THE ART OF MAKING BONSAI

LEILA MARY BOLINTO ALIPIO AYBAN

BONSAI
The word bonsai is pronounced bone sigh, bon means tray or pot and sai means plant. Bonsai refers to the plant being miniaturized as well as to the technique used

‡ Bonsai originated in China about 1200 years ago as a way of putting woody plants in containers in courtyards ‡ Bonsai traditionally refers to a tree or shrub, but today it may refer to any miniaturized plant, including herbaceous plants. Succulents are often used for bonsai today.

EXAMPLES: 1. Azaleas 2. Quince 3. Wisteria 4. Elms 5. Cedars 6. Arbor vitae 7. Pomegranate, maples, oaks, cypress, boxwood, pyracantha, pines and junipers.

PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Balance Movement and Rhythm Emphasis Simplicity Contrast Proportion Space Unity

but rather an illusion of balance. .BALANCE Balance is the equal feeling of weight in perception. which is referred to as optical balance or visual balance *ASSYMETRICAL suggests a more dynamic feeling that is less boring. Balance in an art form may not really have actual or physical balance.

BALANCE BY VALUE Smaller darker color can balance larger lighter color.a. .

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BALANCE BY COLOR Smaller bright color can balance larger more neutral or duller color.b. .

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BALANCE BY SHAPE Small. complicated shape can balance larger simpler shape.c. .

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.d. smoother texture. BALANCE BY TEXTURE Smaller. and complicated surface texture can balance larger. rougher.

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. BALANCE BY POSITION A smaller object farther away from the center can balance a larger object that is closer to the center.e.

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f. . can transfer weight from a heavier side to a lighter side. which draw visual direction. BALANCE BY EYE DIRECTION Certain edges or pointed shapes.

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MOVEMENT AND RYTHM .

. can create a force of movement or control the direction the eye of the viewer travels along the visual path of the design. By arranging the design components and elements in certain way.MOVEMENT Movement is the directional path of our eyes or the viewing flow when we look at a work of art.

Repetition of similar elements will create movement or a path that the eye travels and if the repetition leads the eye through a periodical or alteration regularity and irregularity flowing path or in staccato movement.Movement can also be achieved by repetition and action. . then it will create a rhythm.

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. but a visual path created by the arrangement or shape of the components for the eye to travel along the design. *Psychic Line This line is invisible to the eye and is a psychological line created to draw and direct our viewing.MOVEMENT CAN BE ACHIEVED BY A. ACTUAL LINE *Implied Line Not a real line.

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which has the purpose of creating a focal point or point of interest. .EMPHASIS Emphasis is the intended focusing or highlighting of a particular characteristic of the design.

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can be eliminated.SIMPILICITY Simplicity is the elimination of nonessential elements or details. or which may distract from the interest. . Some features that are not contributing to the essence of the design. Such features may distract from the focal point or lend a negative impact to the overall beauty.

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between the rock and the tree. the color of leaves and flowers. the bark color and texture.CONTRAST Contrast is the difference between or opposition of various elements. between the deadwood and live veins. . Contrast in bonsai can be found on the lines and form of the trunk and foliage. or even in the color of moss against the soil surface. Contrast can create visual interest and add variation to the design.

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In bonsai. branches. which is the size proportion of the trunk. . proportion can refer to the anatomical condition of a mature or post-mature tree. tertiary branches and twigs. this is what I call anatomical balance.PROPORTION Proportion is the relation or ratio comparison of elements in size or quantity.

Good proportion in bonsai can also influence the comparative size illusion of the tree in relation to the total presentation . it can also emphasize the chosen focal point.Proportion in bonsai can create perspective and dimension.

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SPACE Space is the interval or distance between the elements .

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UNITY Unity is the hallmark of good design. All elements and components should be composed with integrity. . in a consistent manner. and successfully applied with the principles of design in mind.

complementary to each other. and with an appealing focal point.Unity will give a sense of visual pleasure if all the elements and components are arranged in harmony. . the thematic message will be more clearly communicated. instead of competing for attention. When unity is achieved.

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UNITY CAN BE ACHIEVED BY *CONSISTENCY *RELEVANCY *INTEGRITY .

STYLES OF BONSAI .

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man and earth. the triangle of heaven.STEPS IN MAKING A BONSAI 1. Remember that the appearance of maturity is important 5. Choose a style appropriate for the plant or a plant that can be trained in the desired style 3. The rule of three is a common principle to employ. Examine the plant carefully and for the style chosen . establish front and back 4. . Choose a desirable plant or style 2.

making new growth to continue the development of the style .5. remembering that the plant will work with you. Observe the trimmed plant from several angles and from across the room as well as close up 7. Continue to shape the plant to the style. Begin pruning growth that is undesirable to see better the plant and its potential for the style 6.

a front of the trunk. a technique common with some junipers. .Establish a front for the bonsai and. therefore. aged look.Curves in the trunk are attractive. .SOME SPECIFIC GUIDELINES IN TRAINING YOUR BONSAI Trunk The trunk is central to the development of the style chosen. can give the plant a weathered.Stripping some bark from the trunk. As a general rule the height of the trunk will be six times the thickness of the trunk at the base. but the trunk should only have one or two curves or their effect is diminished and the bonsai looks complicated rather than simple. . .

Branches should be balanced and not arranged symmetrically. . Branches should not come out to the front of the bonsai except in the upper portion of the tree. .Branches: The branches display the leaves and enhance the appearance of the trunk. .Branches should be narrower that the trunk and should appear narrow from the front and taper to their tips.Branches are usually horizontal or angled downward to indicate age. In upright and slanting forms the first branch is usually about one third the way up the trunk. .A few well-trained branches are better than many. Branches should not cross the trunk in front .

-The leaves should reveal and complement the trunk and branches. .Foliage Plants with small leaves are usually the easiest to train.Simplicity is desirable so that the overall style is apparent. compact leaves in a few dense clusters are desirable. Small. -Too many clusters of leaves will complicate the bonsai. .

The crown should be visible and the tops of major roots should be visible in part. Avoid crossing and encircling roots. A large exposed root should be limited to the back so that it does not compete for attention with the trunk.Roots Plant that are desirable for bonsai usually have good surface roots. .

.Shallow round. oval or rectangular containers are for upright forms.Deep containers are for cascade types.THE CONTAINER The container chosen should complement the style of the bonsai. . .

keeping it in a location sheltered from bright. Most bonsai should be kept outdoors as they will deteriorate in an indoor environment and will not be able to enter their seasonal rest period. winds. often twice a day as the medium of the roots is very porous. ‡ Protect the bonsai from adverse weather. . and freezing temperature. ‡ Water the bonsai regularly. hot sun. soil and composted bark for the medium that is put around the roots.THE SOIL MEDIA ‡ Use a good mix of sand.

‡ Bonsai can be the source of immense pleasure and inspiration. ‡ Prune new growth to enhance the desired style ‡ Inspect your bonsai frequently for pests and for wires that may be marring the surface of the branches. Bonsai disfigured by wire marks are of very little value. Enjoy you bonsai! .‡ Fertilize frequently to stimulate new growth.

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