Free long lasting aluminium Bonsai labels

If a new Idea starts with a can of beer you already know that you are on to a winner. I am not good at keeping good records of the work that I have done on my trees. I have used plant labels but they fade, get lost and are easily misplaced.
I have priced commercial aluminium tags but they are expensive when you need hundreds. Soft aluminium words well because using a biro on a soft surface makes an impression that cannot fade, washed away or deteriorate.

I have looked at lots of options but have come up with a solution that is FREE, recycled and easy to make.

I use abbreviations on my labels: RP= Repotted C= Collected

1 Open an aluminium can of beer

2 cut open the can with strong scissors

3 cut the labels to the size you want

4 use a hole punch

5 write with a biro on a soft surface

6 attach to the tree with wire

Book Review: ‘Cosmic Bonsai – Burton Style’

‘Cosmic Bonsai – Burton Style’ by Laurent Darrieux

This is not a book on how to create Bonsai, nor is it a book for anyone starting in the art-form. However, if you want to understand what goes on in the mind of the author, an artist that presents an image of the atomic bomb alongside a twisted Elm Bonsai, or a robot figurine squaring up to an equally twisted apple Bonsai then this is the read for you.

‘Cosmic Bonsai’ is like no other book on or about Bonsai that I have read, it is more concerned with an attitude, an approach and a realisation that there is something deeper to creating Bonsai than simply working with trees. We explore the conviction of the author to his craft, his influences beyond what one would expect from an artist working with a ‘traditional’ art form (if Bonsai can BE considered an art form)

I found the content to be fascinating, sometimes a little unsettling and surprisingly gentle in many ways. Where else would you expect to find in a book on Bonsai a coloration between, a Romanesco cabbage, Fractals and Ferns?

The Author champions other artists including potters, illustrators and Bonsai practitioners. The book charts the progress of some of the authors work, including the spectacular ‘Tanuki’ presented at the European Bonsai San Show, Saulieu, France.

One of my favourite comments in the book: “In the terms of Bonsai, the maturity of a tree, its moshikomi, its wabi-sabi is much more important than the external elements that you will add to your composition. This is the reason why we see so little progress in the world of contemporary Bonsai.”

I consider Laurent Darrieux to be a ‘Brother in Arms’ we share the same approach to our art, presenting Bonsai in such a way as to spark a conversation, to elicit controversy and to escape the confines of what is considered to be ‘Traditional’ display.

Should you buy this book?

If you wish to broaden your experience and explore new ideas and concepts in presentation, then this is the book for you. If you are a beginner, wait until you have worked with Bonsai for a few years before you delve into the mind of this amazing artist and his work. And as for ‘Burton Style’ You will have to buy the book to know why it’s called that.

You can purchase the book here:

What are your influences?

Its fascinating understanding people different approaches to the creation of their bonsai, I have often heard at exhibitions “I have never seen a ‘tree like that in nature”. My reply is “you need to get out more!” Every day I get to walk in nature, I have amazing trees that I can see and understand their growth patterns. When it comes to bonsai what kick started my fascination, sure it was the movie Karate Kid but I think it is deeper than that. I grew up in the early 1970’s and loved Prog Rock… Yes, Greenslade, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis and Jethro Tull and the artworks on their albums, BUT the stand out artist for me was Roger Dean. For sure Dean made an impact on my approach to the way I create my trees and the way I display. Here are a few of his artworks. check out Roger Deans website HERE

Roger Dean has just launched his virtual gallery check it out here