At the outset of this series, I mentioned that nine of the ten items we’d cover are easy and that one is difficult. Number nine is difficult: learning what it means to properly anchor your wire. This is different from learning how to anchor your wire. Mastering wiring requires good instruction and lots of practice. […]
How to wire a Y branch intersection
Wiring is a fundamental bonsai technique. It helps us guide new growth and rearrange existing growth. Its application can be difficult, and even removing wire from branches can be trying when there’s little space to work. Wiring can also be a lot of fun. We impart a little of ourselves when we wire, and with practice, the […]
What’s with the white stuff?
A visit to the GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt this spring will reveal an intriguing bonsai technique – paper-wrapped bonsai wire. I learned about the technique from the garden’s curator, Kathy Shaner, not long after she completed her apprenticeship to Yasuo Mitsuya in Toyohashi, Japan. Copper wire is more commonly used on conifers than […]
Best in show
One of the first trees to catch my attention at Midori’s 40th annual show was a California Juniper, juniperus californica, that belongs to Peter Tea. The tree is beautiful and well deserved recognition as Best in Show. California juniper – Best in Show, 2009 The juniper first came to my attention a number of […]
One of our more educational visits came at the garden of Takeo Kawabe. Kawabe was an automotive engineer whose life took a new direction after seeing, for the first time, the trees in Masahiko Kimura’s garden. Kawabe soon left behind his automotive career and began a bonsai apprenticeship with Kimura at the relatively late age […]