Mother Lode Bonsai Club member Jerry Braswell is a noted Sacramento area viewing stone enthusiast and dealer. His artistic creations are sold at bonsai shows throughout Central California and are catalogued at www.artofthedaiza.wordpress.com.
Braswell has been a woodworker and cabinetmaker since 1983. His keen interest in suiseki, or viewing stones, has since turned him in a new direction of creating form-fitting bases (daizas) for these highly polished stones, tree display stands, shoji screens and other bonsai related products. He also collects, prepares and sells stone findings. As such, his artistic creations are sold at bonsai shows throughout Central California.
According to Braswell, the term "viewing stones" and "suiseki" are often used interchangeably in the western world. However, they are not the same. To the Japanese, suiseki is defined by its own specific set of rules, which are commonly misinterpreted. It is much more refined in the study, collection and appreciation of stones as a form of art. Further, viewing stones can be displayed alone or in combination with bonsai trees.
"True suiseki should suggest something to the viewer, yet not be a precise miniature representation of the object," he said. "This suggestibility may come from a memory, feeling or recall of a unique place. It could be a mountain, waterfall, house, animal or person. Sometimes, the stone can evoke special feelings, emotions or recognitions."