Last week I was in East Rochester for the US National Bonsai Exhibition, I was a demo artist and Judge, one of the highlights for me was meeting Sara Rayner. Sara is a bonsai potter of immense talent, I have admired her work from afar for many years. This was my chance to buy a few of her amazing pots and interview her for my Bonsai Potter Showcase
This yamadori pistachio was collected in Croatia 5 years ago and has still some way to go with the foliage mass. It has wonderful craggy bark and graceful twists and turns to the trunk line. Last week the tree flowered profusely however here in the cold damp North of England I do not expect to be blessed with Pistachio nuts as this species does not produce them (shame because they are my favourite)
I asked Thor Holvila to make a pot for the tree, I was looking for a different approach … This from Thor “I call this design Nidhögg since its depicting the dragon snake in Norse mythology that guards the world tree Yggdrasil. It’s carved by hand from one piece of granite grey Danish clay. Thor Holvila‘s attention to detail is wonderful, unseen are the faces of of Nordic characters with the eyes being the wire holes, each face different, and the feet are characteristic of of the carvings on Viking longboats.
The tree pot combination is great and the colour matches well with the rugged silvery bark, and when the foliage fills out it can only improve.
Take a look at more of Thor’s amazing pots in the links above
I have seen the work of Tom Benda develop over the last few years however his most recent work is up there with the best bonsai potters in Europe. At the recent EDA UCHI KAI exhibition in Belgium Tom’s Trade stand was the busiest by far.My Yamadori trade stand backed onto Tom’s and we had a great weekend together. It was a classic case of “buy the pot NOW” because if you don’t somebody else would! So many pots were purchased in the first few hours of the weekend.
As he would have nothing to display the scope of his work, Tom requested that the buyers collect their purchases at the end of the show. Mario Komsta and Mark & Ritta Cooper snapped up dozens of pots between them, so often through the weekend I heard “Sorry that’s been bought by Mario”… “Mark and Ritta’s” “yes… that’s Marios too!” “no… sorry Tony Tickle has bought that”
This brings me to one of the Pots that I purchased, considered by Tom as “The best bonsai pot I have ever made” (what sales technique!) This was to be for a Kifu size Yamadori Taxus Baccata that I have been working for quite a few years. The current pot is by Milan Klika, lovely but not quite right for the tree, I will be potting the tree into the new container in April 2014. To ensure that the pot will indeed suit the tree I always produce a ‘virtual’ image.
NOTE: I am now the distributor for Toms pots and will be selling them on my stand at next years Noelanders trophy, so if you DO want to purchase one of Toms amazing Pots I suggest that you get there early
The dwarf Hosta’s are showing well right now in my garden. I have over 25 different varieties all in pots by Dan Barton, Gordon Duffett, Bryan Albright the best Potters in the UK bar none.
Simon Haddon tell us about his influences and encourages everyone to make pots, you can visit his website here