Uro advice

BonsaiNinja

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I was reading on http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATUro.htm, about creating Uro, and found the following statement. "An almost random shape to the carving creates the most natural appearance. The only rule would be to try to avoid the uro being perfectly (and therefore artificially) round. Ensure that the uro is not just a uniform hole carved to a uniform depth."

The part about the "only rule would be to try to avoid being perfectly round bothered me. As someone who wants to strive for the epitome of bonsai greatness (ok, I dont want to settle for "good enough"), I found this a rather lousy rule of thumb. I am sure the true bonsai masters would not say "just make it look natural, dont make it a circle!"

Does anyone have any more detailed advice for carving a natural Uro?

Thanks in advance,
Mike
 

Vance Wood

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Probably the best thing you could do is take a walk in the woods and look at these elements in nature. Lacking that option I think the instructions you quoted are simply telling you to make a hole in the trunk but not a symmetrical hole like one drilled with an auger or drill bit. Look at some of the books and magazines. Usually this element is created by a branch being broken off at the trunk and rotted back into the heart of the tree. Or rotted off completely leaving an owl's lodge or a home for other critters.
 

bonsai barry

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I'm wondering how long and how far you would have to wander in the forest to find a Uro in a tree? In the west (mostly conifers) they are few and far between.
 

Tachigi

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Greg, I studied with Graham Potter ( gallery ) for a while and in brief he takes this approach. In the spot he whats to create a hollow he plunge cuts to the approximate depth with drill like bit. He then roughs out the hollow by allowing a small cutting head bit, for the lack of a bet word, to free wheel inside the hollow, Essentially, holding the base of a makita and letting the head bounce around inside the hollow. He the follows that by using hand or small power bits and follows grain of the tree to give a finished image. This technique has worked well for me in the past as it is random and seldom looks contrived.


Edit: It just dawned on me that in the last issue of Bonsai Today #106. Kevin Wilson (Grahams original mentor) goes a great article and photo demo on this subject
 
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