Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

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Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:28 am

For the ishizuki expert. Ibigawa rock is a needle in a haystack to find here in the U.S; I know that some use Lace rock as a substitue. Do Lace rocks hold up as well to the root compression or do they eventually break under the pressure?

I have a small shimpaku that I'm considering as a root over rock, so I'm trying to plan ahead. My first thought would be that the roots of a juniper wont exert enough pressure to fracture the stone, but I thought it wise to defer to you folks who know better.

With Thanks

John

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Ibigawa or lace rock

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:11 am

I am not familiar with Ibigawa, but I have a container that is a hollow piece of lace rock. Dave Lowman of Dasu Studios sells these, or you can buy smaller pieces at the stonemason. That stuff is so hard, when I took the workshop with Dave Lowman, he wore out six masonry bits drilling drain holes in the stones. I put epoxy feet on mine to level it & keep from scratching the stands. I doubt if juniper roots would do anything to it.
Iris

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  crust on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:27 am

based on my experience and observations of bonsai their roots are more than capable of busting up rock and other artifacts that are brittle or thin or convoluted enough for roots to get in between and expand . The Japanese import rocks I have seen are very strong and resist these problems well. Lace rock is a pretty generic term but I have two types; one is limestone and one is a type of sandstone both which are relatively soft but have great shapes and lots of crenulation and have planting plans for them all.

As far as longagivity goes as it applys to long term projects I think a harder metamorphic rock that is crackless is the best. The key of course is to find something awesome and perfect for the tree.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:45 am

Thanks Iris and crust,

I've heard of the limestone issues before, but Iris that has to be one tough rock to wear out drill bits. I've seen the ones for sale at DaSu, so they may be one potential source. I just don't know if there is any eqivalent to the ibigawa as far as reliability in withstanding the time factor.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  crust on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:53 pm

Ibigawa rocks can be purchased here in the US as can other rocks such as the lace rock from Dansu but it is best to view them I think. I wish I had a good root over rock rock source too. Something hard and appropriatly groovy and cool. Last year I pilfered a larch over ibigawa (in development) from the Grumbling Ogre Nick Lenz. He said, "Rock very heavy, many years to go, I would rather paint and drink german beer, begone."

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:47 pm

crust, any pics yet??

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GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE

Post  JimLewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 pm

My! I hope we're not going to start worshiping this as the ONLY rock for bonsai just because it is Japanese. We already import Japanese dirt, which is, I think, pretty silly.

Its just another name for a form of black lava from what I can determine. Go wander through New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii, or the Pacific northwest and you should find eminently suitable rock for planting over. Or wander through any mountain range and look for various metamorphic rocks that have lost their original granular structure because of heat and pressure. Good geology is everywhere.

Besides I think it is less roots than it is the freeze-thaw cycle that fractures rocks, though roots certainly can provide ingress for the water.


But everything bonsai doesn't NEED to be Made in Japan.

END GRUMBLE!

_________________
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: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:07 pm

jeez Jim, you're breakin' my spirit Suspect

I agree that not everything has to be "made in Japan", but I'm just trying to figure out overall suitability. As you point out, much will have to do with the freeze/thaw cycling and also the matching of the stone itself to the overall composition.

I live in PA and we generally can't find squat.






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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Poink88 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:22 pm

The conundrum is, we want figured rock pieces with areas for the root to hold on. The rocks with these features are normally aged and eroding. The feature that make a rock ideal visually makes it prone to future cracking and deterioration (poor structurally)...so pick your poison. If you can find something in the middle...a solid river rock with some figure but not too much crevices or fissures, that should work great. The problem is it might not suit your tree. Sigh, too many factors to consider.

I do agree with Jim. You can probably find better rocks here in the US...you just need to know where to look. Wink

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  crust on Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:17 pm

A cool rock is a cool rock, no matter where its from and finding them laying around takes alot of effort, travel and time.

Ibigawa rocks are rocks from the Ibigawa area in Japan. Unlike the US there are folks there that selectively collect wonderfully shaped ones often using acid to carve or accentuate curves and convulations. Market demands they make there way all over the world, at least it did in the past. The ones I have seen are very hard black with revealed quartz intrusions, usually pretty perfect for clasping plantings. They seem to be igneous. I don't see many people collecting and marketing rocks for bonsai use in the US probably because there is no money in it however the aquaria trade does sell different forms of lace-type rock which you can buy by the ton if you want but specific piece selection and sales is rare other than by the aquaria shops or rock hounds. Its usually cool but often softer. I am sure individual clubs have there rock traders--I don't know any. It does seem crazy, not to mention a great waste of resources, to ship rocks from overseas but then a cool rock is a cool rock.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:17 pm

A cool rock is a cool rock, no matter where its from and finding them laying around takes alot of effort, travel and time.

And thereby with that effort you feel a lot better about a rock that you found yourself rather than one that you spent a lot of $$$$ for -- including an unconscionable amount for shipping a rock across the Pacific Ocean.

Pennsylvania, by the way, has some of the oldest mountains in the world in it. I spent a lot of summers in West Virginia and found some really neat rocks in those mountains (which are the same ones).

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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: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  marcus watts on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm


Hi,

If you are aiming for the trational style where the tree and roots are grown on the outside of the rock, cascading down into the soil the breaking issue is not so likely so you can use slightly softer rocks than volcanic ones if they are all you can get. as the tree matures the roots bind together around the rock so cracks wont be to disasterous as the whole planting stays held together.

trees planted In rocks are totally different though - the rots are always expanding and looking for paths, this with the freezing issue breaks all but the hardest rocks in time.

If you are thinking of the commonly seen beautiful trident maples we see on rugged little rocks these days it isnt actually all roots that are trained down the entire rock face but young trunks bound in place tightly making at least the upper half of the 'roots'- they are criss-crossed over each other so they fuse with themselves and the rock texture, but because they are trunks they wont be sending out rootlets looking to penetrate the rock itself.

I was looking into rocks only this week and the finest igebawa rocks are treated with acid to erode the spectacular textures - time you started experimenting at a continent the size of america must have rock to rival everywhere else on the planet, or even better it if you look hard enough!

cheers Marcus

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:48 pm

Yeah Marcus, the idea is to plant the juniper in the rock itself, that's why I really have to consider the hardness of the piece and its ability to withstand time and conditions. Thanks again Jim, crust and Dario for the input, no doubt there are pieces to be had here in the US, it's just going to be a matter of time and effort to see what comes up. Just for the record, I don't see the merit of importing stone from points around the globe, I just want to obtain the best suitable material for the long run.

With Thanks

John

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:51 pm

Out of curiosity, I Googled "rock shops" and found 11 of them within 40 miles of me (out of 11-million alleged hits). Many of them seemed to have larger stones -- not just gems and minerals.

_________________
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: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:54 pm

Thanks Jim, I'll follow the same lead and see where it takes me.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Dale Cochoy on Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:32 pm

I used to sell large pieces of lace rock that I got from an Aquarium wholesaler in Ohio. They came from Utah and weren't exactly cheap, the reason, yep! Shipping. I still have quite a few here. I never had any troubles with them freezing/thawing in winter over MANY winters.
But, just to bug Jim :>)
Here is a nice, big Ibi river stone that my teacher, Keith Scott, brought me back from Japan in the mid-80's. It's never been planted. I got tired of looking at it on display and carried it to shows last year with lots of looks but no serious buyers. :>) I'll have it at MidA if you go?
My old business partner has a big one also, same source, that he might be willing to sell/ship. If you are serious I could check into it?

I remember several years back there was a Dallas area show done by Larry Leon and he had a great workshop done which put 1 or 3 shimpaku on some great Ibigawa. Real nice ones! but, low turnout for a few reasons. I think he supplied the rocks but the workshop was done by someone else. I think Larry has passed but I will ask the person who did the workshop about it.




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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:07 pm

Thank you for the reply Dale.

I'm beginning to think that finding the stone is going to be the toughest part yet. Being perfectly honest, I have no idea what stones such as the one you attached cost. Simplicity seems to dictate that it would be much easier to have the stone first before worrying what to plant on it, but alas. Just maybe a better option would be to collaborate with a potter and see what can be created with possibly a shell/crescent or more radical pot style in mind.

With Thanks

John

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Dale Cochoy on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:14 pm

Orion wrote:Thank you for the reply Dale.

I'm beginning to think that finding the stone is going to be the toughest part yet. Being perfectly honest, I have no idea what stones such as the one you attached cost. Simplicity seems to dictate that it would be much easier to have the stone first before worrying what to plant on it, but alas. Just maybe a better option would be to collaborate with a potter and see what can be created with possibly a shell/crescent or more radical pot style in mind.

With Thanks

John


Very Happy Funny you should mention that......

D.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  jgeanangel on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:49 pm

Orion wrote:I'm beginning to think that finding the stone is going to be the toughest part yet.

Good stones are far more difficult to acquire than good pots! It only takes money to find good pots...even if you have money, good stones can still be difficult to acquire. You need vision and maybe with the exception of slabs, picking the material for a rock planting is always the second priority...selecting the stone is first...completely backwards from the typical bonsai creation process.

I have sold a few stones over the years and it has always bothered me that people will balk over a $50 stone but drop $100 or more at the bat of eye for a nice pot. It seems to me that the law of supply and demand should lead to an understanding that good stones should cost much more than good pots....there is nobody out there making good stones! I will pay $2 a pound to buy a nice stone at an aquarium store all day long...that's way cheaper than the per pound cost of pots.

Yeah...and before someone says it...99% of all "carved" stones look exactly like that.. someone carved it...yuke! even Mr. Kimura's. I was very surprised and disappointed to realize that nearly all, if not all, of his famous rock plantings are on cast, cut, or some other type of human-manipulated stones. What does that tell you about how hard it is to find good stones?

John


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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:21 pm

Dale Cochoy wrote:
Orion wrote:Thank you for the reply Dale.

I'm beginning to think that finding the stone is going to be the toughest part yet. Being perfectly honest, I have no idea what stones such as the one you attached cost. Simplicity seems to dictate that it would be much easier to have the stone first before worrying what to plant on it, but alas. Just maybe a better option would be to collaborate with a potter and see what can be created with possibly a shell/crescent or more radical pot style in mind.

With Thanks

John


Very Happy Funny you should mention that......

yup, I think you and I will be talking about this project. When I get a chance, I'll post some pics.

D.

John, all I can is that if you hear wailing over the internet waves it's probably me still looking for a stone.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:25 am

A vendor at the Potomac Bonsai Association Spring Show had a large piece of Ibigawa for sale with the remnants of a Trident Maple still attached. He told me that the tree died and he was asking $500 for the stone. He also told me that he was told (take it for what its worth) that some growers in Japan have been known to remove an old tree from its rock (ruin a good tree) in order to use the stone for other projects with better potential.
Best,
Todd

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:27 am

Dale,
How would you attach your stone to a suitable pot?
Thanks,
Todd

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Orion on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:22 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:A vendor at the Potomac Bonsai Association Spring Show had a large piece of Ibigawa for sale with the remnants of a Trident Maple still attached. He told me that the tree died and he was asking $500 for the stone. He also told me that he was told (take it for what its worth) that some growers in Japan have been known to remove an old tree from its rock (ruin a good tree) in order to use the stone for other projects with better potential.
Best,
Todd

The stone removals that I'm familiar with were usually done because the tree outgrew the stone and the balance between the two was lost. The trees were then either re-matched with an other more appropriate stone or planted by itself in a pot. What pained me was the breaking up of the stone in some cases where, I imagine, they could not separate the two without potential damage to the roots.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Dale Cochoy on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:35 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:A vendor at the Potomac Bonsai Association Spring Show had a large piece of Ibigawa for sale with the remnants of a Trident Maple still attached. He told me that the tree died and he was asking $500 for the stone. He also told me that he was told (take it for what its worth) that some growers in Japan have been known to remove an old tree from its rock (ruin a good tree) in order to use the stone for other projects with better potential.
Best,
Todd

Very Happy I remember that Todd. He sold it for a bit less.....You??
Mine has been for sale since that show! Very Happy Never been dirty!
I'm not sure I would require anything to attach it to a pot, but if you worried about falling over, I suppose wire would be fine? I'm not sure I'd want to use a glue of any type that might be real hard to get off. Several of the folks who've looked at mine have talked daiza and not a planting?

Orion, yes, what you say is, I believe, a common problem with Japanese stones where they value the stone more than the tree.

D.

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:35 pm

Hi Dale,
No, I didn't buy it. I liked it but could not justify buying a rock without a tree in mind. Your stone looks interesting upright and on its side (90 degrees to the right); a nice arch - two points on a daiza. The base looks like it has an animal "something" going on. Decisions, decisions! Very Happy
Todd

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Re: Ibigawa or Lace Rock?

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