Bonsai Water and Marble Pot

Water and Marble, The Bonsai Zone, Feb 2022

Having had some experience working on lapidary, I can tell you that you could use the same techniques to make your own marble or soapstone pots. Soapstone, a form of talc, is even softer than marble and can be worked with steel or carbide tools. It is chemically inert and is often used to make laboratory sinks. All you would need is a slab as thick and as large across as the pot you want to make. It can be trimmed to size on a bandsaw. A soapstone pot might be mistaken for a grey jade, except it doesn’t take as high a polish, but you wouldn’t want a highly polished bonsai pot any way. It’s a popular carving material, and you should have no trouble finding either soapstone or marble of the size you need online. I would start with a small oval or round pot to find out if you like it enough to go into it further.

hi everyone nigel saunders here today it is above freezing but it’s going to drop later on this afternoon and we’ll be back to snow and cold in the next couple of days my mission today is i’m trying to collect as much rain water as i can get it’s kind of melting on the roofs and it’s slightly drizzling outside now so i’ve already taken my indoor barrel from one-third full it is now two-thirds full so i’m trying to top it up if i can today if i can get enough water so let’s go see what’s happening with the the cube and the water buckets you can see the rain or the wet snow landing on the roof of the greenhouse here whenever we get a winter thaw i’m always out here collecting rainwater now people have asked why don’t i just melt all the snow to make my rain water the trouble with that is it takes a lot of snow to get a little bit of water like i could fill that bucket up with snow and i might get you know that much water in the bottom once it melts so my drippy roof here has filled this bucket and i’ve already gotten four buckets from my cube this morning so yeah i just keep once the buckets fill up i just dump them into the barrel in the plant room here’s my barrel in the plant room so you can see it’s two-thirds full it was right down just slightly below the one-third line so i’ve gotten all that water today which is just awesome so i’m hoping by the end of the day that i can get it close to full at least and that’ll get me through probably the rest of winter because once we get into march we get a lot of thaws outside and you know i get all the snow melting on the roof and i shouldn’t have a problem with water i if it’s warm out i could even close the valve on my cube and start filling it up so that’ll be cool usually march is pretty cold though i’ve got another bucket of rain water into the barrel it goes it’s hard work collecting all this rain water but it’s worth it the plants grow so much healthier when they’re you know got rain water instead of tap water on them the tap water here is so full of lime and chlorine that it’s just not good for the plants it’s uh much better using rainwater the rain is turning to snow as it cools down this afternoon i’m still getting more water you can see this bucket is almost full again the bucket under the cube has some water in it not a whole lot i think i will get a full barrel in the plant room before the day’s through which is kind of nice there is a snow warning in effect all the schools were closed today some of the businesses have shut down we’re supposed to get a lot of snow in the next couple of days i’m going to be doing some work on the marble pot today i’ve got my dremel tool out and it’s got kind of a almost a grinder type bit on it i’m going to see how it works um i really like that one pot that had the line kind of around the top kind of defining the top edge of the pot yeah i just want to kind of experiment around see how this works for removing material and if it works well well i’ll keep going with it as long as the tool bit lasts i can always get more you know abrasive tool bits for this and work away at the pot should be kind of exciting i’ve also filled all the watering cans in the greenhouse here so i got four liters two two and one so that’s lots of water when my trees start drying out in here i can give them some water which is nice i’m going to empty the buckets into the barrel in the plant room and then i’ll come back and i’ll work on the marble pot i think i’ll have to do it outside because i think it’ll get really dusty i’ll probably have to wear a mask maybe spray it with water to keep the dust down i don’t know we’ll try it out so i’ll see you in a little bit all right i better get a workbench cleared off that should be good i’ll get my marble pot out now there it is here’s my dremel see if it works there’s a speed control on the side here that’s slow right up to super fast i think i’ll start with it on slow but i better get my dust mask first all right i’m ready i’m going to flip it over i’m going to start on the bottom and see what it does i can get my glove out here there okay so got to relieve the bottom because if this is sitting on a table the drainage holes will be sealed the water won’t flow out so i’ve got to thin down the bottom and leave the feet the same height so let’s try it out let’s see if it works [Music] [Applause] this tool is not very powerful like i need to go up in speed [Music] that’s working quite well [Music] i’m going to have to take my mask off i can’t see a thing my glasses are fogged up i don’t think it’s very dusty anyway because the snow is wetting the surface here it’s kind of not very dusty so that’s kind of good it’s like someone with a spray bottle almost all right let’s see how it goes now [Music] okay so the grinder works quite well but it’s very small and it doesn’t take a lot off at once i think i’m going to need like a an angle grinder or something that takes a little more material off quicker if i use this bit i think it’ll take me like a week to get this even close to how i want it so i think i’m going to try some different tools i’ll try that angle grinder out and see how that does i think that’ll take it off a lot quicker and just as well i hope this works it’s just it’s good for more delicate carving maybe well i’ve got an angle grinder um it’s pretty worn out the death wheel is almost done i’ll just try it out and then i’ll have to get a new one a new grinding disc for it i don’t even know how you turn on here somehow you turn it on come on must be some safety thing okay [Music] [Music] [Music] wow that’s really wearing my tool out so that’s working quite well uh it’s not real aggressive but it’s uh taking it down pretty good so i think with a new new uh wheel on there i think it’s the technique to use so i’m off to get a new wheel in the snow i found another tool this is my dad’s it looks like it has a tile cutter blade on it or something let’s just see it’s a four and a half inch fast cut yeah i don’t know it seems to work really well i just tried it out so i’ll show you how that works so [Applause] see if that heats up at all cool yeah so that works really well it takes about i don’t know a couple of millimeters off perk per cut it’s quite aggressive i think that’ll make fast work of this uh the bottom of the pot so i’m going to get some hair hearing protection and keep working away at it [Applause] that’s working really well i think i’ve got to take the camera away it’s getting all covered in dust here’s a look at the progress so you can see at the foot here you can start to see a bit of definition there as i lower this surface down yeah so i’ll keep at it it’s coming quite nice it removes the material quite quickly so that’s good so [Applause] i am working away grinding it down so you can see if i put the ruler across there i’ve got a gap under it now so that’s good slowly getting that bottom down just kind of roughing it in place for now and then i’ll have to you know make it all nice and flat work on my feet but it’s coming along quite nicely sure spits out a lot of marble dust it’s everywhere not too bad on me i’m staying fairly clean but just spraying it out everywhere else so it’s coming along that tool works really well that cutting tool there’s a close-up of it i think that’s like a it’s either a tile cutter or concrete grinding blade it works really well though takes this off like nothing so i’ll keep at it here’s a look at the pot now so you can see that it sits off the ground now so the feet are actually working [Music] the drainage holes clear the table so it is a even more functional pot now drainage holes and they sit off the ground so i’m not done finishing underneath there i’ve only begun but it’s good progress i’m going to leave it at that for today it’s quite hard on the back doing this i think it’s because my table’s so low so maybe if i get something to space it up a bit more it’ll be a little more comfortable for me but yeah i’m really happy i think i found the tool to do the job and i’m getting the job done so that’s awesome i haven’t decided about the edges yet remember i said i was gonna taper them i don’t know i’ve been looking at pots some of them have the square edges and they look quite nice but i would like some fancy some fancy work on them maybe you know a lip or that you know that line scribed in or something it needs something i think maybe not maybe you know because it has this it’s highly patterned this marble that maybe it doesn’t need anything maybe a plain pot is ideal i don’t know another thing i found about the marble is that you can have highly figured marble like this and then it when it’s out in the sun it kind of bleaches it so it almost turns it white so that might happen to this pot it might turn white in the sun and i may not see all this the gray in it it’ll be interesting to see anyway and it’ll also get nice patina on it i notice algae likes to grow on the marble yeah so that’ll be interesting so yeah i’ll keep working away at this i’m going to resume tomorrow if the weather is good as you can see it’s still snowing here looking quite beautiful outside let’s go check in on the pails of water see how they’re doing whatever beautiful out it’s not cold out it’s just below freezing one degree below freezing nice gentle snow falling no wind crows i did manage to top up my water barrel you can see it’s nice and full so that’s fantastic all beautiful rain water the discoloration is just from the leaves on the roof that’s nothing to worry about so yeah it’s full i’ve got well this level says 50 gallons or 189 liters so it’s probably uh it’s probably about 200 liters so that’s fantastic that’ll get me through the rest of the winter i always get worried when it gets down to like the lowest the last third in the water barrel it’s like so it’s nice to have it topped up it’s like having a tank full of gas in your car when you’re going out on a trip my spider in the plant room is still doing well you can see it’s webbed there you can see the spider it’s getting bigger it catches a lot of insects under that light so many that sometimes it just cuts them out of the web and lets them drop down yeah so everything’s looking good in the plant room i think all the plants are enjoying this warmer weather in here i think everything’s greening up nicely kitty’s sleeping in her box here hi kitty hello it was a really fun day today getting my water barrel all filled up and working on my marble pot getting the bottom all relieved a lot of work to go on the marble pot but got the tools got the techniques it’s just a matter of time now that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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