I thought I’d write up a post on the first styling on an Itoigawa Shimpaku I bought about a month and a half ago now. I actually styled it at my 2nd Kaikou Class in the end of May, but am just getting around to writing it up now.
My biggest initial purchase to date, by far. I saw this juniper hit the summer sell down table at New England Bonsai the day before I got married. I was dropping my trees off so they could take care of them while I was on my honeymoon. I asked the bonsai professional from Japan, Jun, to help me pick the best one out of the 5 or 6 that were on the table. This one he said was the most unique, and as an added bonus it appeared to be the healthiest one.
We started the work by removing any branches that we knew would not be in the final design. We left stubs so that these could later be turned into jins. We then traced an outline of the first shari onto the trunk with a piece of chalk. I used a jin knife to cut the bark along the outline, and remove the bark from the tree down to the hard wood.
We then decided to make another shari on the next portion up on the trunk to complement the first shari we made.
After that was completed, I the bark off of the stubs we left to make jins. I had never done this before and was much easier than I thought. The bark fell right off after crunching it with my pliers.
Then we decided that we would wire the tree while we were still in class. I put the wire onto the tree, and John helped me place the branches in the final position. After that I slip-potted it into a decent ceramic training pot so we could restore some vigor to the tree.
I am definitely happy with the way this tree came out, and I’m so excited to see how it progresses in the future. It will be left alone to grow and and be healthy for while now. This is easily probably the best material I currently have and a great addition to my bench.