Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bonsai Association Belgium 2012

In March this year I was asked by Marc Noelanders to demo at the Belgian Bonsai Association. As most demo's tend to focus on evergreen trees, I thought I would take along and discuss native deciduous trees.
I took along several examples of trees in different stages of development. From two years of styling up to 13 years.
I explained to the audience the history of each of the trees and where they were collected from.
Alongside my demo was a silent one on repotting a Satsuki Azalea by Janine Troste
After I had talked about the trees and their progress, I moved onto a collected Hawthorn. This tree had some faults that needed dealing with before any styling work could go ahead. Firstly the tree had been shortened and the cut needed carving to give the impression that the tree had rotted. Secondly, the  tree had some inverse taper underneath the cut and would need reducing to give taper.
I started carving to deal with the faults and explained to the audience that I would marry the carving up with some detail at the base of the tree as well.
During the break some people came up to get a closer look at what was going on and asked about the tools I was using. Most of these were from Rudi Spanko in Slovakia and a few smaller bits from Kaizen Bonsai.
Discussing some of the trees.
Bark was removed and movement carved into the relatively straight section. Holes were punched into the wood to aid in hollowing out.
A band of bark was carved out to enhance the appearance of a twisting trunk.

Starting to use the smaller carving bits.
Some more of the detailed carving
lots of interest.
 Marc told me 70 plus members had turned out from as far as Germany and  Netherlands. A very enthusiastic bunch                                      
some finer details.
The initial faults dealt with. There will be plenty of buds now to select the new branches.
The demo finished and time to clear up. Many thanks to Bonsai Association Belgium for the invite and warm reception and thanks also to Yannick Kiggen who transported me to the club and took the pictures.
Summer 2012 and growing very well
The deadwood is seasoning well and will soon have some finer detail added
I have never been happy with the apex of this tree. I was in my garden last night with a torch and noticed a more suitable apex behind the present one.
Picture taken from the right showing the possible new top
 Today I decided to take out the boring top with a Makita. I had to be careful not to hit the new apex whilst carving.
            I only removed the branch. Further carving will be done once the wood has hardened off.
                                               The thicker branch was reduced as well.
      There was also a problem on the left side where branches had fused together. This created an ugly bulge
                            The area had bark stripped away and some initial shaping of the deadwood.
                                  Again. This will be left to season before detail will be added.
I changed the planting angle but not as much as I would have liked. There were some big roots that will be cut back in two sessions.
This is more like the angle I would like it at in the future.

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