Another Way of Carving Bonsai

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carving pine bonsai

The hollowed and peeled jin as seen from the front of the Pine bonsai.

Seen from the front of the tree, the stub looked very obtuse and symmetrical with two opposing secondary-branch stubs of the same length. As with live growth in bonsai, symmetry rarely looks aesthetically pleasing.

pine bonsai jin

The branch stub seen from the back of the tree after removing one side.

As a result, I removed one side of the opening to the hollow to create some asymmetry, by repeatedley peeling away fibres from the wood.

hollowed pine bonsai stub

The hollowed out jin/stub seen directly on.

When seen from the top, it is possible to see that although I have left enough structural strength in the deadwood, its edges have been smoothed out to create a delicate, wafer-thin appearance.

By thinning small areas of the walls until the carving bit bursts through, it was also possible to create interest in the jin-walls.

pine bonsai deadwood

The new jin, as seen from the front of the tree, after the main carving session was completed.

After the main carving session of a couple of hours was completed, I cleaned up before lime-sulphuring the new jin to whiten it.

pine bonsai carving

The completed deadwood jin, as seen from the front of the Pine bonsai.

A week later, after the lime-sulphur had dried, I was able to address my previous work with 'fresh-eyes' and spent some time gently peeling fibres away from the exterior walls of the jin, as well as using a sharp knife to add more texture and age to the piece.

Over the course of the next few years, the deadwood will dry, crack and age as it is exposed to the extremes of hot and cold, and it begins to weather. And then it will be truly finished.

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