Germany Efficiency you better believe it!

I was a guest artist at the Bonsai Triennale, 20-22. June 2014, Pillnitz, Dresden, Germany.

Hand drills remove the screwsThe Bonsai Triennale is the joint project of the Central German Bonsai Regional Association and the National Bonsai organisations in Poland and the Czech Republic it’s in the fourth edition and returns after 2011. The event took place in the beautiful ambience of the orangery of the castle and Pillnitz

Almost 2000 visitors enjoyed a high level exhibition and a packed program of demos and lectures. What impressed me the most was the team behind the show.

Having a good team is crucial to the success of a Bonsai show, you have to have people you can rely on, who work hard and are prepared to take on any job to ensure that the event is a great experience for visitors.

I did not see the build up of the show but witnessed the breakdown, the guys and girls worked like a well-oiled machine; everyone knew EXACTLY what to do and where to be to clear the venue as quickly as possible. The whole event was cleared in under 2 hours… AND they were not happy as they had done if faster on previous occasions… Germany Efficiency you better believe it!

The cloths are carefully removed

everything stcked neatly

Everything in one van


Bonsai Europa Exhibition 2015 announcement.

Bonsai Europa

Today I announce a new exciting Bonsai Exhibition in the UK Bonsai Europa 2015. The format will NOT be as existing shows, there will be some Classical Bonsai, and the show will be curated creatively exploring new and distinctive approach. Artists from across Europe are invited to show at what should be one of the most important shows in the Bonsai Calendar. The venue is The Castle Armoury in my hometown of Bury, North Manchester. Watch this space for more details over the next few months. 

The Venue

The Venue

Northern European Bonsai/Beer tour 2013

Two days ago I started on my Northern European bonsai tour 2013, this time I have brought my apprentice Mikey along for the experience and to broad and to keep me awake during the driving.

We set off at 6.00am for The Tunnel at 11.20am arriving in good time only to discover that there was a delay due to ‘train problems!” that gave us enough time to have lunch. Once through the tunnel it was two hours to my friend Stéphane who was to be my host for the next two nights.

noelanders club membersAfter a quick dinner the first engagement was a surprise visit to the Noelanders club.

The Noelanders club is no ‘ordinary’ bonsai club, with over 80 members they are active, engaging and forward thinking. The Club meets on the first Wednesday of every month. This evening was their annual general meeting… that took place at 6.30 but we arrived at 7.30 for the general meeting. I have many friends who are the members of this club through visits and the wonderful ‘Noelanders Trophee’ that they host each January.

Marc NoelandersWe were in for a treat, due to the unseasonal cold weather Europe is experiencing the program for the evening changed because the material to be discussed could not be used as it was frozen I think? So Marc Noelanders stepped up to the plate and worked on a magnificent raw material Taxus Cuspidata, he styled it into a spectacular semi cascade. I chose to sit near ‘The Bad Boys’ table where the ‘Blonde Leffe’ drinkers were (Gentlemen prefer ‘Blondes’) I love Belgium, great bonsai, beer and friends.

The next morning I held a workshop hosted by Stéphane, eight participants each bringing their trees for wok and discussion. Again they were engaging and enthusiastic working on existing bonsai and raw material. Later in the evening Mikey relaxed and I styled a small larch for Stéphane… oh yes and I drank beer!

Today we visited Jean Paul Polmans and his rather extensive garden and bonsai collection, it is simply not fair that one artist has SO MANY amazing bonsai AND incredible yamadori raw material in his back garden. I had to haul Mikey away.

Bonsai museumNow I am in Dusseldorf and the Bonsai Museum for a special event that takes place tomorrow, the museum is the brainchild of Werner Busch and a close group of friends, the layout is excellent with descriptions and history of the trees on information panels (all in German) there is a HUGE selection of bonsai both styled and semi-styled, pots and bonsai related items for sale too!  … the report from the event will come next.


First Photos from the Shohin UK Exhibition 2013

I could not make it to the British Shohin Exhibition but My good friend Paul Bowerbank kindly let me use his photos for the blog