Redwood Bonsai
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Author:  Mike Page [ Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Redwood Bonsai

I bought this Redwood from Bob and Zack Shimon when they were vendors at the 2005 GSBF convention.
I bought the pot from bonsai potter Dick Ryerson at the same convention.
Dick is a bonsai potter in Southern California who is gaining many friends for his work. He used to have a website, but it seems to have gone away.
I started working on the tree about a year ago. Height from the table is 12 inches.

Author:  Attila Soos [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:11 pm ]
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Interesting composition.
When I look at a bonsai, I expect to see a tree. But in this case, it turned out to be a fox. I am not making a judgment as yet, whether this is good or bad, but just describing what I see. I see a four-legged animal, possibly a fox or dog. With a green headgear on top, similar to the ones worn by the aztec gods.
The pot seems to be too small. I would like to see a litte more space around the creature, and this pot doesn't allow for that.
If I were the owner, I would create some definition in the foliage, to create the impression of floating, downward-sloping clouds. These clouds would surround the whole trunk, partially blocking and partially revealing its shape. This would result in something that reminds me of a tree stump - a much better image than what I see at this point.

Author:  Dorothy Schmitz [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:20 pm ]
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This is funny,I had the same thought as Attila:
A dog,making a full stop after chasing a ball,head up,ready to get that
round leather..

Author:  Peter Evans [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:18 pm ]
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Now,! I have the greatest respect for Attila and Dorothy, But , I think this has the making of a classical "Shohin".
The movement in the trunk is amaising,and the foliage can only improve with time to complete the image.
The foliage looks very similar to our Yew's,so perhaps the finished pads can be neatly arrainged around the trunk.
Again, with Bonsai styling, this is only an opion offered by an onlooker,
but with "Shohin", the smaller the pot you can get the tree into Safely, the better the finished image will be. Peter.

Author:  Dorothy Schmitz [ Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:00 pm ]
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I did not want to imply the tree had no potential.On the contrary!I was just trying to describe what I immediately saw in the tree.
This will be a cute little guy. :)

Author:  Attila Soos [ Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:10 pm ]
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It certainly has a very interesting trunk.
But the foliage right now is erratic, it has no defined structure whatsoever. We will see what it will look like when the crown is finished.
With redwood, the situation is a little different from,... say juniper. A juniper foliage can be shaped into anything we want: flat, round, tall, short, etc. But redwood foliage is flat, like the palm of your hand. So, in order to create any kind of order in the chaos, we need a fair number of flat foliage pads.
The trunk has a free form, a mind of its own. It has no defined tree-shape. In order to bring out its beauty, it needs a rhytmic, frame-like, nicely structured foliage. An example in music would be the following: every song has a repeating motif, that anchors the listener to a safe place. In-between, there can be dissonance and lots of improvisation, but the melody always returns to that repeating motif, and the listener expects that to happen. If it doesn't happen, we are left with a feeling of incompleteness.
Same with this tree. The trunk is free of any restriction, so the foliage needs to counterpoint that with some kind of framework that gives it a sense of completeness. Chaos and freedom needs to be counterbalanced with some kind of structured framework, otherwise it will only end up in nothing but chaos. In bonsai, we call that "unfinished',"unrefined", "lack of a sound design".
Somethimes, though, people go overboard when creating these nicely structured foliage pads, and then we end up with "a christmas tree on top of the deadwood", as Mike put it. So, the framework should not be "too perfect" either, it must be just right to match the character of the trunk.
That's why I adore the designs created by Robert Steven, he always seems to get the right balance between the foliage and the trunk, it's amazing how good he is in creating the desired effect.

Author:  Soumya Mitra [ Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:13 pm ]
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Sorry,but I don't see any image of the Bonsai- is the image still there or something wrong with my machine!

Author:  Attila Soos [ Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:18 pm ]
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Yes, it looks like the picture is gone.

Author:  Mike Page [ Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:45 pm ]
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Here's the Redwood again. Because of a problem with the site changing Dick Ryerson's name to johnson Ryerson, and my attempts to restore Mr. Ryerson's correct name, the picture disappeared. Will took care of the preblem.

redwood_ryerson.jpg [66.23 KiB]
Downloaded 454 times

Author:  Will Heath [ Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Mike I am sorry about that problem, but it is funny, at least when I think about it.


Author:  Mike Page [ Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Will Heath wrote:
Mike I am sorry about that problem, but it is funny, at least when I think about it.


Will, you are right on!! It was funny. Sure had me going for awhile until I thought it might be a filter of sorts to keep folks in line.
I'm glad that I didn't send Dick "johnson" Ryerson the url to look at his work. He'd have thought me to be a total dummy!! Or too old to have any sense left!

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