Creating Deadwood for Bonsai by Hand

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Deadwood for Bonsai

After reducing the second half of the stump; now the jin is really starting to take shape. Increasingly smaller strips of the grain are now pulled the length of the stump, creating more texture to the wood.

As the wood is fibrous, small burrs and pulls are evident. These are best dealt with by gently burning the surface of the wood.

Deadwood for Bonsai

A naked flame is run over the surface of the trunk to burn off the fibres. It is very important at this point to protect the rest of the tree, in particular the foliage, from not only the flame but also the heat that it generates. In this case, a piece of hardboard was used to protect the tree from the flame.

Any blackening of the wood is easily removed by the process of smoothing off and lime-sulphuring.

Deadwood for Bonsai

In this picture, the jin has been lightly carved with a small gouge to accentuate its lines and it has been gently smoothed out using a wire brush fitted to a Dremel to remove any tool marks. Sharp edges are also rounded off to replicate the effect that the action of the weather would have on deadwood in nature.

 Deadwood for Bonsai

Finally, the jin is lime-sulphured to whiten it.

Deadwood for Bonsai

The following morning the lime-sulphur has nearly dried and the work is complete.

In the future, when the tree itself has been styled, the jin will be further refined to ensure it compliments other areas of deadwood on the bonsai as a whole. For the time being, it will now be left to dry and weather naturally.

>>Creating Deadwood for Bonsai by Hand: Part Two