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.
JVC recently unveiled a beautiful line of bonsai-laden Kirikabu speakers at this year’s Tokyo Designer’s Week. Created out of eco-friendly plastic, the conceptual series of speakers can be assembled into different shapes, and each contains a small compartment perfect for planting a tiny bonsai tree!
Each mini modular Kirikabu resembles a tree stump with three horizontal stubs – two of them hold speakers, while the third is a terminal. The fully featured speakers come complete with bass-reflex ports and a sub-woofer. Each stump is made out of “eco-plastic”, which is a bit of a vague term – I’m guessing it’s a plant-based plastic. The units can be connected with one another to create a larger speaker, and each module houses a small pot, where bonsai and other plants can be grown.
I have just returned home for the BSA Show at Willowbog…Willowbog is in the wilds of Northern England 5 mile along a single track road off the main road network. It took me a total of seven hours travelling to get to the show and what a show. The Quality of display and the excellence of the trees is the best we have ever seen in one show in the UK.
The BSA has really come into its own with the group producing a wonderful event with a great friendly atmosphere. John Armitage and Peter Warren were on hand to offer advice and they gave a ‘trade secrets’ demo/talk in the afternoon. Andy Hardman (who was celebrating his 50th Birthday) gave talk on Accent plants, the room was so full I could not get in! I also managed to interview two more potter for my potters showcase series.
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.