Thursday, January 2, 2014

Following up on A Hollywood Juniper

Happy New Year bonsai fans!

On the 31st I spent some time wiring and refining the last tree I'd ever touch in 2013. If you don't recall, here is some history. This is the last time we saw the Juniper:

I wasn't really happy with the trunk line and felt it could certainly use more movement. Sometime in early November I attached a guy wire tourniquet to the trunk and slowly began to pull the two sides together. Additionally, rebar was added and a wooden spacer was created in order to introduce a bend in the thicker main trunk. It was my first time using this technique and I was delighted to learn that it's as simple to perform as it looks. Here's a shot following the first operation:

Slowly then! Every Sunday I've been slowly tightening the top wire on the rebar and trunk as well as the tourniquet atop the trunk. After several weeks the wire starting to bite unfavorably and I reapplied it with greater protection.

So now that we're up to date! The bending of the top required some redistribution of branches but I merely had to wire a few more smaller branchlets and trim off downward hanging foliage.

I decided to use self-amalgamating tape rather than raffia following a discussion online. It's my preference compared  to raffta now and going forward I'll be using it. I got mine HERE. Free shipping with prime if you order $25 worth of Amazonian products. I do that weekly. This price can't be beat.

Anyways, you're here for some tree pictures. Here's how I finished after giving a wicked bend at the top, moving around some pads, cleaning up and drinking champagne.

As the bends became sharper, the foliage seemed to move right across the tree and as I considered different fronts, shown above, I decided to stick with it. Because the trunk is so thin, I've separated the pads into smaller clouds that weren't so visually heavy as the prior design. There is less separation presently than I would like but I've just begun refining this lanky foliage.

I've learned a few things from this exercise:

1. Protect your tree when using rebar and tourniquets. I'm using Fish Tank Tubing to lessen the bite of the copper wire.
2. You can bend juniper branches a lot further if you do so over time.
3. Try to use rebar in every design you do because it's fun.
4. Take more pictures of "during phase" so your blog is more detailed with procedures. (Sorry)
5. Mediocre material will take longer to shape into something presentable, but it's not entirely worthless so get your hands in that foliage and have fun.

I'm looking forward to another year. My resolution is to earn more followers and provide better content. I suppose one leads to the other.

Thanks for stopping by,