Its always exciting when you tackle a piece of raw material for the first time, the element of discovery (and sometimes disappointment) seeing the image that you have in your head appear before your eyes is great.
This tree was collected over 4 years ago, this is a tall thin English Yew (Taxus Baccata), it has a shari that runs from top to base. Its never been re-potted out of this washing up bowl and it is now ready. The first work is not actually styling but formulating the branch structure and foliage locations. No wiring, no styling no branch positioning, the tree will be left to grow. All I will do over the next 12 months is clean the tree and tidy up the cuts.
In the 1960s my father-in-law Geoff Duckworth, was the assistance chief engineer for Ramsbottom District Council. One of his responsibilities was the construction of new roads as the town began to expand. The widening of Summerseat Lane was needed as a new housing Estate was in the planning, the route of the existing lane would have required the felling of an ancient oak tree. The idea of tree preservation was introduced in 1947 and was yet to be widely adopted throughout the United Kingdom. Read the rest of the story here
Bill Valavanis trusted me with this Hinoki Cypress, the tree was simply too tall and the style was lost, having previously worked by Corin Tomlinson a few years ago my job was to bring the tree back on track. I pre-wired most of the lower branches in the morning prior to the demo that took place at noon. This is because watching somebody wire a tree for a couple of hours is frankly mind numbing.
I attempted to create some drama with the upper part of the tree by making a twisted jin, this works superbly on green wood however the heartwood of the tree was too stiff making the bending impossible. I noted at the start of the demo that it may well be cut off if the technique was not successful.
I was very pleased that the finished tree made a record figure in the Auction at the end of the event.
Thanks to Bonsai Empire for recording the demo, take a look at their website here, its full of great content.