Bonsaication: Part One

Some people take vacations… we tend to take bonsaications. A bonsaication by definition is a period of time when you run away from your normal life and immerse yourself in as much bonsai as possible. Some people have to drag their significant others on such trips, promising tempting rewards somewhere along the way. But being one of those rare couples whose passion is equally steeped in a love of bonsai, it can make for a particularly enjoyable time away. Our bonsaication involved getting off the beaten path and traveling through the high country of the Rocky Mountains to go to the ABS/BCI annual convention in Denver, Colorado… followed by a languorous visit with family and a collecting trip in Wyoming. This first installment covers some of our journey through the Rockies, and our time at the convention being assistants to Daniel Robinson, who was among the headliners for the convention. We got to embrace old friends, make many new ones, and share our passion with so many wonderful people.

3085 miles, or 4965 km… 12 days… 1 bonsai… 9 collected trees… 6 Sara Rayner pots… and other odds and ends later, and I can only conclude it was one magnificent trip.

The great thing about a bonsaication is that you want to find yourself in the middle of wild and rugged country. After leaving Washington we eventually found ourselves in northern Utah going through the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway… We were able to get a few photos… but really it was so tight and narrow you often missed pullouts going through it. It was even amusing, when using a super telephoto lens on my Canon, to have someone ask me if I had spotted critters… only to be met with disappointment when I told him I had spotted trees…. lol

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Eventually we found ourselves in Garden City, Utah… where we took the usual vista images and the obligatory portraits… (well of Eric at least).

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Eventually we made our way through beautiful country in Wyoming… and to Denver. I’m skipping the country in Wyoming for now… you’ll get enough of that in the next portion of the trip.

We had a wonderful time poking around the vendor area… and I was most intrigued with getting to meet Sara Rayner and see her amazing work. That we only got away with 6 pots was an amazing act of discipline. lol

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Eric and I lent a hand to the folks participating in Daniel’s Black Pine workshop… as well as Eric assisting with the Demo Tree. We had originally all thought to work on it… but it was really a two-man tree… a third would have slowed things down. Which wasn’t a great disappointment for me… I went off and hung out with friends instead. I would have helped with the Alaskan Yellow Cedar workshop the next day, except I wasn’t fit for it (too much hanging out with friends lol)… so Eric stepped up and assisted with that workshop. Sadly, I do have a photo gap… in that I don’t have a finished photo of the demo tree or the cedar workshop.

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(Alaskan Yellow Cedar – Daniel Robinson’s demo tree)

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Last but not least… from this leg of the trip… I wanted to post a few of the trees/stones which were shown. Mostly there were conifers, and being a conifer-girl, I realized later that I largely missed all the deciduous trees. Sorry about that… lol

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(No idea what this was actually paired with… I was so charmed by the accent I forgot to take a photo of the tree. o_O)

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We hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the first half of our bonsaication!

Warmly,

Victrinia

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A silver lining for a yellow cedar

(This story is a re-post of a thread from several years ago [2009]. I believe it is still relevant and hope you all find some value in it.) 

Since my friend grouper52 suggested that I post some pictures of the AYC (Alaskan Yellow Cedar – Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) I have been working on I decided I would take him up on that.

I got my wife to take some pictures of its current state. These are such wonderful trees to work with. They are extremely flexible and can be wired very easily. Long branches can be shortened and gnarled to create the ancient image of a tortured tree.

This particular tree is still in the process of being created so many of the jins haven’t been carved and some of the branches need to be removed. Foliage needs to be reduced and developed as well to support the image. I thought however you might enjoy to see a before picture and a few afters of its current state. The carved sections are best viewed from above but due to the angle we had the tree setting the best views of it aren’t entirely represented here. Some of the sections need more attention/ smoothing to reduce some of the burrs etc. Detail work may be done at a later date to complete the design of the deadwood. I also have plans to create another deadwood section higher in the tree to continue this ancient look. For those that may be wondering I did not kill most of this area instead it died back from sunscald and thus presented this great opportunity. Which of course turn out to a wonderful silver lining, giving this tree an undeniable focal point.

I hope you all enjoy.

Before

After

Details