fun and educational week was had by all who attended the British Shohin Association weekend, well I assume it was, I certainly had fun and learnt the lesson that if you get pulled into an AGM, it is generally a bad sign.
In an attempt to stay fresh and keep the level of Shohin Bonsai increasing in the UK, we organised a mainly workshop weekend rather than simply an exhibition. It was a great chance for the members to get some free expert tuition from people who have experience in the field such as Chairman John Armitage and Marco Invernizzi. I was also present with more hair on my chin than on my head.
It was great to meet up with the real hardcore enthusiasts who made the trip to Willowbog Bonsai in the beautiful wilderness of Northumbria. Despite it being a mainly workshop based event there were a number of displays on show and the most popular by far was the immaculate and superbly presented display by Mark and Ritta Cooper. They are good friends of mine and I am very pleased that they have started to come out and show their trees.
It was also good that they got the opportunity to show people that they are not just displaying "cheque book" Bonsai and that they have put in years of dedicated hard work to get their trees looking so good
This is something which is beginning to show in the trees of many of my regular students and customers...not wishing to blow my own trumpet but their trees have by and large improved since we started working together. It is rewarding to see the fruits of our combined labour now we are coming into the second repotting cycle for some trees and many of the deciduous have ramified well, pines have back budded and Junipers filled out. Patience and diligence is key with any Bonsai and the rewards are just starting to come after three or four years.
What then for the future? For the future of the BSA it is onwards and upwards. During the AGM I was press ganged into become the Vice Chairman, a position I am happy to fill as it gives me a chance to help the tireless work that John Armitage puts in to promote little trees. My first duty was to put down in writing the proposal for the next BSA show, which is here....
BSA show 2012
Following on from the success of the practical workshop based “Shohin Off” event in March 2011, we are excited to announce plans for a new and improved show format for 2012. We are inviting a wide range of participants to take part in our popular and enjoyable show weekend.
As in previous years we would like you to consider displaying, individual trees or a full composition of:
Shohin Mame or Chuhin
(We do ask for a maximum size of 45cm from the top of the pot)
As a new, more inclusive feature to our show and an attempt to help bring the fun of Shohin Bonsai to a wider audience we are also enthusiastically inviting those of you who think that your small trees are not show worthy to bring them along and under the guidance of Marco Invernizzi, Peter Warren and John Armitage they will be prepared for the show and displayed as part of a larger composition or as an individual tree in a special display area.
Knowing full well that it is difficult to put together a full 3,5 or 7 tree composition on an individual basis, we would like to make it clear that we more than welcome group entries and invite Bonsai clubs the length and breadth of the British Isles to put together a club composition featuring the best trees the members possess to form a collaborative effort.
As in previous years awards will be given to the best:
Shohin, Chuhin, Mame, Deciduous, Conifer, Native Species, Composition, Collaborative display, Work in Progress, Pot/tree combination.
Do not worry if you:
This is an all inclusive event and we are aiming to show you the fun of participating in the BSA show and also help you to improve your trees and displays.
The show will be held on the 10/11th of March 2012 at Willowbog Bonsai. As part of our continuing efforts to help improve the level of British Shohin Bonsai we will be offering the services of three eading names in the Bonsai world free of charge. Both Marco Invernizzi, Peter Warren and John Armitage will be on hand to help you clean, moss and titivate your tree ready for it to be on put display. We would like those of you who have the time and experience to prepare in advance, it is fun to do it yourself after all; but for those of you who are beginning to reach the level where you would like to display your trees but are not sure of the final steps, we are here to help with advice, moss and more stands than you can shake a stick at!
So basically we want everyone and anyone to come along to the show and make it even more fun and wide reaching than ever. After all Bonsai is supposed to be fun as well as artistic, deep and meaningful.
A few more days or repotting in the UK are ahead plus the dilemma of the ever increasing insurance premium to figure out...year on year it has increased by 50% despite my no claims bonus increasing. I may end up cycling to work. I will be visiting Poland for a few days and then to the US, trying to beat the clock in terms of getting trees repotted in the correct time of year.
I am tired now having been awake for 20 hours today. My bed is calling...