I cannot possibly add more than what you can find at suiseki.com but as a plantsman and dare it be said as a westerner, Suiseki has taken a different meaning to me than the Japanese view of “water stone.”
Stones can be formed by many different facets of nature including wind abrasion. Neither do they need to be the polished jadeite or chrysanthemum stones so often judged as perfection. Dark colors are equally preferred.
My own interpretation of this stone appreciation is that they are viewing stones, or meditation stones and that they do not have to be smooth, oiled or pampered.
Desert stones such as petrified wood are one of my own favorites and will never be polished into ‘Biseki’ which means beautiful stone. My last purchase (collecting can come in any form) was from eBay and I have moved this beautiful rock around in so many ways trying to visualize my 2 mm. body trying to ascend. This ‘face’ will be the front of this suiseki.
Having become disabled and unable to really take care of bonsai I have found an art form that will live forever, (or with frost fracturing not) doesn’t take daily care, yet remains to be viewed and enjoyed. Mind you that both bonsai and suiseki can provide equal joys. Adding in the woodworking for the bases is an extra challenge. ‘Dai or daizi’
Another method of displaying them is to put the stone in a ‘suiban’ usually a shallow and drainage free bonsai pot. Sand, gravel or water can be used in the ‘suiban.’ One of my pieces is a coral reef and could be so placed.
When it gets into stones like this, every person will see something else … and sometimes will impress on the owner their own very vision. What they see then becomes my own memory of them. Something to be very cherished.
Waterfall stones or glacier topped peaks are another rock to search out.
For some reason I find and collect animal stones, bird shaped and not eagle at all – my vulture stone fits the bill, like the classier bear beneath.
Damn … cant’ find the vulture pic.
The topic is unfinished. ‘Near view mountain stones’ of the ‘Teton Peaks’ are unavailable as Dolly Parton did not give her approval and I withdraw to my shelter stone instead.
I will also add: “In the spirit of honor, stone collectors are urged to use utmost courtesy and never trespass on others’ property. Always ask landowners’ permission to enter their land. Remember that landowners also honor their stones.” Perhaps that should be our new currency!
(c) Herb Senft 2013