Bonsai Carving in Croatia with Kevin Wilson

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Words and Images by Luka Musich

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This demonstration by bonsai artist Kevin Wilson was organized by Sebastijan Sandev and his better half Dubravka, in a place called Bistra, near Zagreb on Saturday 24th September 2011.

bonsai carving

The first tree was a large Spruce owned by Sebastijan. It was practically a stump with some branches on one side. I was little late for the demo (with a bit of a hangover!) so I didn't catch the right stump becoming a jin.

bonsai carving

  The carving starts with the bottom of the tree and the nebari. Depth is the big element in carving, as you can see.

kevin wilson bonsai

  Kevin is full of interesting stories and explanations of the carving procedure. From the basics of carving to the differences in carving different species of trees. For example, spruce are a bit harder to carve because of the structure of wood as it is fibruous, and if the wood is still wet, you should do the carving over a couple of sessions and not in one go. First do the basic/raw carving, then after couple of months, when the wood has dried out, do the finer detail carving.

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Carving the Spruce bonsai

bonsai carving

Going deep into the Spruce trunk

bonsai carving

Always work in segments, a little bit here, and then a bit there,  and then connect them somehow on the, carving should be like a game...have fun!

big olive bonsai

Big olive owned by Mr Sivac from Dalmatia, sceduled for tomorrows workshop. Check out that size!!! Even the car in the background looks small!

kevin wilson bonsai carving

A trick that kevin showed us...good technique of shaping the first left branch into a downswept jin – the next picture shows the jin.

bonsai carving jin

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