This is the tree as shown for sale on my website. It was collected several years ago in France and for me, it is a very interesting piece of material.
When obtaining yamadori or in fact any material for creating bonsai, I am always looking for unique trunk lines/shapes. This pine has a very distinctive shape and compact form.
A good friend and client of mine bought this tree from me and took it away to style it.
He first carved a stump that had been left after collecting in the mountains. This can be seen bottom right in this picture. And then he bent an old existing jin seen in this picture as the second branch on the left.
After the stump had been carved and the old jin bent, my friend brought the tree for me to see.
For me, the newly carved jin was too heavy and contributing nothing to the tree. He had done a great job in bending the old dead branch into place, but because of its length, I thought it was a little distracting. It took the eye away from the core of the tree and the powerful trunk. I advised my friend to remove or lighten the jin he had carved and to shorten the jin he had bent. However he could not visualise the tree with my changes.
Because of the trees potential, I asked if he would let me style the tree for him. He agreed.
This is the tree after I have styled the foliage. With the foliage now positioned, it is easier to see the importance of refining the two jin.
After the first part of my work, I asked my friend to come and see the tree. He was happy with my design. Then to emphasise the need to refine the jin to fit my finished image, I covered up the parts I wanted to now change so that he could better grasp my vision.
This is the tree in my studio showing how it would look with both jin reduced, having covered them with newspaper.
This is the pine after I have altered the two jin. The right hand jin still gives direction to the flow of the tree but it does not take the eye away from the trunk so much. Removing the bulk of the big carved jin that my friend had made and reducing it to a gnarled stump adds power to the trunk and nebari. This tree has a powerful nebari and lower trunk. But although there is movement in the upper trunk and in some of the jin, it is important to keep a strong centre of gravity to the design to give the tree stability and power. My friend has purchased a very nice rectangular pot for the tree and I look forward to seeing the marriage of tree and pot in the future.
Just out of interest I tried counting the growth rings of the cut off stump. I could see approximately 127 rings with a magnifying glass, but with the main core of the branch impossible to count without higher magnification.
This left a one inch (2.54 cm) centre to the branch still to be counted. If this was just the branch, how old is the tree???