I have been into bonsai for almost two years now. Most of my trees are still developing and many are still stumps, but there are some that now looked or resembles a bonsai.
I have a new material. This is an alagaw tree stump that obviously was a slash and burn survivor. It survived the fire and grew back sprouts.
It looked ugly and for some this maybe considered worthless, but to a hobbyist this has potential to become a beautiful work of art.
Slash and burn survivors are good bonsai materials because, personally speaking, it is metaphorical and it symbolizes survival through most difficult trials and circumstances. The charred parts and the deadwood tell stories and may even give encouragement to the more hhmmm...literary and philosophically inclined observer.
How to create beauty out of this ugly stump?
Working with a good material is enjoyable and relatively easy because the hobbyist only has to follow the materials' shape; there is already a pattern to follow. The main trunk and the cut branches are already there what needs to be done is to guide or train the branches by wiring and to shape shape the foliage etc..
This stump is both easy and difficult. This is easy because I'm literally starting from scratch; this is like a blank canvass. I can start by looking for a branch or branches that will later become main trunk or the secondary or tertiary trunks.
There a lot of possibilities like maybe a twin or three-trunked bonsai etc. And also there is the deadwood that is an essential feature of the material and adds a lot to the style of the tree.
This is also difficult because it will take longer to develop. Patience is one virtue that the hobbyist must possess or else he may end up killing the tree either by over-caring or by unnecessary tweaking due to impatience.
I like bonsai because it is one of the few things that becomes more beautiful and more precious with time.