Judge #3: Suggest removal of one of the jin in middle of lower trunk.
Juniper (Juniperus communis)
25 cm (9.25")
The plant that I have choose to show is a common juniper, that is my favorite essence. This shrub is very current in the area where I live. The plant was purchased the last winter in a garden center not specialized in bonsai, has a discrete movement of the trunk, much vegetation and is open to different solutions.
The plant is in good shape and will be a good challenge for me to be better valued.
The first step will be cleaning of vegetation and the elimination of unnecessary branches so as to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the specimen and decide how to proceed.
Looking at the plant and studying the Nebari I’ll be able to understand how to develop the work.
One Quarter Progression
First I worked the Jins with pliers and the micro burner, so as make them believable/realistic. i have protected the cuts with the healing paste and i cleaned the bark and the vegetation.
Observing the plant I looked for the major interesting points. For example the split between the trunk and the branch and the width of the base. The observation of the base is crucial to decide the style of the plant and how to set it. I decided to approach the vegetation at the base and give a nice movement to the straight trunk of the plant. I wrapped the trunk with a rag that I kept wet for a day, so as to soften the trunk. The day after I tied reinforcements and wrapped everything up with rubber strip, so as to protect the trunk in the bending points.
Slowly and with the help of tie rods I folded and kept in position the trunk.
After this step the plant will not be touched until the first signs of recovery.
Half Way Progression
It’s been almost two months from the bending of the trunk and the plant reacted discarding some branches and making growing up the strongest vegetation. At this point the plant was completely wired in position. It has been left more foliage than necessary to give to the plant the chance to recover faster and to discard branches too weak.
Three Quarter Progression
In this Three Quarter Progression Photo’s set I have decided to definitively eliminate the big branch to the left and transform it in a Jin. I finished to wire and set the first branch and then I cleaned a little bit the vegetation inside the branches to create empty spaces that better define the full spaces.
This set of pictures points out how the plant is capable of reaching its maximal expressiveness even if it is placed into an uncouth pot. Unnecessary copper wires, that previously maintained the jin in place, have been eliminated. The dead wood has been treated with liquid jin. The bark has been brushed and polished with natural oil. A piece of pot has been cut and part of the superficial soil has been removed in order to better show the bottom part of the plant. To make the composition striking and refined moss has been added. The plant suggests the idea of an inaccessible landscape, where the border between high mountain vegetation and the bare rock of the heights is blurry. The plant shows its complexity and tells its story. The sharp birth/start on the left is suggested by the foot conformation (nebari). Life and energy continue in this direction up to a point in which the possibility to grow is deviated on the right by nature, leaving a scar: a big jin deformed by the events. With time the plant finds its own path, its harmony and balance following nature. During the next season, the vegetation will be clamped in order to stimulate the plant to produce buds. As the main branches have already an adequate diameter, in September 2014 the plant will be potted in a temporary bonsai pot to let the tree ripen. With time and cultivation techniques the composition will gain meaning and it will also transmit stronger and more striking emotions.