Monday, August 25, 2014

Holiday! Study on fusion (not nuclear fusion!)

Early morning coffee and doing the plants, a very calming and, may I say, a very spiritual activity that is much better than all that religious stuffs.

I read some interaction from a forum by bonsai hobbyist on the net and there are a lot of discussions about technical stuffs which was really helpful, but there's one advice, which was given by the more mature member of the group that stood out: patience. If you do not have patience, then bonsai is not for you for  you may end up killing a lot of trees.

And basically, this is what bonsai is all about. Achieving perfection (or beauty) is in controlling the wild nature, guiding the growth and most of all it is about waiting, patiently waiting. 

The complex
trunk of a wild banyan.
I don't know if this is true, but most bonsai artist and enthusiast are senior citizens and many of them live to very old age. There are those who claim that this is because of the calming effect of the art/hobby. I don't know about that but there's truth in the serenity the activity provides.

Of course, I didn't engage in this hobby because I want to live to a very old age. Hell, we die when we die there's nothing we can do about it. I do this for the same reason everybody else has: to engage in creative/productive activity that will disengage the mind from the daily doldrums of toiling, pressure from work and home, and the daily struggle of fighting off thoughts about the absurdity of religions, etc.

This is my favorite material to work on. The Ficus Microcarpa or the Chinese "Tigerbark" Banyan. One of our retired teachers was a bonsai enthusiasts and he gave me some cuttings to start on, aside from teaching me some stuffs about bonsai-ing

This variety of ficus is the perfect material (i.e. for me):
  • Tolerates reduction, defoliation, cutting etc. very well.
  • The tiger bark simulates age.
  • Very flexible and easy to train.
  • Grows a lot of aerial roots. One trick to encourage the growth of aerial roots is to place it in a damp or humid place. The water in the air will stimulate the growth of aerial roots.
I fused them on the upper part and left
lower part loose.
The lower part that I did not
 fuse. The loose saplings
will develop into a complex
This material is a study in fusion. 
I have grown a lot of microcarpas from cuttings. It would take a very long time for each individual cuttings to grow so to create a bonsai out of these little cuttings, I fused them. The process is simple: bundle all the saplings and then wrap them together with a plastic straw and then wait for about a year for fusion to happen. But remember this, the more saplings you fuse the greater the number of them dying in the process. 

Checking the branches. In this project, I
am aiming ofr the banyan style.
The focus is on the trunk and roots.

Whenever I trim my materials, I
collect the cuttings and plant
them. They grow fast if planted in
loamy soil and placed in a damp 


Instead of cutting or wiring the
 branches, I decided to
plant them. This is to achieve the
complex trunk I planned
for this material.

I was thinking about waiting. I think most people have lost the art waiting,. It seems that waiting is now a waste of time. I mean, everything now has their "instant" counter part. But "instant" stuffs lose something: their uniqueness. Whether it be in food products, clothing, drinks, etc. Anyway...

I am lowering the trunk. I have
no fancy tools like clips, braces etc.
So, I'm doing it the way  the monks
used to do it, by using sticks and

I re-wrapped the trunk with plastic straw for further fusing and also this will promote the tapering by choking the wrapped trunk thereby returning the growth  or energy back to the lower trunk.

Again, my goal for this tree. That is, if I live to see it. Hararharahar...

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