Browsing through the endless mess of photos in my library, I stumbled upon a few keepers from the beginning of my apprenticeship. My level of determination was matched only by my lack of hair… I would do anything to stay.
When I had proven my ability to handle the more simple yet important aspects of maintaining a clean and healthy Bonsai nursery/garden, I was tested with something that mentally challenges every beginner: wiring. Testing a first year student is part of the initiation; if you can show you are learning through the quality of your work, you will not be frowned upon… yet. First you need to master the basics (using the correct size of wire, elegant line, soft application, etc.) Then you will be expected to know correct branch placement in relation to the tree, does it look natural, balanced and convincing?
Here is an example using the first tree I ever wired in Japan, a Bunjin Japanese White Pine. Bunjin are often given to the new apprentice to practice on, as they tend to be very good at forcing the eye to see both positive and negative in the overall design, they can be tricky.
Not too shabby, it was a start. Greatness in wiring comes from constant exposure to beautiful and simple technique, I have had many outstanding examples to study over the years; combined with patience, practice and a mind in the state of constant unrest this may (or may not) be achieved.
Hopefully ya’ll are a little caught up, sorry I waited 5 years to share these inspiring pics and rad experiences. I intend to update my blog as often as apprentice-ly possible, where are all my encouraging followers??! Holllllllla