As I get into the art of bonsai, very quickly I learned that it's not just about the tree, it's about the pot too. Many really cool works have fascinating pots. So, I had the inspiration to use an actual rock as a pot. While not technically a bonsai, there is this little tree in Colorado that inspires me because it's been there for over a decade, and it always strikes me as such a difficult existence.
|Natural Colorado Tree
|Two Colorado rocks about an hour into drilling.
|Same rocks viewed from the top down.
Both rocks had some natural features that already lent themselves to being a pot. I used a series of drill bits, but of course the rock was wearing through drill bits pretty fast. Since the concrete drill bit I bought was wearing the least, I ended up using that 1/2" bit the most. The goal for both rocks was to leave the outer surface as undisturbed and natural looking as possible. That meant leaving the edges in the two rocks above untouched. Then drilling a series of holes to try and enlarge the volume available for roots and dirt. I'll call it rock One on the right and rock Two on the left, sort of triangular shaped. I was routinely spraying some water on the rocks as I drilled for two reasons, one to cool down the drill bit and extend the life of the bits. And two as the rock powder would accumulate in the hole it was hard to see exactly where I was drilling, and if I was hitting any new air pockets, so I would wash out the dust.
|Method of Drilling
As you can see in the picture above on rock Two I drilled into the rock, but left the edges of the original hole in tact. Both rocks had a number of holes in them already, and as I drilled I would hit more air pockets and be able to lightly pry on the drill bit to try and expand those natural air pockets and remove the edges of each pocket to make the volume larger. I then used a small drill bit, about 3/32" or even 1/16" in some of the natural pockets on the bottom of each rock to make a drainage passage in both rocks. Many bonsais are susceptible to root rot and having good drainage is a necessity. I've made the self imposed rule that all the water has to drain from the rocks in their nominal orientation, any pockets of water that don't drain could lead to problems.
|Rock One Complete!