Last weekend, I attended my first meeting of the Atlanta Bonsai Society. The guest speaker was Austin Heitzman, the renowned craftsman from Portland, Oregon, and he spoke about the bonsai presentation.
Heitzman explained why it is important to choose a stand that meshes with your tree. It it enhances the story that the piece is telling. My favorite example was a juniper that was collected while a mountain lion was stalking the collector.
He also explained how the stand can enhance the feeling that you want to convey with the bonsai. If it is a strong, thick tree you can use stark edges and a wide base to accentuate the tree’s strength.
Or you can use delicate detail to highlight the intricate foliage.
I really appreciate bonsai because of the attention to every little detail. Nothing is too unimportant to ignore with your tree. It resonates with me for the same reason that I like to write screenplays and shoot films.
I’ve heard people say, “What is the big deal with bonsai? They are just tiny trees,” and what I think they miss is the storytelling aspect. To me, bonsai is minimalistic storytelling at its finest.