In yesterdays post I said I was experimenting with some new photography back lights. Well I conceded defeat today and put it all back in the box and decided to get on with styling a tree. So today I brought an established Scots Pine into the studio and made a start.
Here is a picture of the tree.
I have had this tree three years now since collection and it has not missed a beat.
The stick through the foliage is a quick and easy way to stop some of the thinner branches from hanging. Leaving branches to hang facing the floor only makes them weaker, so I just prop them up to receive the light and to keep the energy flowing to the branch. I am sure you are aware that when you create a cascade tree from a tree originally upright of form, it can be difficult to get the energy down to the lowest branches. The energy naturally going to the crown. Well it is the same with collected trees. It is important to keep the energy flowing to all parts of the tree and this is very difficult if the buds are aiming at the ground.
Here’s a close up of the trunk.
The base and trunk show interesting form now that the tree has been tipped on it’s side. You can see that there are several cut off branch stumps that need to be addressed.
Here are a couple of the jin I created today.
I have more jin to create and then I will look at pruning the branches for correct structure.
Just a tip for creating jin. It does not matter whether you carve using a machine or if you carve using hand tools. But please try to avoid merely sharpening the tip of the branch to a point, try to add movement or character to the branch. There is nothing more annoying than jin that look like a sharpened pencil.
I can recall the first demo that I witnessed in Europe when on my travels This guy created the worst pencil style jin on his tree that I have ever seen. I remember thinking, either this guy was the class pencil sharpening monitor in his school days, or else he was a descendant of Van Helsing and was carrying on the family tradition of vampire slaying. Well he did a great line in sharpened stakes anyway.
It is important to get the structure of the tree right early on. It is in the first styling that we create the skeleton of our design. Then over time we ‘flesh out’ the skeleton by growing new branches, generating more buds and slowly filling in all the gaps and where necessary extending branches to fill the desired profile of our design. It is interesting when watching demonstrations, how most people just cut off what branches they don’t need for their design, but then wire everything else on the tree. There is no structuring of branches.
In the image below you can see the nice healthy buds with their protective wax coating.
I said in my last post that I would post some photo’s of some recently acquired stones. Here is the new Furuya Ishi from Japan, courtesy of Dave Sampson. It is only a small stone, but as with most Furuya Ishi it has great detail.
The two Chinese stones were very different. The first is a Red River stone or Dahuashi. It is not my normal type of stone but I like it. Unfortunately it arrived with the daiza split in two. However I can get another daiza carved but a broken stone would have been a disaster.
The second stone from China is a Lingbi stone. I like the stone but the daiza is very poor and I will definitely be getting it replaced.
Tomorrow is another day. I have the Scots Pine to style and my trees from Spain are being delivered so a busy day ahead.