Bonsai Tonight

Daisaku Nomoto – bonsai work

Posted in Styling by Jonas Dupuich on August 13, 2010

Daisaku Nomoto has been busy during his brief summer visit to the Bay Area. Here are some of the trees he’s been working on, beginning with an old prostrata juniper.

Prostrata juniper

Prostrata juniper – before

Prostrata juniper – after

Although I’m familiar with his work, Nomoto continues to surprise me. One of the greatest talents bonsai artists develop is their ability to see what a tree can become. Keeping trees healthy is rarely straightforward, and bonsai techniques can range from non-intuitive to incomprehensible. It’s the artistic vision, however, that I most appreciate.

Shimpaku – before

Shimpaku – after

The work always begins with an evaluation, and often an adjustment, of the front of the tree. From there cutback, wiring and styling follow. One would think that getting the tree in the pot at a satisfactory angle is easy until one notices how much Nomoto’s adjustments improve the line of the trunk and the balance of the tree.

Sometimes the trees get entirely new fronts. The photo of the juniper below is shown from the tree’s original front. To make better use of the shari along the trunk, Nomoto suggested using the other side as the front.

The tree’s orignal front after styling – now the back of the tree

Nomoto describing the benefits of the new front

Turning the tree around and tilting it forward made a striking improvement – I’m hoping to see it displayed at an upcoming exhibit. Here it is from the new front.

Shimpaku – new front after styling

The Sierra juniper below is quickly developing into a great tree. As Nomoto noted at last week’s Bay Island Bonsai meeting, planting the pot an inch or two deeper in the pot will reduce the reverse taper and make the tree appear more powerful.

Sierra juniper – before

Sierra juniper – after

Before letting me take any of these photos, Nomoto was adamant about getting the angle right. After snapping a shot of the shimpaku below, I showed the photo to Nomoto. Wasn’t good enough. Several adjustments and several photos later and he was finally happy.

Finding the front

Shimpaku juniper – after styling

Nomoto suggested shortening the jin on the right side of the tree. We’ll see if the tree’s owner agrees. You can see a shot of the tree before the styling at the end of last week’s post, Daisaku Nomoto bonsai critique. This post, as it happens, was featured last week by – the service I use to host Bonsai Tonight. It sent approximately 4,000 new visitors to the site, giving Nomoto a bit more exposure than he’s used to. He replied to this news with a grin: “Maybe 4,000 new customer?”

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