Introduction: Bonsai Deadwood (Jin or Shari)

Bonsai is a Japanese art form using miniature trees, but what is a Jin or Shari? No, sadly Jin is not a type of drink but instead Jin is a bare-stripped part of branch and a Shari is a barkless part of trunk of a still live tree. After seeing a few examples of what this can look like when done by a professional I had to try and make one, so this is my attempt at a fake Shari with an old branch for a brand new baby tree I got.

Step 1: Find Your Wood, Strip the Bark

First thing I did once I knew how I wanted my Bonsai to look was to find a nice piece of wood and striped the bark off. Then, if needed, shape it with a chisel.

Step 2: Apply Lime Sulfur

A Shari is typically artificially sun bleached white by using Lime Sulfur, because it seals the wood from rot and bugs without harming the living tree.

I just purchased a small bottle of Lime Sulfur from amazon and used an old paintbrush to apply it to the wood. Then I left it in the sun to dry as per instructions on the bottle. After drying the wood turns to a light white color (the camera does not do it justice)

TIP: This is sulfur and smells bad. I recommend doing this step outside

Step 3: Design

For this fake Shari, I decided to treat the red part of the wood different because I did not like the way the sulfur looked on the red wood. So anywhere it overlapped, I used a chisels to get a clean line the way I wanted the design to work.

You can do whatever you want in this step to make the wood look the way you want. If you want to use a chisel to make small designs you can do that too!

Step 4: Tung Oil

After designing how I wanted the transition from white to red look, I applied tung oil to the remaining wood that I did not put the sulfer on to really let the red portion pop! And pop it did!

Step 5: Add Your Tree!

Finally, I added it to my tree. This was a free tree that I was given on Earth Day it is still young and a little small. I tied it to the Shari in order for it to grow the way I want. After a while I will untie the tree from the wood and the tree will be able to stay in place and continue to beautifully grow around it.

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