Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The flowering ash

This flowering ash, Fraxinus ornus, was offered to me by a young Italian for trade. They are crazy about conifers and do not value deciduous trees as much. So we traded yesterday.

The very first things I did was to enhance the carving. What looks like blue smoke on the pictures is blue smoke. The wood almost started to burn while I happily carved away.

And then I was desperate to get rid of the most ugly pot.

I think it is quite a tree and it was not a bad trade - for both.


Aaron said...

If you ask me I think that in general it takes more patience, creativity and skill to produce a quality deciduous bonsai as they cannot be carved or bent every which way - this is one reason why I admire your extremely diverse collection. I think a bonsaist who only has conifers (especially junipers) in his/her collection is seriously missing out. That ash is very unique and beautiful.

vanishingword said...


Anonymous said...

What's so ugly about the pot?

Walter Pall said...


I hope you mean the last one, with the light color. This one is fine and It will stay in this until I find a better one. I have put it into this pot yeaterday.

If you mean the first one, with the Chinese figurines, then we have a very different taste. I think it is the end of civilization. I gave it to one of my assistants who will trade it with a store owner woh sells to silly blind folks who think this is Chinese art. My assistat will get a much smaller 'decent' pot for it. Otherwise I would have thrown it away.

Anonymous said...

I meant the first one. And it was meant to be a 'provocative' question. We don't have so different tastes, I assure you.

I noticed many times, however, that, through the years, I acquired quite a different taste for trees themselves as well as for pots, compared to the one I had before. Many times I find myself thinking what (except conformance with more or less rigid bonsai rules I've grown accustomed to over time) makes a certain tree (or a pot) appealing to me. And many times I can't find anything (that is apart from those rules).

And if we stick to those rules, they rule out most of Chinese pots (and I don't mean the one from your post!). They're either too colourful or too glazed or too... whatever. Not even mentioning their penjings with little pagodas. They're considered suitable in China, though. And one and a half billion people can't be wrong, can they? :)

So, bottom-line, I wouldn't say "end of civilization". Nor "most ugly". I'd say "not suitable". Or "not to my liking".

Anyway, would you be kind enough and really tell us what it is (specifically) that you don't like about that pot?

Walter Pall said...

O well, it is the overall apearance of being NOT artistic but just primitive Chinese stoneware for low taste - junk!. It is colored badly with bright colors, not at all artistic, just bad. It draws the attention towards the pot and not towards the tree and it makes the whole thing CHEAP.
This has nothing to do with a general notion that everything Chinese is cheap. It is not. Not anymore; there are good pots from China by now which one can show at major exhibits without being ashamed. But this one would just be a joke because it is of such bad taste.
I am serious about almost having thrown this one away. I don't want to be caught with it.

Walter Pall said...

I am so strong in voicing my opinion because I know what I say has WEIGHT. And I want to make it definitely clear that most things in art are taste and I cannot argue with taste. In general. But in this example I just don't accept a notion that this could be used for an artistic bonsai. It is much worse than wearing dirty blue jeans for an opera - it is junk. Any mica pot is MUCH better. And that says something.
Mind you, I speak of exhibitig such a tree. But I also would not even use the pot as training pot. Any honest wooden box would be more beautiful