Uchi, or Crazy, as he prefers to be called, was our guest artist and judge for our first-ever judged show in the long history of ABS shows. There was some hesitation by longtime members, and after only 7 years of advancing the concept, it was finally included as a facet of the show. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the critique led by Crazy was remarkably educational. I even heard one of the longtimers utter the phrase, “we should have done this a long time ago.” Any cynical comment here will do:
After the judging and critiques were complete, Crazy conducted an afternoon demo, free for all visitors and members to observe. The material was a shimpaku from Evergreen Gardenworks. I liked the trunk movement, and I had spent the last 18 months walking around it in my garden considering the many styling alternatives. I had a few ideas in my mind, but was eager to see what Crazy would do with the tree, and the material was good enough that several nice options were available:
A nice shot from above shows how evenly-distributed and balanced the foliage is. Wiring is tidy and effective; every branch is wired out to the tips, and each tuft of foliage is given a spot in the sunshine. This image is a good study on initial pruning and wiring.
Over time, the jins along the trunk will be connected, and the heavy area along the trunk, while it has good movement, also has a bulge which will become Shari that connects the jins and helps tell the story of the tree. Here is a virt of the carving that will come over the next couple years.