Lathed Bonsai Pots

LordHill

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One of my other hobbies (very new to bonsai) is wood turning. A few years ago I rough turned this bowl out of a box older that fell in the back yard. I liked it so I sealed it and never finish turned it. Sometimes it's a huge coaster for my desk, sometimes its catching cashew shells. I included a pic for reference

It occured to me that it is sealed and waterproof. Perhaps it would make a decent pot for a box elder bonsai. Which begs the question... Why is it not more common to see bonsai it beautiful bowls made of the trees? Or did I just miss that area of bonsai?
 

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rockm

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One of my other hobbies (very new to bonsai) is wood turning. A few years ago I rough turned this bowl out of a box older that fell in the back yard. I liked it so I sealed it and never finish turned it. Sometimes it's a huge coaster for my desk, sometimes its catching cashew shells. I included a pic for reference

It occured to me that it is sealed and waterproof. Perhaps it would make a decent pot for a box elder bonsai. Which begs the question... Why is it not more common to see bonsai it beautiful bowls made of the trees? Or did I just miss that area of bonsai?
Nice work. I collect turned wood bowls.

They're not used for bonsai because they rot. Simple as that. 24/7/365 exposure to direct sun, a lot of water, fertilizers and animals that chew--think squirrels takes a toll, even on sealed solid wood...
 

LordHill

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Touche, but there are alot of methods when it comes to "sealed" ... various 2 part epoxy resins would make very durable and weatherproof coatings.
 

sorce

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The clay is a representation of Earth.

Sorce
 

sorce

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Nice bowl!

Sorce
 

Bonsaicarpenter

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I have a wooden pot that I started working on but haven’t finished yet. It’s sealed with 2 part epoxy and I made it from teak so it would be weatherproof. I’m still not expecting it to last long term though. At the very least I’m expecting it to eventually turn gray. Box elder is pretty prone to rot. It would need to be sealed really well or it will go downhill fast.
 

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LordHill

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Yes, box elder is a garbage tree. My yard is full of them. Every year I cleanup more that break off
 

9sxjf3ar

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I volunteer to run the experiment, dm me for the address where you can send it.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I have seen pots made from copper, brass, bronze, & stainless steel. They are not common, the brass, bronze and copper, the only ones that I have seen used in formal shows were extremely old, very valuable antiques. I saw one brand new steel pot, made by a former member, Stickroot. He is no longer active. He was also a ceramic artist. I have seen one or two glass pots, from blown glass. With all these unconventional materials, often the issue is the pot was too gaudy. The pot should support the tree, and help create an image. If the pot is too gaudy, or grabs too much visual attention, it is "not useful" in bonsai. The pot needs to support, serve as a frame, or set and setting, to place the tree into an image. It should not be the focus of the image.

Wooden bowls, as RockM said, in the past, never lasted long enough. The water, and weather, and insects would all conspire to quickly degrade the appearance of the bowl. It doesn't need to rot, all that has to happen is that it become unsightly. Then the pot no longer serves its purpose of setting the frame for the bonsai. (continuing with the painting metaphor).

Epoxies and modern preservatives have come a long way, perhaps if you choose the right one, the wooden bowl will indeed last. At some point, is it a wooden pot? Or is it a plastic pot with a wooden bowl embedded inside it?

Appearance is everything. Try it. If it still looks good 3 to 5 years down the road, call it success. Go for it. The only way we will find out if the new epoxies are as durable as their advertising.
 
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