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artofbonsai.org • View topic - Design validity - Tropicals in Full- cascade style.
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 Post subject: Design validity - Tropicals in Full- cascade style.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:32 am 
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Tropical full-cascade design validity.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Bonsai lovers:- I think this would be the right forum to clarify a bonsai design point that has been bothering me for some times. The point is" HOW FAR TROPICAL TREES ( not shrubs or creepers or succulents) ARE APPROPRIATE AS RIGHT MEDIUM OF FULL- CASCADE DESIGN ( not semi-cascade) .
If it is appropriate can we reference some natural "Full-cascade tropical trees "as inspirational image from real nature .
I have done search as far as i could but could not find any natural image to authenticate this widely prevalent design concept as realistic design concept for 'Tropical trees'.
The full cascade design concept was evolved ( as far as my limited research goes) from the naturally growing connifers on high altitude where recurrent snow-fall, landslide etc. forced the plant to cling to the cliff/ ridge of the mountain and escape the natural onslaught of cruel nature by succumbing to its force and bow down to survive. Do Tropical trees grow in such climatic condition and terrain!
Full-cascade design evokes in me the the survival instinct inspite of all odds and it is highly artistic and rythmic design concept very pleasing to look at .
All the great names in Bonsai world have a full measure of this design in their collection and books ( mostly with connifers). Still ,is the design technically appropriate and natural for tropicals ?
It is accepted that an artist is free to design his work as he desires and that is not my point .
Will some one please help me to clarify my understanding? Or should we accept that that Tropical in full-cascade design ( not half-cascade- that is natural ) design is just a stretch of imagination or utopian design concept without any root in real world? Thanks for reading so far.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:28 am 
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You do not find humans made out of stone or clay in nature but that is often the medium used by sculptors to portray them.
Trees and all plants grow in manners that best suits their survival. Trunks zig-zag through shadows to find light, hence the curved and twisted shapes. Trunks and branches are shaped by wind, light, weight of foliage, etc.
I agree that 99% of all tropical trees grow in a predictable manner but these are not the ones I wish to portray, I want to capture the essence of the other 1%. Take Junipers for example, there are many in nature that are really quite boring, I do not want to replicate these, I want to replicate the few that are twisted, scared, bent, and beaten by the elements. We could also think about Larches whose natural growth is straight and narrow, another reason they are called Lodge pole pines. Duplicating this natural growth pattern is boring, instead we bend the trunks, chop for taper, and otherwise shape our Larches to look like a very tiny fraction of those in nature.
Artistic license, if you will.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:45 pm 
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I agree with Will. The example that came to mind for me is the Satsuki. These are usually garden mound shrubs, but as bonsai they are typically styled with a zig zag pattern trunk and long branches coming off to best show off the flowers. I've also seen them styled in full cascade quite beautifully. Does one find cascade azalea in nature? Not to my knowledge, but I still enjoyed the satsuki cascade I saw.
We are inspired by nature, not copying nature. Bottom line, if a tropical cascade is well done, it is bonsai art.


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 Post subject: Re: Design validity - Tropicals in Full- cascade style.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:07 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Design validity - Tropicals in Full- cascade style.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:07 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Design validity - Tropicals in Full- cascade style.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:15 am 
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