Our meeting was titled “South Devon Rocks”. No, we didn’t put on some music and dance the night away. This meeting was to do with anything rock related. It could be a tree planted on a rock, a rock planting, or suiseki.

What a wonderful display the members put on at this meeting. We had some lovely root over rock trees on display.

This is the art of suiseki— an art form in its own right, about seeing stones as objects to revere and wonder at. Stones which by their shape, colour or texture tell a story or suggest other landscape features such as rivers or waterfalls. Not surprising that some are referred to as “philosophers’ stones”, because they can have a magical or mysterious quality.

The presentation of suiseki is as important as the stone itself. There are a few ways to present your suiseki. One is on a wooden daiza, another is in a suiban or if they are picture pebbles or a really awkward shape for a diaza, they can be laid on a small pad of Japanese cloth. They should never be just placed straight onto the display table without being presented correctly, this also applies to bonsai and accents. The least we can do is respect them by displaying them correctly at an exhibition.

Daiza/dai are carved stands which fits the suiseki which sits in it as you can see with this splendid example seen at a show. The white quarts is seen as a waterfall.Black mt suiseki ExmouthThey follow the shape of the suiseki around the lower area and provides a base to a stone which may not be flat. The daiza stand must not detract from the stone itself. Daiza can be intricate to make, as they need to be hand carved to follow the exact shape of the stone and usually includes a very shallow lip to contain the bottom of the stone.

Suiban are shallow trays in which a suiseki can be displaye. It can either be filled with water or sand. These are usually stones which you wish to symbolise as mountains.

My rock Dans suiban
A suiseki in a suiban  which can have gravel, sand or water in it