to "make it look old instead of letting time do the work"


Logical reason for "burning" deadwood (at least for me and the science behind it)- It will make the aging process faster: reason, after removing the live bark, the moist of the surface and little below the surface will easily evaporate due to heat. cracks on/along the grain will only happen when the wood is fully dried, then wet, then dried repeatedly for long time. so occasional force drying of the wood will make the process progress faster. this is how we aged the "kiln dry wood" that we used in furniture and Solid wooden doors,, etc, but for the furniture and doors cracks were removed by planer and sand paper, in most woods the aged looking cracks will appear only in the surface grains and the interior part of the wood will remain solid. (post photo later)-this is called THERMAL EXPANSION and CONTRACTION- when it happens to wood, results are cracks and bends.
As for me another reason for burning the wood specially the inner part and crevices of a man made deadwood- it will preserve the deadwood works even better if the thin layer of the carbon surface is left within the crevices. Anyway some people are using ink to color the interior works of the deadwood to create depth illusion, why not burned carbon, it will last forever.

regards,
jun Smile






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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:49 am

Cont...
This sounds interesting, so pardon me if it is not a separate thread: (I opened up too many thread recently /already hehehe)

Reasons for timber cracks when wood drying-

"The exterior part of the dead wood dries up lot faster than the wet interior. If these layers are allowed to dry much below the fiber saturation point while the interior is still saturated,Stresses( called drying stresses) are set up because the shrinkage of the outer layers is still resricted
by the wet interior. Rupture in the wood tissues occur, consequently splits and cracks if these stresses across the grains exceed the strength across the grains "- by Wiki wood drying. Read more about this very interesting topic

The more chance of early development of wood cracks is by force drying wet surface of wood, dried wood will have a lesser chance of developing natural looking cracks if flamed.

regards,
jun Smile






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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  tim stubbs on Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:34 am

So let e get this right ,
you have to have a tree with"made in japan" stamped on it
you cant use fire or a dremel to create deadwood
you cannot create a tree in less than a lifetime
you cannot use guywires on a tree
you cannot create a tree from nature only a grower

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Re: Why ? any ideas

Post  Rob Kempinski on Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:07 am

My comments relate to technique and degree of use. And timing of technique is important too. For example in my opinion guy wires are acceptable on a tree in training but not for show. Your opinion and mileage may vary. Fire that is passed quickly over carved wood to remove fine fibers is a good technique as long as not over done.

Trying to make a tree look old is a common bonsai design goal but succeeding is a different story.

The bottom line is any statement anyone makes is subject to your own interpretation, understanding and logical analysis. Accepting statements from anyone without fully thinking on your own is not a good idea.

Jun - kiln drying wood or even air drying to make lumber is to reduce the moisture content to make the wood amenable to wood working tools and to reduce shrinkage in furniture or other applications. Most US domestic hardwood when kiln dried will not stand up well to repeat wet and dry cycles. For that we use pressure treated lumber which has had nasty chemicals squeezed into the cellular structure via pressure and is definitely not dry. Some tropical woods hold up well to moisture cycles (like teak) if its oil content remains high. Torching wood in a bonsai until it chars I feel doesn't really help preserve wood, it weakens the cellulose structure, dries up certain oils and causes cracks that won't add durability. It might make the wood unpalatable to a bug but then the wood is charred and weak already. Some techniques "fire harden" wood, but is really another way to say using heat to dry the wood much like a kiln does to lumber. If it were me, I'd limit the use of fire and use the appropriate chemical if possible because i've used fire and seen over time the poor results it gives. Again your opinion and mileage may vary.

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Re: Why ? any ideas

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