The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

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The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:41 pm

A few weeks ago there was a post which generated some attention owing to a discussion about whether "corkscrew" junipers had become yet another "cookie cutter" bonsai. At the time, Tony Tickle made some interesting observations on the subject, as follows:

Quote Tony: In the hand of an 'imaginative' artist many different solutions could be arrived at.... its what you do that transforms the material... its what you do with it that makes the difference...

This weekend I had the pleasure of working with the English Pirate and the piece of my choice was - yes you're right - a corkscrew juniper in the Shohin/smaller Chuhin size bracket. Purchased from Willowbog, the material was in excellent health and had already had an amount of styling to the point where most people might have settled for a good old trim and tidy up. But then Tony ain't most people and we decided we were going to put into practice what he had said about making a difference.

Here is its story to date:

Before:

After:


This had been a possibility as a front but the buffalo horns spoiled it for me a tad


Front decided, we then put into practice another of Tony's points about the angle


Work begins on taking out the unwanted branches (of which there were several)


Just to prove that I actually did some of the work, here I am thinning out excess foliage ready for wiring


I was so busy I multi-tasked and ate my mid-morning biccie at the same time as working!


After a fair bit of thinning out of the lowe branches, Tony starts work on the apex.


By lunch this is what had been done.


The idea was to introduce a tension into the tree - a tree perched on a cliff side. So far so good. The apex still needs work as several of the branches are going off in the wrong direction. Ah well. Pies first! Back after lunch rabbit

One Steak pie later, and the work resumes. Tony decided that a shari would enhance the existing jin



The apex now gets some attention to try to get the branches into the correct place


How it looked in the shed, branches pretty much in place


The devil is in the detail. A small tweak of the lower branches produced an even greater tension than before.


A small amount of work was done on the shari and that was pretty much it for the day. The tree will now have nothing done to it other than feed it like mad, water it and say nice things to it. The foliage will be left to develop into better pads and any repositioning of branches will then be done. All in all I felt I left with a tree that had gone from being run of the mill to being, maybe not unique, but certainly different.

Crack open a bottle of rum Capn Teach; Capn Kidd is right here behing you pirat .


Last edited by fionnghal on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:55 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Garykk on Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:28 pm

Nice clockwise torque on that helical incline plane. The clockwise spin is evidence a right handed person wired this tree. Very nice! Good work with the seal putty.

__gary

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:08 pm

Fionnghal,
Thanks for sharing the process. Nice tree.
What are your thoughts about shortening the tree, and/or pulling the bends closer together to close the "gaps" between curves? This may produce a more compact tree. The reason I suggest pulling it closer to close the gaps, is that they are all the exact same distance apart, and very predictable. If the tree is not shortened, I do think that closing the gaps in the "twist" would improve it.

Thanks again for sharing.
Neil

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:03 am

Garykk wrote: The clockwise spin is evidence a right handed person wired this tree.
Yeah? And it's ended up being worked by a corriefister*. It'll get confused Wink


Garykk wrote: Very nice! Good work with the seal putty.
Interestingly, an offline comment has remarked that the shari looks too symmetrical and parallel. Sadly, until the putty comes off and I can do a bit of refining, it does remind me somewhat of a beefburger!


* that's another Scotticism for you Alain K

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  istefano on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:41 am

in my opinion i will remove left bottom branch
and why you put on bark this plastic or what is ever colled

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  DaveP on Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:16 pm

istefano wrote:in my opinion i will remove left bottom branch
and why you put on bark this plastic or what is ever colled

Hi Stefano,

I'm curious about your reasons to remove the bottom left branch, can you explain your thoughts behind that?

That's cut paste (putty type) on the edges of the new shari - usually placed there so the callus doesn't dry out too quickly while it's healing.

Kindest~
-d

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:29 pm

DaveP wrote: Hi Stefano, I'm curious about your reasons to remove the bottom left branch

Me too. In my opinion, if the bottom left branch went it would throw the balance of the tree totally out. As I see it the direction of the tree is from top to bottom, heading outwards if you see what I mean. That to me is waht creates the tension. The proposed cut would throw the balance point to the top branches and would therefore be going in the wrong direction and the tension would be wrong. The only way you could remove the bottom left would be to lose something off the top at the right as well, and I'd be afraid this would put too much emphasis on the trunk. Overall that would give the appearance of (I'm sorry but I can't think of a polite way to say this) a curly dog turd. Embarassed

But then agan, we're seeing the tree after a severe haircut and perhaps Stefano's idea may be worthy of consideration when a bit more foliage develops on the branches. I can't see it at the minute tho'.

Slainte

Fiona

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:19 am

NeilDellinger wrote:What are your thoughts about shortening the tree, and/or pulling the bends closer together to close the "gaps" between curves? This may produce a more compact tree. The reason I suggest pulling it closer to close the gaps, is that they are all the exact same distance apart, and very predictable. If the tree is not shortened, I do think that closing the gaps in the "twist" would improve it.l
So sorry Neil. I compressed the two posts to one and in doing so forgot about your question. Can I ask, would this not involve separating live vein from deadwood as I cant see any other way of doing it? I see what you mean about uniformity of the coils. I think I had in mind to disguise that with foliage to give an illusion of different distances. What other ways do you think it could be done? Many thanks. Fiona

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Tony on Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:51 am

As mentioned in other posts this material has many possibilities and chosing one to develop is governed by many factors, 'what design does the owner want? and what is possible' and how quickly do they want a 'finished' tree.

Fiona noted that the 'coils' would be hidden towards the top of the tree by the foliage mass (when mature) the disgusing/visually enhancing of the lower coils by creating the shari is to 'elevate' this bonsai from the starter material that it is. Over time the 'coils' will grow together. as for now, huge compression would be needed to 'push' them together... plus the inverse taper would be exaggerated.

Perhaps Fiona will post the tree as the shari is now, (as it has been worked further) and looks less like a Big Mac Rolling Eyes

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:52 pm

All righty. Here it is:



Oops. Wrong one! Cool



Until the cut paste comes off, we're not going to see the shari/jin in its full glory. For the meantime, I'm glad the twists don't resemble a coiled snake so much. I had half been expecting to hear Kaa singing "Trusssssst in me.." beforehand.


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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Tony on Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:14 pm

fionnghal wrote:All righty. Here it is:

good grief it looks more like a Burger King Whopper pale

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‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:46 pm

Tony wrote: good grief it looks more like a Burger King Whopper pale

Ah, alas! I don't remember when I last saw a Whopper!


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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Stone Monkey on Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:04 pm

Hi Fiona

As requested here are a few pot suggestions for your Corkscrew Whopper with double cut paste I love you

Personally I like the first but its the red black drum, last one, that does it for me affraid









Food for thought, pardon the burger pun.

There will be plenty to choose from at Burrs, apologies for the poor virtuals Twisted Evil

Regards

Andy

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Nemphis on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:00 pm

2 years have passed now,any update?

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:44 pm

3 actually. Very Happy As I said over on Robert's thread:

fiona wrote: I really must get an update on to that thread although the tree is nowhere near completion because of some damage it incurred in the bad weather of two winters ago. But it's on the mend.
I'll put something on at some point - it's been a just let it grow season to compensate for the damage it suffered previously so right now it looks like a bad hair day. Wink

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  leatherback on Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:21 pm

Hi Fiona,

Really nice work!

If you ever talk to the british sandblaster .. Maybe you should ask him nicely for his newest pot. I think it works..


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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  KennedyMarx on Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:17 pm

I'm curious about this one. Do you have a recent image, Fiona?

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Neli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:49 am

I am also curious....Fiona please post an update...I like it a lot to date. We can all learn something.

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Michael Cooper on Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:38 pm

Absolutely fascinating, the entire story so far,thank you for recording it so well.

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:07 pm

Bowing to popular pressure, here is today's image of the tree. It is a bit of a "Marmite" tree for me - some days I love it; some days I hate it. A bonsai friend has expressed an interest in taking it off my hand for me though, so this may be its last public outing from me,


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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:15 pm

If it stays with me, apart from a good thinning out of the foliage to develop better pads, I would either remove the top pad to make more of the corkscrew jin ...



... or just bring it in closer.



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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:48 am

I still like it but then I love junipers...I like also the direction you plan to take it in...That is what Oyakata calls a windswept...he he he. The first time he told me make this one wind swept I was really puzzled what the heal he means by wind swept juniper. I could imagine a deciduous wind swept but not juniper.
You need to thin the pads and define them better with wire. I feel not much light is going in.
One more thing, the end of the pads...actually the pad is supposed to be more horizontal in the traditional Japanese style.
What do you think caused the die back?.

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:50 am

The tree has not had any shaping of pads all last year just to let it grow out. There isn't much in the way of die back - just the normal minor browning that we get over here during a Scottish winter. It generally rights itself after a few weeks of more warmth and sunshine.

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:56 am

OK You mentioned some set back and then I saw some branches missing so I thought they died back.

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Re: The "Corkscrew Juniper" Challenge:

Post  fiona on Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:07 pm

I lost one when the tree fell off the bench but apart from that, any removal has been deliberate.

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