Bay Island Bonsai workshops are always a lot of fun. Good atmosphere, good people, and plenty of good trees. Really good trees. At a recent workshop I sat next to Peter Tea who spent the day wiring a Japanese black pine. He finished just in time for some glamor shots with the tree.
Peter Tea with freshly wired Japanese black pine
Peter did an excellent job. It’s tricky to wire pines with such dense foliage without breaking needles left and right. And getting each bud to line up and create an attractive silhouette is no easy task. Peter, however, simply started at the bottom and worked his way to the top while making the work look effortless.
Japanese black pine bonsai
The tree has a softer silhouette today than it did when last displayed at Bay Island Bonsai’s 10-year anniversary exhibit in 2009. The apex is rounder and the breaks between pads are less distinct. Over time I expect the pads will continue to shift around a bit as the tree gains maturity. The branches are still young. As they age and gain character, they will contribute a lot to the overall look and feel of the tree and better complement the unusual trunk.
The subtle changes between wirings are one of the things that makes bonsai so fun for me. The same tree can look very different from year to year. And whenever the artist working on it has the skill of a Peter Tea or our teacher Boon, it will be a pleasure to look at.
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