I have more than my fair share of cascade and semi cascade bonsai, here is a selection of the smaller ones photographed today including Yew, Communis Juniper and Olive. They are all still in development (maybe the olive is finished) They are super trees to work but difficult to transport to shows, typically I have to make bespoke carriages for them to fit in the truck.
I have had this Yew for over 20 years and it has had major bending done on the lower part to bring the foliage closer to the trunk, this took 3 years to fully ‘set’ and stay in position. The tree was exhibited last year on a pile of book at the Noelanders Trophy and most liked the display and a few traditionalists were horrified. Over the years the tree has been in a variety of pots some crazy… and some not. This is because the tree has been like a petulant child, difficult making the tree do what I want. And finding the best pot has been a challenge.
I have always had issue with the distance of the foliage in relation to the trunk line, combined with the lower trunks movement has never fully been utilized. Having done such extensive carving to reduce the bulk of the upper part the live vein was thinned to a flat part at the rear of the tree. With a bit more carving to thin out the deadwood bending this area would be a simple process. This would pull the tree together and solve a lot of the awkward shapes and angles in the tree. The wire was held in place with cable ties and the tree was bent through and angle of 30º I did not wrap the tree with raffia because the bend was so subtle and the wires and ties held the whole together well.
I am very happy with the final dynamic appearance; I love the angle of the Ten Jin, the movement of the lower trunk and the compact nature of the whole image. The training pot will help the tree thicken up the live vein and meanwhile I can concentrate on filling out the foliage.
Here are some early photos of the development and crazy pots followed by progress photos of the bending done.
The Raw Yamadori
A rather young Tickle doing early work on the tree
While I wait for a root stand of quality to present itself, I have decided to create something unusual. I have displayed the tree before on the wooded stand but felt it lacked something. A brainstorming session with Andy from Stone Monkey Ceramics and referring to the unusual tables shown on this blog and here you have the outcome. The twisted barbed wire was ‘found’ on the banks of the Thames near the Olympic Canoe sprit venue. No cutting needed it just fits!
I will be showing the tree at the Bonsai in Wales event at the end of August.