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The 'Magic Cloth'
for Bonsai

The first time I saw a 'magic cloth' used was during a bonsai workshop with John Naka.  I was a novice. 

Bonsai tool set needs a Magic Cloth

I don't remember the tree, but I remember John looking, somewhat frantically, around the room.

Someone asked if they could get something for him …  “a handkerchief, paper napkin or something” he replied.

I reached in my lap and handed him the - not so clean - small towel I always kept with my bonsai tool set. He promptly covered a branch with the cloth.

Suddenly, his design concept for my bonsai became very clear!  I never forgot the lesson, and continued to use it.

Many years later, when I began to teach bonsai, the magic cloth was a way to guide students to better design without cutting their trees.

“When in doubt, cover the branch and imagine
   what the tree would look like without it.”
                                   - John Naka

magic cloth, powder puff, Mary Miller bonsai

The dwarf powder puff bonsai - Calliandra e. - shown here, arrived in full bloom for a critique.

The overall tree design and flowers were so wonderful, it was difficult to find fault.

However, the first two branches were heavy bar branches – and a bit distracting to me.

I suggested losing one of them, and covered it.

(I'm not sure I convinced the owner.)

Bonsai tool set needs a Magic Cloth

Sometimes, it takes a larger towel or even two small ones to get the full impact.

If you're not sure -- cover everything under consideration for removal, before reaching for your bonsai tool set.

I have gone so far as to leave the cloth on all day, while I worked on other trees.  When I went back to the bonsai in question and removed the cloth -- I often wondered why I ever doubted.

This technique worked wonders with this tree – as did the bonsai tools that came next!  Half of the original bonsai rightfully disappeared.

(Instead of cutting off the top of this tree, I used an air layer.)

Get Your Very Own Magic Cloth

I no longer have a dirty rag, I have embroidered cloths. My daughter Angela surprised me with two of them as a gift.  I hope you will find the value in this tool and make it an addition to your bonsai tool set.


This Magic Cloth is now available for your personal use.  As a teaching tool, it will be much more professional looking than a "dirty rag." 

It will also make a fun gift for a bonsai friend!
Also available in green.

Order today!   Click here for details.


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