learning or teaching opportunity?

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learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:22 pm

Pictured here is a group of hemlock that I dug off a saddleback in the cascade mountains. They were transistioned over a two year period to adjust and then repotted last year. now it's time to do some styling.
So, there are four elements...good , bad , indifferent?

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:32 pm



The one in the back splits low giving you 2 lines. It could probably be split even lower, so I see 5 not 4. Do they all share the same root system?

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:46 pm

thanks for kicking this thing off. Yes, the clump shares the same root system. Kind of an unfair photo really, as I only had one of it from last year and while this was gonna be my front, it ended up being my back. But I had no other pictures to contribute. The 5 look comes from the center of the pot where two trunks "Y" but the one on the right side is dead.

I'm not done wiring it, and it's still dark outside as i write this but as soon as I get some light, I'll shoot an updated photo. the question will be the same, 4 elements? But it will give the viewer a much better vision.

Again Russell, thanks for getting this thing started Smile

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:33 pm

If you re-potted last year did you root prune? and if so has the tree recovered enough from that re-pot to be safely wired at this point?

With conifers I've read over and over hat you need to wait till you have a dense established root system to wire, I have rushed and lost branches myself by not waiting.

-Jay

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:59 pm

jay, always appreciate your input. the move in all appearances seems to have been well received by the tree.

here is the current look of the tree and with some additional wiring needed and deadwood work still needing to be accomplished. So back to the initial question. What do others see...a grouping of 3 or is the 4 acceptable?

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:55 pm

just a quick bump back up to the top...would like to get afew comments on the # of trunks

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:11 am

Dick,

I think it can work with 4 trunks. Not quite sure of your front though with 4. Currently it breaks into 2 groups of 2 which I find a little too symmetric. What about a view from either the right front or front left corner which would separate the 2 on the left? I am leaning towards the front left view from what I see so the two smaller trunks provide depth.

I know that 4 has undesirable connotations in several Asian languages, but in the west (particularly the US) 4 of something is a very common number of items. The only real issue I have for bonsai is that it is too easy to break up into 2 pairs which can be visually boring. Perhaps in the forest workshop I am conducting this weekend I will encourage a 4 tree forest - 3 together plus an orphan - could be a very strong emotional statement if done correctly.

Marty

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:39 am

Dick
I think this will make a very nice raft design, I cannot tell by the photo but can one trunk be split to give you five trunks instead of four?

Mitch

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:21 pm

So the 4 does bother you then, mitch? Appreciate you "Vote".

What i'm wrestling here with is, I'm not japanese, and while I'm very sensitive to cultural influences, I'm wondering how much actually applies to me in my culture. While english has lots of interesting words that sound alike but have different meanings in context, there is no word that could be taken for the number four or the word for death as there is in Japan.

Hopefully we'll get some more input from others, so as to get a concensus of sorts Smile


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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:28 pm

No the even number thing is not a cultural obstical. It's more of a universal way we perceive visual balance. Imagine what you would perceive as balanced. Imagine four equal sized bricks standing tall. Now imagine the same bricks in a set if three. Which do you think looks visually balanced. To me the four looks to predictable with a definate center. Now the three has no visual center. This makes my minds eye shift back and fourth in search of center. This to me makes the odd set more interesting and comforting and more balanced. Tt's just a twist of fate the ancient Chinese or the Japanese documented it first? I find it to be universally human and let go at that. In design it's the visual tricks that makes one more successful over another. It's just another one of those "rules" to keep in your trick bag to use or not as needed, after all it's your artistic prerogative to use it or not.

I'm not saying a great design could not be successful with four trunks. What do yawl think? Let's get this exercise going.

Mitch

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:01 pm

dick benbow wrote: a concensus of sorts Smile


I am sure you know that no such animal will ever exist.... Bottom line is that it makes absolutely no difference what anyone thinks but you! (but this is hard to accept for many) For me this is half the fun of bonsai...trying to creating something that is visually appealing to me...I rarely get it right the first time, and often don't the second or third times...but isn't that what makes this interesting and challenging! I think you will also find that over time your personal "taste" changes...which results in the evolution or revolution of your tree designs...so nothing is final:)


John

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:09 pm

thanks for your thoughts John. I think you've pretty much caught me in my own personal transistion. Formerly adhering to the japanese way exclusively, I'm now looking to find my own way. In the photo, when i moved the third tree forward ( counting from L to R ) to it' present location, it made the whole display come to life.

I do respect the opinions of others hence my request to get a consensus. Now if i could only get a few dozen more comments with reasoning, that would be most helpful. Smile

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

Post  dick benbow on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:59 pm

wanted to bump this back up to the top in hopes i'd get a few more inputs. With so few it's hard to get a concensus. if you have a conviction pls post

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Re: learning or teaching opportunity?

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