At the Bonsai without Borders event in China December 2016, 70 artists each had a juniper to work, there were no egos, artists worked alongside each other Kobayashi worked alongside, Serjio, Nacho, Mauro, Bjorn, Ofer, Leigh, Yannick, Nik and many more artists from across the world it was a leveller, NOT a competition but every brought there top game to the event.
Each artist drew a lot and allocated a tree from the number drawn. Mine ‘28’ the tree was not easy from the start, ALL the foliage was far from the base of the trunk and it was not nice foliage to work. It was very interesting to see the differing styles and approaches to the problems presented. The organisers wanted the tree potted up. I was not happy about this but they wanted to see ‘finished’ trees. I selected an oversize cascade pot, the main rootball of the juniper was hardly touched in the repotting so I was happy that the tree would survive this stage.
Watch the video and see the result.
Bill Valavanis trusted me with this Hinoki Cypress, the tree was simply too tall and the style was lost, having previously worked by Corin Tomlinson a few years ago my job was to bring the tree back on track. I pre-wired most of the lower branches in the morning prior to the demo that took place at noon. This is because watching somebody wire a tree for a couple of hours is frankly mind numbing.
I attempted to create some drama with the upper part of the tree by making a twisted jin, this works superbly on green wood however the heartwood of the tree was too stiff making the bending impossible. I noted at the start of the demo that it may well be cut off if the technique was not successful.
I was very pleased that the finished tree made a record figure in the Auction at the end of the event.
Thanks to Bonsai Empire for recording the demo, take a look at their website here, its full of great content.
Next Year I am pleased to say that I am one of three International presenters with Ryan Neil and Francois Jeker at http://www.abc4.co.za/ This is coming together to be a great show, I am looking forward to meeting all the guys who I have been chatting to on Facebook and here on my Blog. This is only two weeks after Bonsai Europa… so its going to be a busy time.
Today we visited the Studios of Bonsai Focus to make a photos shoot for articles in future magazines. I worked on a lovely larch and Mikey worked a Scots Pine that was collected over 10 years ago and gifted to Mikey to work on from Terry Foster.
One room, 15 demonstrators and I imagine quite a few egos! working on amazing yamadori trees… it was quite a feast for the eyes. It was actually more the 15 because some artists had UP TO 5 assistants all working frantically to complete their projects in the allotted time. Here was an opportunity to showcase your talent/bonsai school to a very large audience.