This Juniperus chinensis was designed at the P.E. convention in Nov 2017. I had been asked to do a demo and wanted to do something larger than normal.
We had prepped all the wiring and styled a certain part of the tree already to make sure that I would finish on time. The demo went as well as I could expect but I was completely unsatisfied with the result. I appreciated Juan Llaga helping out in places and Tobie Kleynhans’s assistance as well. It was a learning curve for me.
The big problem is I had created clouds instead of using the foliage correctly to produce a silhouette. The pressure of creating a tree in front of people and trying to do your very best is difficult to say the least. However I always look at the process as things that need to happen to open up your mind to new possibilities in that tree. As soon as I brought the tree home I was sure I was not happy and started looking at alternatives to the design.
After several months of inspecting the tree and working ideas over in my mind I decided to tackle the problem in April. I had practiced on other chinensis a completely different styling technique that I had picked up from Tobie when we worked together on the pencil Juniper forest of his together. It just works so well but needs a lot of planning where to fill in with branches.
It took another 4 hours to redesign the tree, cut out any dead branches and wire up any branches that needed extra placing possibilities. I had 2 option now of a lower branch or a more literati look and our Willow Bonsai whatsapp group helped out a lot to decide which option to go to.
I am much happier with the tree now and will keep restyling the tree till it has a great balance and composition.
So to conclude I have grown immensely this last 6 months and have learnt that a demo in front of people I should handle differently in the future and always think of it as a step in the design process. Not be worried about mistakes that occur, but use it to my advantage to create a better design and to be honest about the shortfalls in the demos as well.