Creating a Literati Bonsai (in Brief)

In this video we take a brief look at the techniques used in creating a Literati bonsai.

After splitting the trunk of this bonsai, we wrap it with raffia ribbon. Wrapping the trunk with raffia helps to prevent it from splitting or cracking.
raffia ribbon wrapped around bonsai
Several strands of raffia are wrapped around the trunk at once. You can see the raffia has been wrapped all the way up the trunk.
Now we start to wire the tree using a thick wire. It’s important we use thick wire at this stage: thin wire won’t be strong enough to hold the tree in place.

The wire is wrapped in a coil around the trees trunk. This process is repeated three times to ensure a strong hold. This wire coil allows us to manipulate the tree into a desired shape.
wire coil around bonsai
Now the trunk has been wired, we wire the apex. The two lower branches may not be needed in the design, so these will probably be removed eventually.
wired apex on bonsai
Using these techniques we have taken what was once a poker straight tree and turned it into something with a lot of movement and shape. This is the first stage of creating a Literati Bonsai. Over time, the pads will develop and the tree will undergo more styling before it reaches its final form.