Welcome to my blog. I started this blog to share with the public the joy of my creations. I hope more people will join me on this journey. Bonsai is a very peaceful and rewarding passtime, hobby, craft or art. Make your choice. You can contact me at newzealandteatreebonsai@gmail.com.
Enjoy and Cheers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Kunzea Capitata Bonsai

Kunzea is a specie endemic to Australia. Of the 36 varieties of Kunzea only one, Kunzea Ericoides, occurs ourside Australia, in New Zealand. I have not seen nor heard of anyone having a bonsai of this specie outside my garden. I have a few, this is the best. It was trained from an ordinary nursery stock since 2001. It blooms in winter/spring with masses of fluffy pink flowers. However, due to the constant prunning to keep it in shape, it is difficult to get it to bloom as a bonsai. The only way is to allow the branches to grow if one wants to see the flowers. I am letting the lower branch to grow, not for the flowers but to help it thicken up. The moment it is of the right size, I will cut it back. The style is copied from a Japanese master piece which won the top Kokufu prize many years back. It depicts an elderly person struggling on with life. CJ.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My smallest NZ Tea Tree Bonsai Is Blooming

Well, my smallest NZ Tea Tree bonsai is still alive and blooming. 2 inches tall in a self made pot. Created in 2007. I hope to keep it alive for as long as possible. Not an easy task ! CJ.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Developing Two Trees In One

I have about 17 varieties of Tea Trees in my garden. So a fair bit of cross pollinations take place. This tea tree grow by itself about 4 - 5 years ago. The foliages and flowers are different from any tea trees I have in my garden. So I presume it must have been a result of cross pollinations. Who are the parents, I am not sure. I have yet to see something similar in any of the nurseries I visited. Anyway today I worked on it. My idea was to develop two bonsai out from this one tree in the next few years. One styled broadly in the shape of a deciduous tree and the other taller and more in the outline of a conifer. My plan is to grow the tree until the trunk is 3 - 4  times the current size. Then I will then airlayer the upper "conifer" part. Today I cleaned up the unnecessay branches and twigs and roughly wired the two trees into position. CJ.

The tree before work:

The tree after work:

The "deciduous" part:

The "conifer" part:

My visions in 10 years time:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Bonsai Tools - Part 2

As my bonsai collection grows and my bonsai skill and artistry deepen, I naturally progress into carving. There are manual and power carving tools. The thing I like about manual carving is they don't stir up the dusts and dirts which power carving generated. Of course they are also much slower. So if u have a big carving job, it helps to invest in a power carver. Here are some of my carving tools:

My manaul carvers. From left to right. 3 Swiss concave wood carvers, 1 Chinese concave wood carvers, 1 Japanese wood carver, set of small carvers. Japanese carver.

These are my power carving tools. These tools are very powerful and dangerous at the same time. So be careful and take the necessary precautions. Wear safety gears. Be alert. Don't overstretch. Don't rush. Keep work area tidy and clear of unncessary items. Prevent accidental start. Ensure bits are tightened. Don't force.  Switch off the equipment when you are not using it.

From left to right. A USA made Lancelot carver on a Makita angle grinder. This is extremely good in removing huge chunks of wood. I used this to help Bill Valvanis removed a huge chunk of wood from a large Juniper he was working on, while he was in Perth last year. The teeth is very much like those of a chain saw. So sharpening it, is similar to sharpening a chain saw. Next is an Arbortech Mini carver with a tungsen carbid cutting wheel. Good for the smaller jobs. Next is a Makita Die Grinder. The bits I bought from Kaisen on the Internet are the best. Sharp and really stainless. The ones I bought from another dealer in Europ are sharp but somehow the bits get tainted like the bits I bought from Taiwan. The Taiwanese bits are half the price and do the job as well as the more expensive ones. So if u are in Taiwan, pick up some of these Taiwanese carving bits.Next is a Dremer for the smaller jobs. The bits are from Europe, Japan and Australia. The original Dremer bits are not so good.

Sharpening of Scissor.

The scissor has two blades. The inside contact surfaces of the blades are flat and the other side at an angle. I used to sharpen on a wet stone but find this a little cumbersome. I found the diamond coated file sold at kitchenwhare shop to be easier to use. I go thru the angle side 20 - 30 times follow by 3 - 5 times on the flat side. A close contact between the two cutting edges is essential to have a good cut. 3 - 5 strokes in one direction should be sufficient to remove the burrs, without wearing off too much of the contact surface. Try to maintain the original angle of the cutting edge. The secret to sharpening is to get the cutting edge sharp with minimal lost of material. In this way the scissor is not only sharp but last for a long time.

Sharpening of branch cutter.

The branch cutter has two blades. One will overlap the other. I sharpen by going over the outside surface of the blade what overlap the other, 20 - 30 times with a diamond coated flat file. I then go thru the inside contact surface 3 - 5 times to remove the burrs. For the other blade I will go thru the non-contact surface 20 -30 times and 3 - 5 times on the contact surface. Maintain the original cutting angle.

Sharpening of concave and knob cutter.

These are more difficult to sharpen. I used a small piece of fine sand paper to go over the blade in the same sequence as that of branch cutter. The secret here is to maintain even pressure while going over the surface of the blade. Follow the original contours and angle of the cutting edge.

I tried to clean and maintain my tools immediately after use. If need be I will oil the joins and moving parts. In this way not only will my tools last for a long time but the job will be easier and the feeling good.