Scrolls
        When displaying bonsai in a more formal setting like a bonsai show, the home, or in a tokonoma in the home. the tree should remain the focus of the display.  (This statement reveals the bias of this web- site because a collector of scrolls might say that the scroll should be the focus of the display.) The display of the tree on a nice stand is enhanced by the inclusion of an accent plant, a suiseki, and/or a scroll.       The objective is to complement the tree with a collection of small articles of art that convey a cohesive story instantly read by the viewer and deciphered without hesitation.  This should be an artistic depiction with all items related to the tree and the season.      The roll of the scroll and the accent or companion plant is to convey the season while not overpowering the display.  A wonderful presentations can be ruined by the wrong scroll. The Japanese use the sky, ocean and mountains to tell their story, as well as the moon, birds, animals and insects. The clever use of certain animals or insects, birds and fish tell stories of the seasons as well. In fact those that covet scrolls for display and follow traditional ways of years gone by understand fully the significance of what is depicted on a scroll.      The image of Fuji, a famous and sacred mountain in Japan is celebrated each year at New Years. Fuji can be depicted with snow, clouds, rain, smoke, green trees, leafless trees and so on with each depiction capturing a specific time of year and even the time of day. A moon can be a half moon, crescent moon, fuzzy moon, moon peeking from behind clouds.  The sun can be rising, setting over water, partially clouded, or setting behind Fuji.  Spring is cherry blossoms or a crocus just pushing up.  Summer is a cicada or dragonfly, frogs or turtles.  Cattails are late summer.  Fall is a falling leaf or a branch of red leaves.  Winter is snow on a branch. maybe with a cardinal, ice on a lake, or an icecicle.       The scroll while long, vertical, and displayed separating the tree and the accent goes a long way in balancing each of those elements. The placement of the scroll in relation to the tree, in relation to the accent can make or break a display. The easiest way
to keep from having redundant themes in the display is to make sure the scroll is simple. Keep the image to a house, an insect, a bird, or a moon or sun. That way it is easier to tell the story. Too busy a scroll and the message is easy to muddy.  The bonsai is the tree, so the scroll should not depict a tree or particularly a bonsai.  Scrolls of caligraphy of a poem might be suitable, but will not be understood by the general public in the US.  Scroll history and making      Brandywine Bonsai Society hosted Sean Smith for a scroll workshop.  The top figure on the right conveys part of the lecture.  His very worthwhile presentation covered the use of scrolls in display, their history, their proper storage and handling, and their construction.  The lecture was follosed by a workshop where participants constructed scrolls from mullbery paper, prints, silk fabric and patterned Japanese papers.  The workshop was quite successful and the resulting scrolls were as diverse as the participants.  
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Brandywine Bonsai Society is an educational organization and as a result, the material in this site may be copied for educational purposes.  If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution.  We welcome links to this site. 
Scrolls
        When displaying bonsai in a more formal setting like a bonsai show, the home, or in a tokonoma in the home. the tree should remain the focus of the display.  (This statement reveals the bias of this web- site because a collector of scrolls might say that the scroll should be the focus of the display.) The display of the tree on a nice stand is enhanced by the inclusion of an accent plant, a suiseki, and/or a scroll.       The objective is to complement the tree with a collection of small articles of art that convey a cohesive story instantly read by the viewer and deciphered without hesitation.  This should be an artistic depiction with all items related to the tree and the season.      The roll of the scroll and the accent or companion plant is to convey the season while not overpowering the display.  A wonderful presentations can be ruined by the wrong scroll. The Japanese use the sky, ocean and mountains to tell their story, as well as the moon, birds, animals and insects. The clever use of certain animals or insects, birds and fish tell stories of the seasons as well. In fact those that covet scrolls for display and follow traditional ways of years gone by understand fully the significance of what is depicted on a scroll.      The image of Fuji, a famous and sacred mountain in Japan is celebrated each year at New Years. Fuji can be depicted with snow, clouds, rain, smoke, green trees, leafless trees and so on with each depiction capturing a specific time of year and even the time of day. A moon can be a half moon, crescent moon, fuzzy moon, moon peeking from behind clouds.  The sun can be rising, setting over water, partially clouded, or setting behind Fuji.  Spring is cherry blossoms or a crocus just pushing up.  Summer is a cicada or dragonfly, frogs or turtles.  Cattails are late summer.  Fall is a falling leaf or a branch of red leaves.  Winter is snow on a branch. maybe with a cardinal, ice on a lake, or an icecicle.       The scroll while long, vertical, and displayed separating the tree and the accent goes a long way in balancing each of those elements. The placement of the scroll in relation to the tree, in relation to the accent can make or break a display. The easiest way
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Brandywine Bonsai Society is an educational organization and as a result, the material in this site may be copied for educational purposes.  If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution.  We welcome links to this site.