Driftwood – Sharimiki :
Also known as Shari Style in the U.S. This style portrays a tree with most of its trunk bare of bark; at least one strip of live bark must connect the leaves and living branches to the root system to transport water and nutrients. The bared trunk areas give a strong impression of age regardless of the tree’s conformation, so driftwood bonsai often fall outside of the conventional styles in shape and foliage. In nature, trees in the sharimiki style are created by disease, physical damage to the trunk, weathering, and age. Pines, Junipers, and Conifers work best for this style.
-Advantages of driftwood style are that it is not common to see. This allows us to not be tempted to create an image that we commonly create when we style our bonsai. The negative space created within the tree with the play of deadwood and live vein is a very appealing image to look at. It gives the artist a chance to work on deadwood techniques and expand the imagination. We can build a back-story for the tree and its history even if it is one of fiction in our head; it allows us to really impart the artists’ journey along with the trees.
-Disadvantage of Sharimiki is the ability to get or find materiel that is already well suited for this style. This is one major factor why we don’t see this style very often, it will take many years to create a tree from stock that forms into this image nicely, it will take lots of patience working the live vein back from the shari and deadwood. If we are lucky enough to get a collected specimen it will take an artist eye to match the foliage with the large amounts of deadwood, we don’t want the foliage to look heavy and overgrown.
In most cases broad leaf or fruiting trees are not applicable to shari style, they will either rot the deadwood or re-grow live tissue over the old wood. Olive trees might be the one exception as they can have deadwood.
Japanese White Pine