Last weekend I attended the rather special EUK Bonsai Ten in Diepenbeek, Belgium. I attended with a friend from Italy. I was a trader and a demonstrator and this being my first time at this club I did not know what to expect. What very quickly became apparent was the incredible organisation and planning that had gone into the staging of this ‘club’ bonsai show. It was Friday evening, the whole show was staged and ready for business, a few traders had set up their shops and the excitement was palpable. I finally met up with Tom Benda an amazing potter from Czech Republic, we are working together…watch this space!
The exhibition featured an excellent club show with many superb trees worthy of a national exhibition and a show from Mario Komsta that was literally breathtaking in presentation and quality of trees, each being in a black Tokonoma individually lit. This was a benchmark for bonsai in Europe.
The demonstrators Viriato Oliveira and Márcio Meruje from Portugal, François Jeker from France, Enrico Savini from Italy, Mark and Ritta Cooper and ME! Most of the guys worked on trees however Mark, Ritta and I gave digital presentations that were very well received with many people standing and crowding the doorway.
A Huge thanks for inviting me to this amazing show to the guys and girls of Bonsai Club Eda Uchi Kai, in particular Hans Vleugels, Inge and JP Polmans for their generosity and opening their house to a bunch of renegade bonsai artists.
All photos supplied by Roland Petek, take a look at his extensive blog and lots more photos of the Bonsai Club Eda Uchi Kai show http://roland-bonsai-eng.blogspot.co.uk/
Earlier this week I took a friend from Italy Andrea Meriggioli to some of my special places where the most amazing trees grow. He was surprised that these incredible trees were in the UK. Especially the BIG deadwood Yew.
With apologies to Mark Cooper
Finding a Shohin Yamadori Taxus that displays aged deadwood is very difficult, the solution is to either air layer or as shown here, reduce the height of the tree.
This lovely little 25cm tall Taxus had old deadwood that was weathered and full of character and the live vein well defined and after three years from collecting it had grown well and developed a strong root ball
In its present state it would NOT make a worthy bonsai as the bulk of the deadwood was at the top of the tree with a long straight narrow trunk away from the root ball. The solution was to dramatically reduce the size of the tree.
The live vein was easy to separate from the deadwood using a small branch splitter, this was used up to the point that I wished to saw through the bulk of deadwood. This deadwood was VERY hard indeed, I had to take great care when getting close to the live, one small jump and it would have severed it!
I put a wet tissue next to the inside of the vein and placed two 3mm copper wire struts the length of the vein, this was held in place with rubber tape (this will be removed once the tree is established)
The vein was then coiled close to the truck and the tree planted in an oversize pot to let the roots run. I did this work two months ago; the tree is thriving and growing well. No work on the foliage will take place until next year after the first flush of new growth has hardened off. The tree has been reduced from 25cm to 12cm more than half the original size.
I love this video from Bonsai Focus about Omiya Bonsai Village. I am hoping to visit soon.
The styled tree laid over the raw material (Photoshop)
I traded a small Yew for this Mugo Pine at The Burrs workshop 2012, it was planted in a large flat plastic seed tray in a soil mixture not suitable for the rather damp conditions where I live. Whilst re-potting I saw that all the roots were on one side so decided to change the angle and make a cascading tree. The tree responded well and has thrived all year. Today I styled the tree, I have not wired to the tips of the needles because at this stage refinement is NOT my objective. Branch placement and the establishment of the design. The next few years will be bud development and refining the design.
update image due to a discussion on EBF