Showing bonsai on a slab.

M.B.

Mame
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I was wondering about how PC is it to show bonsai on a wood slab. I don't mean a 2x12 chunk of wood but the burl slabs of maple, redwood, ect that have beautiful grain and interesting shapes. I have seen them used in shows but it doesn't seem to be very common. Just wondering why?
Mary B.
 

bisjoe

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Mary,

Burls make beautiful display stands for some bonsai.

I think the reason you don't see them more is the cost. Burl is prized by woodworkers for for turning bowls and other items. Also, not every tree has burl, it's fairly rare so hard to get. You could pay $100-300 for a raw slab, depending on the amount of figuring, then still have to sand and finish it.
 
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darrellw

Mame
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In traditional Japanese display, a burl/slab of wood would only be used with certain types of trees, like a bunjin, or a very playful kind of tree. You would never see it with a very formal, strong tree.
 

Eric Schrader

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burls

Yes, only some trees are displayed on slabs. Slabs are considered informal in the hierarchy of bonsai stands and thus are used for trees that are unusual, elegant or exceptional. The slab should be quite thin, which is hard to find. If you have a thick slab, unless the edge is exceptional, it will look chunky in the display. You can make a thick slab look great by carving the sides and underside to resemble roots, root stands are also commonly used, usually for the same style trees as slabs.

Find one of the many Kokufu books, each has hundreds of examples; looking though one of the books will teach you quite a bit.
 

ghues

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Wood Slabs - Burls

Mary,

Burls make beautiful display stands for some bonsai.

I think the reason you don't see them more is the cost. Burl is prized by woodworkers for for turning bowls and other items. Also, not every tree has burl, it's fairly rare so hard to get. You could pay $100-300 for a raw slab, depending on the amount of figuring, then still have to sand and finish it.
Lots of raw material up here where I live. Maple, western red Cw, yellow cedar (Cypress, Alaskan Cedar), Sitka Spruce.
Cheers G.
 

M.B.

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Thanks Eric for suggesting the Kokufu books. I went on E-bay and they had a few pictures from each of the books in some of the listings. There were a couple with slabs: a bunjin, a forest, and a rugged pine, as mentioned. Man those are some pricey picture books, but they are beautiful (teaching) pictures. Maybe Santa can dig one up for me for Christmas.
Thanks again guys, Mary B.
 
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