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The Pots

Bonsai Pots
A final touch to a bonsai pot before bisque firing

From an early age Bill has been interested in getting plants, seeds and cuttings to grow but his particular interest has always been Bonsai. This interest has stayed with Bill and when he had recovered enough to move around in the garden he began potting up plants that looked like having a future as Bonsai. Quite a number did well and the next step was to display them to advantage in something attractive and suitable for Bonsai culture. A search in local plant shops proved fruitless so Bill decided to have a go at making his own. He bought a block of clay.

How do you make a reasonable looking pot with the use of only one hand? Not easily! There was a period of frustration and failure before Bill, his mother and father evolved a workable method. We call it the "thumb bowl" method because it resembled the way of working with clay used by infants in junior school.

Bill is now able to make bowls from start to finish without any help. The finished products are pleasing and give Bill a great sense of purpose and achievement. Bill has set up a "studio" in one bay of the farm implement shed and he spends most free mornings working there.

Bonsai Pots
Japanese Elm displayed to advantage
in one of Bill's bonsai pots. Many
New Zealand native trees do well &
look great in Bill's bonsai pots!

Practise is making perfect and he has now progressed to working with pots of various shapes and sizes. He also tries the odd platter or fruit bowl to avoid "getting into a rut". Because the pots are hand crafted, no two are quite the same but they all have the distinctive base and feet which looks great and afford good drainage. This is essential if Bonsai plants are to be grown successfully in our climate.

Bill now has a kiln which enables him to fire his own pieces. He favours the traditional all over, one colour glaze and is experimenting with a number of colours.

Opening the kiln after a firing is always exciting! You can never be quite sure what the results will be, especially when trying a new colour. Fortunately results to date have been pleasing. Shelves full of nondescript, matt white pieces have changed, almost by magic into shining, colourful works of art.

summer leaves

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