Bonsai Potter Showcase #1 Andy Pearson Stone Monkey

Andy Pearson at Stone Monkey Ceramics, is the first potter to be featured in my ‘Bonsai Potter Showcase”. I will featured a new potter once a month here on my blog, other potters that have been ‘interviewed’ to date are:  Dan Barton and David Jones of Walsall Ceramics.

I have known Andy since his early days working in ceramics and I am fortunate to have some of his early work… including his first foray into Raku. Over the years Andy has developed a keen eye for detail, his work being very much in demand by the Shohin specialist. A great artist and I advise you to buy now as The Monkeys work will be collectable pieces in the future, as has been demonstrated with Andy’s annual ‘Collector’s Edition’ pots. Limited Edition or ‘one off’ pots that have shaken up the bonsai world with their finesse and beauty.

How to re-pot a Raft Hawthorn Bonsai

This Hawthorn raft is probably the tree that most people in the bonsai world know me by, I collected the tree way back in 1991 and after establishing in a box for 4 years the tree has only been re-potted 3 times.

In this repot, the angle of the tree was changed by 5 degrees. Rotating to the right the tree presented itself better to the viewer. The left side being closer… however the right side moved away from the viewer, that had to be corrected (that is explained here) The late great potter Derek Aspinall made the pot, its very narrow and perfectly flat, sitting without rocking when displayed on a table/

This re-pot was done exactly 12 months ago, the tree recovered well and is in preparation for a show in Wales later this year.

Why the correct bonsai pot is important

We have so many great bonsai potters in Europe my particular favourite being Gordon Duffett. The tradition of craft pottery in the UK is particularly strong so it is no surprise that here in the UK we have such a wealth of talent that we can tap into… here is the rub! We spend years on creating our trees, getting them to show standard yet failing at the final fence because the pot we choose simply does not match the tree.

Here are two examples. The first is David Barlows Noelanders winning Beech raft, the original show pot was a cheap Chinese pot, the colour was wrong, the pot was ‘ungainly’ and the size simply too big. The final Gordon Duffett pot is perfect, given as a gift to David by Terry Foster (because Terry knew that it was perfect and was happy that it worked so well) the second is my ‘Fat Guy’ hawthorn.

This tree fitted so tightly in the first pot that the orientation was not good, the tree needed to be rotated 20 degrees to improve the movement of the trunk. The new Pot (also by Duffett) is deeper by 5cm/2″ and the sides of the pot have a slight taper… this add ‘lightness’ to the image.

I will be posting a movie of repotting the hawthorn here on this website

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Development of a Myrtle over 3 years

I purchased this Myrtle from at the first Best of British show in 2009 it was a stump with a few new bits of growth. John Imported the tree from Italy. I kept the tree for 12 months before I did any work on the tree… health being the major factor… that AND taking a chance on a Mediterranean Species in the Cold Dark Damp North of England… fortunately I had my ‘new’ greenhouse and heating bed.

One of these images is a virtual to understand how the tree will develop in the next couple of years.

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Repotting a Prunus Spinosa

Bob came over today and we spent the morning repotting a few of my trees. Having an extra pair of hands makes the job so much easier.

This is a Prunus Spinosa that I collected on my 50th Birthday… it’s called ‘Fifty’ and it has been in this pot for 2 years. This Beautiful Duffett pot was fine to ‘bring on’ the tree but not a good choice as it is way to ‘chunky’.