By Antonio Malara
Several years ago I renovated the private bathroom in my bedroom and being passionate about design, I reconceived it in a modern way. One of the items I added was a fir wood cabinet in its original light color. I embellished the piece of furniture even more by putting a hand-embroidered doily on which I placed a plant with fuchsia leaves. The plant withered after some time but it wasn't expected to last that long, later my mother gave me a bonsai tree to replace the plant. I have loved bonsai very much since I saw them as a child at a fair in northern Italy, however I have never bothered to buy one and take care of it. This was a good opportunity and I was very excited about this gift. Unfortunately after a few months the bonsai began to wither, despite the large and airy room. Probably a microclimate is created also due to the steam that has led the bonsai to have the same fate as the plant. At that point, in mutual agreement with my mother, we replaced the bonsai with a succulent plant, a type that also resists in the desert. Well, even the succulent plant did not resist, after some time it folded and even if it has not yet completely withered, unfortunately it is very close.
When I saw the lego bonsai, I immediately thought about my plants that always wither and I found an almost perfect solution in the lego accessory. In fact, with lego bonsai I can combine aesthetic beauty with the practicality of an element that will never wither. Even if it is a plastic object that is proposed as a substitute for a natural one, I bought it anyway thinking that the final effect could still be good. I followed this logic and began to assemble the bonsai hoping for the final effect desired by me and dispel a cruel fate that saw the withering of at least three plants.
The assembling process
Inside the box there were six large envelopes, inside each of them there was another small envelope and in addition to the instructions there were also two thin plastic bands. In theory, therefore, the assembly steps had to be six but in reality I assembled the bonsai dedicating a total of two and a half hours divided into four different days. In the first step I built the vase, a very simple operation that I completed in about 15 minutes, that day I decided to stop there. The second step instead (envelope 2) led to the construction of the trunk, this was more laborious but relaxing, after fixing it to the vase I switched to envelope 3. This contained flat and round bricks that simulated pebbles, they were simply distributed to the feet of the trunk inside the vase. To do all this, it took me almost an hour without any difficulty. In envelope 4 and 5 there were the bricks to build the branches, in the first there were the green ones in the other the flowery ones. For each version there were three large branches and nine smaller ones but while it took about 20 minutes to assemble the green branches, for the flowering ones it took 40. This is because for each leaf many more pieces were inserted to simulates the flowers of different color. This phase was more repetitive than the others but always interesting because after having mounted the first branch, I didn’t need the instructions to mount the others left. At this point the bonsai was finished and it could be assembled in two variants, with green leaves or with flowers. In reality there is also a third option which would be the tree with green leaves where you can insert shoots formed by pieces that have been added for the specific purpose. Finally, in envelope 6 there were the pieces that were used to make the support surface of the entire bonsai. I had sensed the simplicity of the phase even before opening the envelope, in fact it took me no more than 15 minutes to finish.
Once assembled and positioned, the bonsai is truly a beautiful and original design object. If looking at it one perceives that it is not a real tree, however, one does not immediately understand that it is a lego. It is so well done and with fascinating details. Personally I prefer the version with green leaves, I find that it breaks even better with the brown of the trunk and the black of the vase. Probably this version seems more "real" than the flowery one and in any case it is the one I saw for the first time and it struck me. The effect is what I wanted, plus if I remember correctly this bonsai is even bigger than the real one I had previously. I finally found the right "plant" that not only will never wither, but which enriches the design of a modern bathroom even more.
Pictures: Antonio Malara