Over the years many stones have passed through my hands. Some were owned by clients and some were stones I found or bought/traded for. It still affects me greatly as to what people see in these stones, in fact, I think it is the MOST interesting thing about this art form.
I wanted to write this blog to share with you some of these stories.
This stone is a large selenite crystal. It was traded for some daiza work. The woman who bought it had come to the bonsai show because her husband was into bonsai and she liked “rocks”. After buying all of the small crystals I had put out on my table to sell to people who could not afford an expensive suiseki and wanted to go home with SOMETHING, she saw this large crystal mountain. She held it in her arms and said it started to feel warm and she wanted to buy it but the price might be too much. The next day, she came back and said her husband had just spent $500 on some bonsai trees and “If he could do that then I can buy this!” and purchased it.
This next stone is from the Eel River in California. I love the texture and smoothness of this stone so I made a daiza from it out of 150 year old walnut wood I got from a man in the mountains where I live that told me it was from a tree that his great grandfather had felled when he homesteaded the property.I showed it to one of my favorite clients who owns some of the best stones I have sold and he loved it. For the longest time, after I had made the daiza, I often wondered if I should have laid it on it’s side, rather than standing up because it did look a little like a valley with a lake on it’s side. After he bought it, he emailed me and show me that he loved it standing up because he said “When you turn it a certain way, it looked like the giant Moai statues on Easter Island!”.
This next stone was sent to me by a client to have a daiza made for it. It is a GREAT little waterfall and reminds me of upper Yosemite Falls. The “3-D’ness” of the water is great up close! When I received it in the mail and opened the box, I looked at it and wondered which way he wanted it to stand. There was a “flat bottom” and I figured that he wanted that as the bottom, but when I turned it over the waterfall seemed so much more real! I emailed him photos and sure enough, he had only seen it as standing on the flat bottom but now realized, as I did, that it looked so real the other way and so we stood it up the opposite way of what he had originally thought.
This next stone is a Botryoidal Jade piece I sold for a friend. It is a great “Bot” and always reminded me of some kind of “Galaxy of stars” laying on it’s side on my table. The client who purchased it saw something different. I could not believe my eyes when he held it up and showed me that it looked like a crocodile head! He bought it and about 2 years later, just recently, I made the daiza for it.
This next stone is owned by a friend of mine. He told me, one day at a show, that he had some wood he wanted to sell and since it was exotic hardwoods, he thought I might like to buy it for making daizas. He and I both share the love of natural woods and he has made many fine daizas in his day. I went to buy the wood and since he gave me such an incredible price for it, I also agreed to make a daiza for this stone.
He told me the story of how, back in his younger days, he had worked at Yosemite National Park and part of his job was to work on the “firefall”. The Firefall was a grand presentation they used to do in the park where they would light logs on fire and send them down the falls at night. It was a spectacular event!
When he found this stone, the iron-colored quartz vein in the stone reminded him of the firefall, but the REAL KICKER is, when he turned it over, it had the initial of his first name on the bottom!!!
His name is Walt.