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 Why are they so revered in the bonsai community?

I understand they need a few extra holes for wiring and should be shallow and enhance whatever is planted in them, but I look at the sizes and wonder why they are so expensive. Is it a 'Designer' kinda thang? Or are there certain details of structure that are entirely sailing over my head?

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I don't know a whole lot about bonsai, but I do know that people who actually take pride in their bonsai are very serious about it. The container that the plant goes in speaks volumes for how good the grower understands the beauty in the relationship between the pot, the tree, and its rootsystem. It is a "complete look". Most people just plant a plant in a pot and say done, but in bonsai it is something to be considered very important.

You have to remember that some bonsai's will last lifetimes, some longer than others. I believe there are trees over 500 years old. I think the main function of the pots is to reduce the growing drastically. If you have a deep pot the tree can grow roots faster and grow quicker. I think the function of planting them in shallow pots is to slow their growth and develop complicated root systems.

I think that most ceramic pots(not talking bonsai) are completely awful. Before I was a potter I bought some pots at homedepot, and within 2 years they started chipping and cracking because of the freeze and thaw. I have had a flower pot outside in all the elements that I made and it hasn't cracked or chipped yet in 2 years and it looks exactly the same as the day I made it.

I have thought about getting into bonsai. I really love the beautiful trees. Some are really amazing. I bought my aunt one for her birthday a few years back and she calls it bobo, it is a dwarf jade tree. She wants me to make her a new pot for it eventually, but I have no idea what goes into that as it is more than just drainage holes and a dish. I have to consider the roots, the plants growth, etc.

It is an interesting thing for a potter to start doing as it probably has really good rewards. If you spent 10 years growing bonsai and making pots for them you could learn what works best and what doesn't and you could also have the experience to put behind your work which would increase your prices a lot... particularly if you became an expert in the field by sharing knowledge. 

When I was reading about the one for my aunt I got drawn into this guys blog: https://adamaskwhy.com/ he has some amazing training post that have awesome results.

Also: http://gramming-pots.blogspot.se/

Edit: Also just found this, when you peaked my interest by asking this question. https://live.bonsaimirai.com/archive There is a lot of free content that is hours and hours long to watch. Not sure much is about the pots, but definitely about the trees.

I am just going to say this last. I consider them beautiful artwork, a crafted and trained tree in the right pot looks absolutely amazing.

hawthorn bonsai



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Guest JBaymore
On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 11:48 AM, neilestrick said:

I think it falls into the same category as tea bowls. They are revered, and that makes them expensive.

Yeah, this is a core element in it, for sure, Neil.  And most tea people and tree people really start thinking about not only the functional aspects of the objects they use to follow their respective practices, but also the aesthetic qualities.  In a sense a "bonsai pot" is not simply "a pot"..... it is a integral part of the experience of viewing the totality of the work of the bonsai artist.  It is more than what might be considered maybe a "picture frame" FOR the tree, although that is a part of it too. 

In the end it is not separate from the "experience" of the tree....... it is part of it.   Some speak of "the universe in a bowl" when speaking of Chawan.  With bonsai it is a "landscape in a pot".

There are some technical considerations for sure.  And there are certain "rules" for bonsai artists in creating the types of trees that they do, and those rules spill over into the "appropriate" types of pots, and the features they "must" have.  Just like with making good Chawan FOR Tea Ceremony, in that you really need to understand Tea Ceremony well, to make good bonsai pots, you need to really understand the bonsai art.

Market forces combined with an aware and educated consumer.



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Bonsai has always been an interest of mine because I have a huge interest in gardening and for a long time had virtually no outdoor space. You can grow multiple plants on landings, windowsills, etc. Plus Bonsai has a huge following, albeit in Asia mainly, but, thanks to the internet appreciation of the hobby can be shared overseas. Bonsai has many variations most of which I don't know the Japanese names of, just like most other Japanese-based art forms. 

Choice of pot to go with plants therein, which can be trees, non-woody 'herb' bonsai, group plantings, etc, is like picking a frame for a painting but considered even more important. I don't know the rules of the Japanese aesthetic but there are a LOT of them. 

Also, more Mame (tiny) Bonsai pots I just got back from the kiln! 


3 new mame bonsai pots1.jpg

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