kdodds
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Planting slabs?

Okay, I'm getting very ambitious. Does any one know where I might get natural rock slabs, drilled for bonsai forest plantings?

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Gnome
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kdodds,

I don't know where to get natural ones but in his book 'The Art of Natural Bonsai' Dave Joyce illustrates the process by which he made one of those artsy crescent type pots. ISBN 1-4027-0055-5 from Sterling Publishing.
https://www.amazon.com/tag/bonsai%20tools/products?tags=bonsai%20progression

The general outline was:

Galvanized screen (chicken wire?) to form a foundation.
Fiberglass cloth & resin, both inside and outside to encapsulate the mesh.
Mortar & grit, both inside and outside to add texture.
More resin, with sand this time, to seal the mortar.
Acrylic paints.

The finished product looks surprisingly natural and he shows a nine year old pot that is still in good shape. Might make a good winter project if your so inclined.

Norm

alexinoklahoma
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Location: Central Oklahoma

There's always the 'rock stores', the places that sell the 'deco' rock/flagstone for landscaping or home-building use. Drilling holes is easy, though some folk prefer no holes and let water run off the side of slab, so to speak. Its easy to make 'walls' using Sculpey (sp??) or a home-made brew of 'clay-stuff'. I could link to a recipe, but my other Bonsai Forum is down for the moment. PM me if you need/want a recipe for 'mortar' upon your slab....

Alex

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applestar
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FWIW -- here are couple of links for making a mounting rock for Shohin Mum Bonsai by carving a piece of volcanic/pumice rock with an ice pick or a screwdriver, then spray painting them black with 1:3 dilution of calligraphy ink mixed with water. Straight ink will damage the roots.

https://kikusaibaijou.at.webry.info/200702/article_4.html
https://kikusaibaijou.at.webry.info/200702/article_9.html

I can't find it now, but I did come across another website with descriptions of affixing a raised lip made of a molded ring of black clay on a slab of rock and gluing (don't know with what, superglue?) wires to the rock, then... now this part is a little fuzzy in my memory but I think a layer of coarse akadama, then regular bonsai soil. The clay ring was covered with moss in the finished bonsai.

Cuda52774
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Sounds like someone could make some pretty good money if they knew how to make these. I'd like one myself. Can't find anything like it on ebay.

Cuda

alexinoklahoma
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applestar: you can use a wide variety of epoxies or other 'construction adhesives' to hold down the edges. Doesn't take much, IME. I have seen a great selection of slabs made with natural rock and then using 'Sculpey' clay for the rim(s)/ledges, etc. Having access to a kiln for firing things makes it much easier, but not mandatory. Imagination is the limiting factor with this kind of thing usually...

Alex

kdodds
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Thanks guys. I've only seen one source that sells these. The ones they have a all kidney shaped and do not, IMO, look at all natural. I can draw pretty well, write up plans and schematics well also, but my "handiness factor" stops at simple home repairs and reef aquarium plumbing. I guess, worst comes to worst, I would rather get a natural piece of rock and sculpt it myself than create someting out of mortar, fiberglass, etc. A project like that is probably beyond my talents. Lava or tufa rock would be easy, since they're readily available, even drilled, at aquarium shops, but I'm looking more for something like granite or that "blue stone"/flagstone they use a lot in the north east for ponds. I suppose I could steal a stone from my father-in-law's pond (least he can do since I built it, after all). I guess I was just looking for the easy way out. ;) Anyone know what type of stone I'm talking about? How to grind a slight depression in it and drill holes?

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