We all know that a bonsai needs good taper, proper branch development and refinement, good-looking root base (nebari), and a pot that matches and enhances the overall image. This is simply wrong. Judge Budi Sulistyo scored 6. The last one on the craftsmanship side is the pot selection & placement. The biggest challenge of such a system is not the difficulty of selecting the right criteria. Instead of taking their bonsai home, as they do now, being none the wiser what the judge liked or disliked about their tree. Judge Min Hsuan Lo scored 4. it makes it hard to the contest organizers to use consistent judging from one contest to another. The technique is also just about average. Comment: Beautiful and natural. An example of the simplest, but often-used system is to score the bonsai from a scale of 1 to 10. And this is where the talent of the artist can make all the difference: he sees something that nobody else does, and innovative design becomes of utmost importance. Part One was published in Q2, 2014 and Part Two was published in Q3, 2014; Larix decidua: Height (max) - 61 cms. So, I start with 10 and then deduct for anything that could be improved upon. But there are many examples where, although the material has great character, it poses some major difficulties to the artist. The advantage of the above system is that it is fast and easy, and the judge doesn 't have to disclose every individual detail that influenced his decision. Here is an example of a judging sheet with 3 bonsai: Bonsai #1 is average in all respects. So, the first step would be to have two categories on a scale of 1 to 10. Comment: Still young looking. The branches on the left need more tapering to create richer sense. The key word is harmony: it has to be in harmony with the rest of the tree. And finally, the branches need to be thick enough and tapered, in other word, in good proportion with the trunk, in order to appear as mature as the trunk itself. In the area of Technique, everything is flawless except the Branch category, for the reason described above. To some of the readers, the above system may seem like having too many numbers and formulas. I don 't know. It is basically not ready to be shown. It is very difficult to take a good picture of a bonsai because a photo is two dimensional and flat; the im-pact of three-dimensionality and depth perception is lost. Here is the score sheet for the 5 test trees. The major difference is that the judge will have to analyze the tree in detail, grading the individual components, and then letting the table come up with the final grade? All rights reserved. When creating a bonsai, we will have some kind of image in our minds, and then we will use our technical knowledge to create that image. Judge Budi Sulistyo scored 6. This is a very nice linden and a rather rare subject in the world of first-rate bonsai. Bonsai trees, regardless of quality, look best in real life. Overall grade is 3.83, Judge Min Hsuan Lo scored 2. This will help us point out with more accuracy the specific areas where a bonsai excel or lacks in quality. So, I gave a 5 (average) in the Design category. It received a 2 in this area. But people seem to be more comfortable with a grading from 1 to 10, in which case the total needs to be divided by a factor of 3. Overall grade is 9.17. Challenging material offers unique opportinities for the artistPhotograph by Candy J. Shirey. So, the character of this tree is not as spectacular as in the case of Tree#1, but is better designed. Judging Bonsai The Criteria By Kath and Malcolm Hughes, UK Photos by Malcolm Hughes Part Three. We all know what we are looking in a good bonsai: innovative design, harmony, visual balance, evocativeness, and quality craftsmanship. I would be hard pressed to go with less than the above. Now let 's expand the above two categories into a few sub-categories. The following list describes the key areas which are usually individually weighted in "scoring" a tree, although at the end of the day significant personal interpretation and judgement is applied when considering these aspects : From here, he goes up or down the scale, depending on whether the tree is considered above or below average. The design looks somewhat unfinished. If I decide to become a bonsai master, I will judge my own work by the same abstract rules of 'good' and 'bad' and produce bonsai that pass my own criteria for judgment. Also, the branches need much more refinement, which, by the way, is not an easy task in the case this species. Comment: Very high quality of a juniper. A system that tells us in a little more detail, why one tree was chosen to be better than another. The two trees could never be regarded as equals. A judging standard which rates all the seperate elements of a bonsai, would then give the exhibitor feedback so he/she can see what is excellent, good or needs improvement with their bonsai and with this infomation improving their bonsai thus raising the standard of bonsai.
2020 bonsai judging criteria