It has been a while since my last blog entry. I have had a lot on and also been thinking a lot about various different things. A lot has happened in the interim period, a lot of workshops, a trip to Poland, Newstead show and a lot of research for my talk at the Stone Symposium next week.
I am leaving for the US soon for a month or so but I will have lots of updates while I am away...trips are always interesting and I always discover a new aspect of Bonsai.
My work with Bonsaibasho.com has continued, Phil has put more videos up, rather than link them all here, just follow this link to find them http://www.youtube.com/user/bonsaibasho. We have done one for wiring as well which Phil is getting all giddy about. I look forward to that series. It did involve me wiring a tree all day which is something I am not used to doing any more.
I had a trip to Ibuki Bonsai in Poland recently to work with Mariusz there, it was a very interesting trip and we worked on some good trees. Not the greatest pics but we had fun and got on very well.
This is a wonderful mugo pine which I tweaked and put on the road to an exhibition. I cannot claim much of the credit here, all we did was refinement work...but the small touches are some of the most important ones...a tiny bit of space here, the uncovering of a root or a branch and the whole tree changes.
The exhibition at Newstead was a great weekend. John Hanby did a great job with the show as always and there was a great atmosphere in the place. A lot of people commented on it. A lot of new trees as well, not all to the highest standard in the world, but well presented and lots of new faces which is great for the Bonsai community. The Shohin was of the highest quality, I give massive credit to John Armitage for promoting shohin via the BSA and for such talented people as Duncan Hield and Mark and Ritta Cooper for putting on the best Shohin display I have seen outside of Japan. Many of the trees have come from Japan but most a long time ago. I was very happy to see a fully developed and well ramified Zelkova that was brought over five years ago as a stump, when I first met Mark and Ritta in Japan, I am very much looking forward to the Shohin event in March 2011. We have a thriving Shohin scene in the UK which is, in the most part, down to the hard work of John Armitage.
Suiseki has been playing a large part of my life for the last few weeks, as has Japanese Aesthetics. I have been doing a lot of research and preparation for my talk. I even went down to the British Library to read over some old books. Made me feel like an unwashed student again. It was great to learn some new things and read in words and solidify ideas that I had experienced with my eyes and thoughts. It has pushed me closer to the ever elusive book. I will be discussing that with the Chief in November. More as it comes.
For anybody that loves ceramics, please check out Stone Monkey and his tea bowls. They are outstandingly good and I bought one yesterday as a present for myself. He goes from strength to strength with his works and will certainly take on the mantle of the UK's greatest potter as the current generation begin to wind down production.
Must try harder on the blog front....