Wonderful book about Japanese Shohin Trees & Antique Pots with English subtitles

I was quite excited this morning as I took receipt of a beautiful book from the Japan Shohin Bonsai Association. My teenage son thought it was something for him when he saw the package as all the stamps were Manga Cartoon Characters. Even my Cat wanted to get in on the action when I was photographing for the blog!

I buy about 10 books a year most are from Japan and a few exhibition books from European events. My knowledge of the Japanese language is limited, confined to Bonsai terms along with “Hello” and “Thank you” so this limits my enjoyment to browsing the photos. But this publication differs as it has ENGLISH subtitles!
This book is more than a celebration of Shohin Bonsai, it’s an encyclopaedia of Shohin Bonsai pots and a real addition to any personal bonsai book library. The high quality photography and print are up there with famous ‘Kokofu’ Exhibition Catalogues. Perhaps the most ‘fun’ part of the book is that most photos of trees and pots appear to be ‘life’ size which is great because you can see the work done with the trees and fine detail in the pots, especially those with ‘scenes’ painted on the sides (and sometimes inside).

The book is published in Japan by the All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association as a celebration of their 30th anniversary. There are 363 Shohin Bonsai and antique pots which were registered as master piece of “Yuuga Bonsai, Bonki” 12 years in a row by the All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association.

I believe that this is only book published in Japan which explains in detail Japanese Shohin trees and antique pots with English subtitles.

This is where my book was purchased and it arrived in less than a week from when it was ordered

Repotting and Styling a large Sabina Juniper

I purchased this Sabina Juniper at the Noelanders Trophy in 2009, a year later I repotted the tree into the final planting position I wanted ready for styling. When the tree was collected it ‘appeared’ to lend itself as a semi or full cascade, however I was sure that it would make a very good ‘upright’ tree. The repotting was done exactly 12 months prior to styling. I worked the tree with Enrico Savini as a demo at the Best of British 2011 Bonsai exhibition in Birmingham UK.

The Best Tree at Noelanders Trophy XIII?

Let me indulge myself… its my website after all!

One of the best things about taking part in a BIG show is that you get to view the exhibition when it is quiet. On entering the exhibition the very first tree was this amazing Scots pine by David Benavente.
The maturity of the bark and branches, the tiny needles, density of the foliage pads and sensitive styling make THIS TREE my favourite… and one that I would kill for to have in my collection.

I have known David for quite a few years… being fortunate that at the last Ginkgo Award of getting up close and personal to this pine… and… I cannot find anything that i would change, its pretty damn near perfect.

That is not to say the winner was not an amazing tree… its just that… I like this one more 🙂

Why the Burrs Bonsai workshop… works!

In November this year I will be hosting the Burrs VII, Burrs Workshops was introduced as a new way of learning the art of bonsai, in a purpose built training centre, huge warm and well lit workshop, full catering and expert help from some of Europe’s top award winning Bonsai artists.

Established in 2004 Burrs is the longest running annual Bonsai workshop in the UK. Previous visiting artist include: Carlos van der Varrt (NL) Enrico Savini (IT), Hans van Meer (NL), Ivo Saporiti (IT), Mario Kompsta (PL), Kevin Willson (UK), Morten Albek (DK), Pavel Slovak (CZ), John Armitage (UK)

The reason that Burrs is so successful is based on simple ideals. Employ the best bonsai artists, encourage participants to be open minded to possibilities, sharing of ideas and techniques and Time. The most important being Time… Burrs starts on Friday evening and ends on Sunday afternoon, more than enough time to complete a large tree, forest group or lengthy work on any number of trees.

Here is what participants have said about the workshops

“I want to thank all of the people at Burrs this year – my debut appearance. I was made most welcome from the moment I arrived. Many people offered me advice on my trees, bonsai in general … and life in general! Many more people tried to improve my poor wiring technique, I was well fed (thank you so much to Carolyn), I’ve made new contacts/friends, I have already met a couple of particularly great Burrs people after the event and intend to build on that and my head is still spinning with everything I learned.” Matt Addie aspiring bonsai artist

“Burrs is like no other bonsai event I have ever attended,  I struggle to find suitable adjectives to describe how unique an experience it is. I guess for me the best way to describe it is that 30 or so people fill the room with passion for Bonsai, for the whole weekend, and you have to experience that to appreciate it. This is what makes Burrs unique. You can learn so much without even working a tree. John Pitt Potter.

 “If Carlsberg did Bonsai Workshops they would not even get close to a Burrs weekend”.Please please pencil me in for the next November workshop” Andy (Stone Monkey) Pearson

Burrs workshops have grown from strength to strength over the last seven year,many
great bonsai have started their life at Burrs, and many participants have been inspired to create great bonsai. I am fortunate to have Terry Foster one of the UK’s most talented bonsai artist as my right hand man, and Carolyn (my amazing wife) who handles all the administration and catering (there is a whole new blog post in itself!)

Burrs VII is set to be the biggest and best yet with 15 participants already signed up. Take a look at the poster and Video’s and book your place before it’s too late.

I forgot to mention… Burrs Bonsai Workshops is probably the best fun weekend you will have in bonsai.

Ready for Noelanders Trophy XIII

The car is packed and I am ready to leave tomorrow morning. I am picking up Mikey in Leeds and then onwards to Hull and P&O ferry to Rotterdam. We dock about 8.30 and then its about 3 hours to The Noelanders trophy Centrum voor Duurzaam Bouwen, Marktplein 1 in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Last year I was the first trader to arrive so it was easy for me to unload, sit back and watch everyone else struggle. Peter Landerloos has been kind enough to accommodate Mikey and Me for the weekend  I am showing the raft beech that won a Ginkgo award in 2007.

The tree is owned by David Barlow, over the last couple of days we have been putting the final touches to the tree. It looks great.

I know that this will be the biggest and best Noelanders ever and it is great to be part of such a high class show.

On the way Home I will be calling in to see Hans van Meer my old friend who will be one of the visiting artists a the Burrs workshop in November Mikey and I are getting the ferry back to the UK on Monday evening.