A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..
Topical Times – Academy Level Seven getting slated!
The Academy Level Seven group recently had their first meeting of the year. It started with a check of the ongoing tanuki projects to see if any adjustments or work was required. With progress discussions completed it was then on to something new.
I had brought into the studio some small but rather nice Hinoki Cypress…..Chamaecyparis Obtusa Nana. Each student was given a tree and he was then asked to consider how it could be styled. Their ideas were then discussed with John.
Branches were removed and thinned out. The trees were then wired and given their first styling.
The trees were then removed from their pots and roots were carefully teased out. The trees were to be planted on some small blue slates which the students shaped themselves. Obviously the rootballs had to be reduced in size but it was imperative to keep as much of a central original core as possible to keep the trees healthy and to help them recover form the transplanting process.
A compost mix of akadama and pumice was used suitably retained on the slate by a wall and covering of keto. The soil surface was covered with moss and students were allowed to incorporate up to two pieces of rock.
This was a really good exercise and what a transformation in the material…..with a little bit of styling and the use of a humble piece of slate!