'Paper' Training Pots for Bonsai: Page 2

by Luka Musich




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Page 2:

Applying the Paper Mix/Building The Pot

pot mixturecement mixbonsai pot mix

Always wear gloves when using cement; the lime in cement can and will cause burns.
First fill the legs by squeezing the material in with your fingers. Then put a layer of the crumbled smaller sized particles of paper mix over the whole bottom of the mold, and press the whole area into a flat, smooth mass. You can use your hands or a piece of polystyrene to help press the cement.
After the bottom of the bonsai pot has been made you can then start to build the walls of the pot.

bonsai potmaking a bonsai pot bonsai pot drainage

When building the walls, press the mix against the walls from various directions, so that the pieces you add blend together well. When the walls of the pot are built to the desired height, smooth the whole surface with your fingers/palms (if they are too dry, spray the mix with a little water).

Finally, make the drainage holes at the bottom of the bonsai pot and some smaller ones for the tying-in wires. For these holes, bottle caps or similar items that are the appropriate size can be used.

Taking the Pot Out of the Mould

Take the pot out of the mold when you are sure the mixture has cured properly. Trying to remove the new pot before the mixture had dried enough can lead to cracks in the walls or base of the pot or the legs can come away from the base

My pots were left in their molds for three days at 5˚C, and each one came out easily. Higher temperatures will obviously leave a faster drying time.

bonsai pot bonsai pot

Take the mould, turn it upside-down, bang it firmly against a flat surface and the pot should slip out of the mould (I used an old doormat to make certain the pot didn't break as it came away from the mould). The pot is then allowed to cure for another couple of days to ensure it has hardened all the way through.

Bonsai pots curing

Newly made bonsai pots being left to fully harden

Finishing the Pots

A hand grinder and/or other grinding tools are used shape the pots roughly, and then sand paper is used for the finer finishing.

finishing bonsai potbonsai pot

The pots can then be painted with paint suitable for colouring cement.

And that's all there is to the process!! Using this process you can have some nice, light weight and very cheap bonsai pots which can be used as training pots, or even as the final pots if you don't have the money for or access to clay/ceramic ones.

cheap bonsai potcheap bonsai potcheap bonsai pot

Pots painted with colours for concrete

Cheap bonsai potsCheap bonsai potsCheap bonsai pots

These are the pots I made in just a month...

For questions and tips contact me on music.luka@gmail.com

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