March Club Meeting: Styling Demonstration
Hahn Tran from Baloc Nursery was our demonstrator at the March club meeting.His talk and demonstration focused on his very expert skills and techniques that he uses to bend very thick branches to create wonderful bonsai. His final creations are, to me, redolent of the yamadori that we are unable to access in Australia.
Before Hahn works on his trees, he stops watering a trees for a week, as it is easier to manipulate branches and trunks when they are dry. He prefers to do his heavy bending on very hot days. He makes sure that the tree is firmly fixed in the pot and not loose, as this will damage the roots.
Hahn spends a lot of time planning his tree design, exploring a number of options until he settles on what he considers is the final design. He then plans the stages of the transition to achieve that design and throughout the whole process he will always consider other or better options as they may arise. By doing this he achieves a better tree design. The process of taking raw plant stock to a finished product may take a number of years.
He recommends working slowly never rushing as this is when breakages occur and you lose sight of the final outcome. Before bending a branch he manipulates it from the tip back to the trunk. The manipulation is bending and twisting. This loosens the fibres in the branch and prepares it for the bending that will follow.
He starts by building the framework or structure of the tree - the trunk and main branches. This foundation is important.The refinement of the branches may take some time.Hahn always ensures that he has a few options while working especially if a branch breaks as then he will have a fall-back position. The techniques he displayed using clamps, tourniquet,guide wires and wiring was very skilled as he demonstrated his incredible talent and skills.