I've long appreciated the subtlety of Michael Hagedorn's bonsai. Michael tends to avoid flash and overstatement, even in some of his crazy experimental stuff.* Here's Michael's caption for this understated bonsai... "Japanese Maple ‘Beni-Kawa’ with an unusual pot choice, an unglazed brown."
Here’s more in Michael’s own words (from his blog)…
“The decision was to show off the reddish rose of the branches and trunks, to have that be the focus. Often a key tree color is balanced by the opposing color on the color wheel—in this case, the pot would have a green glaze. By NOT going that route we have a quieter tree, with the focus on one simple color. The matte, medium brown clay of the pot recedes leaving the trunk and twig color as highlight.”
I cropped Michael's original for a closer look at some detail, like the fine branching or the multiple colors on the trunks. Or even the hairs on the moss
Michael continued from above…
“Pot choice is an opportunity. See it as a chance to support what you most want to show in the tree. If what you wish to show off is color, often the way to do that is to stay close on the color wheel to the color you wish to show off. In this case, red (color to show off) and brown (supporting color).
“The bonsai guidelines of balancing a color with its opposite are fine and useful, and often allow for jazzy results. Yet these guidelines may be sidestepped on clear purpose.”
Michael's little house in his backyard (his apprentices live in the big house)."Kanso means ‘elemental and natural, free of non-essentials’---a good name for this tiny home which I built in 2017. And the flowers are nice."
*If you spend some time on Michael’s blog you’ll see what I mean by ‘crazy experimental stuff.’ For example… HERE and HERE
Today we’ve got three bonsai from the 2008 Taiwan Bonsai Creators Exhibition booklet which appears on Bonsai Shari Si-Diao, Cheng, Cheng-Kung’s website. It’s the pots as well the trees, that really grabbed me.
Japanese maple in the first flush of spring. This and the other trees shown here belong to Luis Vallejo. His caption for this selection reads... "Algunos arces, brotación" (some maples sprouting). The photos are by Miguel Krause
We featured some deciduous trees that belong to Luis Vallejos not too long ago. Now we’ve got more, but this time they are waking up and stretching . They’re all Japanese maples (Acer palmatum). If you’d like to know the varieties, you can visit Luis on facebook
This photo was taken in 2010. It's one of my small man made landscaping hills for field growing future bonsai. Most of the little trees you see here have been dug. Some of the ones that are still there aren't that much bigger than they were nine years ago (this might have something to do with our seriously short growing season)
I give up. For the moment at least…. We didn’t throw the switch to our new Website last night. I jumped the gun with yesterday’s announcement, and now I’m wiping egg off my face (humiliation goes well with mixed metaphors)
Maybe we’ll throw the imaginary-switch tonight, but no promises anymore. Meanwhile we’ll extend our current specials for another day.
Here's one of the first trees I dug (around 2012) in its training pot. It was from a little hill like the one above. It's a Cole's prostrate hemlock
Here's a Cole's prostrate in the ground. That's a little Shimpaku juniper just above and another one peeking out on the right, a Picea abies microphylla (very dwarf Norway spruce) above right and a Golden sprite Barberry upper left. There are some uninvited little volunteers (dandelion, witch grass and clover) lower left and lower right
*About the switch
It’s the moment we redirect our url to our NEW Website.
After years of indecision, fear and procrastination (really it’s been years!)
we’re finally ready and we’ve settled on Monday night soon
Itoigawa juniper before and after by Gabriel Romero Aguade
By now you may have seen dozens, if not hundreds of before and after bonsai posts. Some were done in a matter of hours and some took years to complete. When I first saw this one, my guess was it falls into the second group; bonsai transformations that take years.
But rather than settle on a guess, I decided to ask the artist, Gabriel Romero Aguade who posted it just a couple days ago. Here’s my question… “How many years was the process? ” And here’s Gabriel’s answer… “From the first to the second photograph, 6 hours have passed. more or less.“ Amazing!
*we plan to ‘throw the switch’ Monday night – see below
Before. Note the colander
After. Six hours later, more or less
*About the switch. It’s the moment we redirect our url to our NEW Website. After years of indecision, fear and procrastination (really it’s been years!) we’re finally ready and we’ve settled on Monday night.
We’re excited and invite you to share our excitement. Our Stone Lantern link will be the same, and so will our products (with a few new ones for you), but every thing else will be much better… newer, smarter, better to look at and easier to navigate. And of course a few surprises that we think you’ll like. We look forward to seeing you there!
We’ve been featuring the bonsai and bonsai related exploits of Bill Valavanis for a long time, but I don’t think we’ve ever featured his famous International Bonsai Magazine. So we’re way overdue
I won’t say too much here (we’ll let the pictures do the talking) except that it’s the flagship American bonsai magazine and in my humble opinion a must for any serious North American (and beyond) bonsai enthusiast. Here’s your link to subscribe (just in case you missed the two links above). You can thank me later
A Colorado blue spruce with a story (better put on your 3.5s) from the gallery of the last issue
Here's a cover from the last year of the last century. A mere 20 years ago
And now a word from Stone Lantern, our sponsor…
About the switch (see yesterday), we’ve decided on Monday night. We’re excited and invite you to share our excitement when you wake up Tuesday morning. Our Stone Lantern link will be the same, and so will our products (with a few new ones for you), but every thing else will be much better… newer, smarter, much better to look at and navigate. And of course, a Big Launch Special with some offers you can’t refuse. See you there!