A slightly neglected Chinese elm

Tony Tickle:

Adam does a nice job on a neglected little elm.

Originally posted on Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog:

This post begins inside and ends up outside. Opposite of the last post I guess.
Must mean I’m making progress.
Here’s the little tree.
It a very modest Chinese elm. It began life a an s-curve and I chopped it. Kinda like this:
Like I said, it’s very modest. The root base is very average.
And I’ve neglected it a little.
You can see how much it’s grown since I wired it.
My plan today is to unwire, trim and rewire, and repot.
Whoa?! Repot? I say that because the keen eyed readers in the audience probably saw the emergent and even emerged leaves on the tree.
That’s a no no, ain’t it? Repotting a deciduous tree with leaves on it?
Here’s a secret you won’t see in any book: you have, with a chinese elm specifically, a much greater leeway in your repotting times, than with most other deciduous…

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After two seasons Yamadori thrive due to patience

I sell a lot of native European Yamadori all of the trees are very old and of the best quality, trees that I would have in my own collection. I select trees on the hill that I believe will make great bonsai and leave those that have no or little potential. With every tree except pine I bare root, removing all the mountain soil and replace with my own mix suitable for growing new roots and establishing the tree in a pot. I also endeavour to plant the tree in the smallest container whilst still maintaining the future health of the tree. This makes transplanting to a bonsai pot a lot easier without the usual dangerous root ball reduction that sometimes takes place after establishing.

Usually the planting position in the ‘training’ pot is not the ‘finished’ angle or position that the tree will be styled, when purchasing I advise one ‘what’s happening below the soil level’ so that future ideas and possibilities can be explored with confidence.

When purchasing yamadori it is crucial to let the tree acclimatise to your local conditions, garden, weather, elevation etc. and not start work on the tree the moment you get it home.

These photos are from a Prunus Spinosa (Blackthorn) after two years in the pot. My student had this tree for 12 months prior to bringing the tree to be potted in the bonsai pot. It was full of new fine roots, the student had fed the tree well and did not cut back or ‘style’ the tree in any way. The tree responded well and when potted on into a Bonsai Pot retained a lot of new root. NO wiring of the branches too place only cutting back to two buds. The tree will deliver flowers and an abundance of new growth this season. Patience always pays off when working with yamadori.

Blackthorn 2 seasons 01 Blackthorn roots 02 Blackthorn roots 03 Blackthorn roots 04 Blackthorn roots 05

Blackthorn 2 seasons 02

The Calm before the Storm

Tony Tickle:

Get them while you can

Originally posted on Stone Monkey Ceramics:

After the last week of events all surrounded by Gafu Ten which knocked me sideways, in the best possible way, it’s back to business of making stock for the next three shows, those being Noelanders, Swindon and Shohin UK2. I have been grabbing every spare moment and opportunity to make pots plus squeeze in the commissions that I have. I am really looking forward to Noelanders this year as I will be on my own tables and no longer with my former partner in crime 😉 eh Tony?

Those of you who are going to Noelanders drop by and say hello. I will have lots of new pots and ideas that spurned the blossom pots that went to Gafu Ten this year. A new and exciting time for me as a potter and look forward to seeing you in Belgium in a few weeks.


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The Joy of Bonsai

Tony Tickle:

Another great post from Bill

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:


The Kawa Bonsai Society of Florida is sponsoring their annual convention The Joy of Bonsai, on January 16-18, 2014, in Bunnell, Florida, near Daytona Beach. Louise Leister did an outstanding job organizing the event. The speakers, Sean Smith, Ted Matson, Mike Rogers and Wm. N. Valavanis will be conducting demonstrations, workshops and critique. There is a wide selection of trees, containers, tools, supplies, suiseki and magazines for sale by a select group of vendors.






Come, join us as the speakers share their skill and knowledge!

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The 10th Annual Modern Shohin Container Artist Exhibition, Part 2

Tony Tickle:

Some beautiful pots here… all you need as some beautiful trees to go in them… or just have them as objects of beauty!

Originally posted on Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog:

There were many other artists in this year’s exhibition that deserved note(in fact all of them were excellent). But my time is limited, so here are the entries that most caught my eye.
If you’d like to see the rest of the entries, and read a little more in depth about the artists in this year’s show, this is the Japanese Shohin Bonsai Association’s page for the exhibit:

10th Annual Pottery Exhibition, JSB

Special thanks, Again, go out to Mark and Rita Cooper, Miyazato Rintaro, Koji Yoshida, Dario Mader, and Haruyosi for allowing the use of their images. Thanks Once Again!

Painted Containers




As mentioned in the Part 1, i had another friend whose work was accepted in the exhibit. Ruban Yu is from Taiwan and has been making ceramics for Bonsai since 2008, and painting containers since last year. I’ve followed his painting progression from the beginning, avidly. His…

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The 10th Annual Modern Shohin Container Artist Exhibition, Part 1

Tony Tickle:

One for My buddy Stone Monkey

Originally posted on Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog:

Every year I look forward to the images and summary of the Shohin potters exhibition held during Gafu Ten in January and sponsored by the Japan Shohin Bonsai Association. But this year I was anticipating the results something special as I had two friends in the exhibition.
This will be my 4th article on the exhibition, tempus fugit and all that, click on the “Table of Contents” page for the previous articles on the 2012-2014 exhibitions.


Due to the large volume of images and detail photos, I’ve separated this article into two posts, the winners and special exhibitions and other entries. Stay tuned for part two later today.

However, before we take a look at the winners and the exhibition photos, allow me a second to once again congratulate British Potter Andrew Pearson, of Stone Monkey Ceramics, first for having the fortitude to even enter the show(at the clearly right…

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Rooted In Stone

Tony Tickle:

a good read

Originally posted on Backcountry Bonsai:


old am I.
Seated up high,
high on this cliff.
I’ve seen much,
much more than you know.
Secrets I hold, secrets to keep.

Beaten and torn,
ravaged by time,
my body does show,
wounds of long life.
Of life and death,
my soul does know,
for year after year,
parts of me die, yet other parts grow.
Fire and Ice, have left their mark,
yet sun and rain, have given me life.

Friends I have known, though few they have been:
The eagles fly by, or nest below.
Newborns each year, learn to fly.
Once before, an Indian boy,
would sit alone, carving his stone.
I’ve watched the elk rut, and lions on hunt.
Yet few have seen, few even know,
that I am up here, rooted in stone.

Far below,
my brother fell.
To root in the earth,
instead of stone.
Much taller is he,
but stronger…

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This gallery contains 7 photos.

This incredible Itoigawa Shimpaku Juniper is a rather famous tree in Japan, having passed through a number of famous gardens and private collections through the years.  It arrived at Kouka-en in December 2014, and I was recently tasked with detail…