Monday, December 26, 2011

Windswept Larch

This rather boring Forest Larch was collected in the Spring of 2009. It was potted into its present container the following year and the tree was shortened for taper. I decided I wanted to have a go at a windswept tree with this one and thought the bow in the trunk would not only add tension in the design but add some visual balance as well.                           
The first styling in 2010

December 2011 and the tree has grown very well. 
Wire removed and ready for a thin out and some directional pruning
This picture was taken from the back of the tree. All shoots growing either towards the trunk or in the direction of the wind were pruned away. All branches growing into the wind were shortened in preparation for wiring.
The tree after thinning and pruning.
A rather blurred shot of the top of the tree after wiring
The full tree. It started to rain as I was placing branches so I will add another picture once the branches have been finally placed.
With just a little more tweaking. This has to be one of the more contrived trees I have created and it will need annual wiring to keep on top of the growth for a number of years.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Burrs 2011

Earlier in the year, Tony Tickle asked me if I would be interested in attending Burrs 2011 as one of the guest artists. I jumped at the chance and last weekend made the journey up to Manchester. Burrs is a weekend workshop that has been running for a long time now and the students are assisted and taught by some of the best artists in Europe. First picture is of everyone that attended this year. The standard of the work and material was very high but best of all was meeting up with a lot of people I had chatted too online for a number of years. A very friendly and helpful atmosphere and I would reccomend everyone should give     Burrs a visit. Brilliant fun.                                 
The artists from left to right. Tony Tickle, Carlos van der Vaart, Pavel Slovak, me and Terry Foster.
On Saturday morning Tony T explained to the students what would be happening over the course of the weekend. The gist of burrs is not to attain a finished bonsai image but to take your tree/s on their next step towards that goal. Tony asked that the artists walk around all the trees in the hall and each give their opinion on the next step.

Pavel and me discussing a front for the Mugo Pine of Steve's
Principally I was there to help out with the carving on the trees

Having refined the jins for Morea, the tree was wired and then styled by Pavel.

Steve's Mugo before styling. A gift from his friend Mirek.

The Mugo after Mirek's styling.

A Yew collected from the wild and owned by Mikey.

The tree was thinned and wired to promote strong growth were needed.

Bryans Sylvestris. Some intial bending had been made the year before.

First full style but still a way to go yet.

Dinner on the Saturday evening was made by Tony's wife Caroline and very tasty it was too. There had been an auction earlier in the day with a 19% donation going to the Movember charity that I was raising money for. Between about 30 people, we raised £320.00.

After dinner the guest artists were asked to give a small talk. Tony tried to put me off by running a slide show of me with different moustaches.

The talk I gave was about creating deadwood and along the theme of the weekend it was about developing the carving work over time.

The initial block carving on a Yew. Refinement will come as the greenwood matures and ages.

And again. The first styling of the tree was carried out by Tony and the concentration was on the position of the primary branches.

A small amount of carving on a large wound on a Pistachio

Some other styling on a Larch.

Tony opened up his garden over the weekend for people to view his trees and maybe purchase some material. I came away with this Hawthorn.

The other side.

A very unusual cascade Hawthorn.

another angle.

A rather feminine Sabina Juniper.

And another agle as well.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Moustache in Movember

Hello followers and friends. On the first day of November I shaved off my beard in preparation to grow a moustache for charity. The charity called Movember, encourages people to grow a moustache for a month to raise money towards research into prostate and testicular cancer. I am trying to raise as much money for the charity as possible. Just a few pounds or euros will help a huge amount towards research into these killer cancers. So Please. Please. Give a donation to the link below and watch my moustache grow and grow. Thankyou in advance..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Capel Manor show UK

October 2011. I was asked to judge a show down in Enfield Middx by a good friend of mine. The show is run by the Capel Manor bonsai club and is a small show but the quality of display is very high. Along with fellow judge Bryan Albright, we selected this Chamecyparis as best tree in show. The only criticism with the display was the pot. Maybe a slab or a flat stone would make a better composition? 
Best composition. Pinus parviflora and Pyracantha

Acer buergerianum. Public vote for best tree.

Large Carpinus

Prunus spinosa


Juniperus chinensis with grasses.

Crateagus monogyna and Taxus baccata.

My favorite tree in the show. Pinus parviflora

Pinus parviflora

Acer palmatum Seigen with Fern accent

Larix decidua and Moss accent.

Carpinus and Cotoneaster
Taxus baccata driftwood style.

Larix decidua and Saxifrage accent

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cheap car boot Pine

Picked this Sylvestris up for £5.00 at a bonsai car boot sale in 1998.
I soon became bored with the lazy s shape of the trunk and began to look for an alternative design.

The Pine as it was in 2007 and filling out quite nicely.

2008 and picture taken just after it was sold to a friend. Looking back, there is no way I would buy that original tree now but it just shows what can be created from very little.