Unbridled Art

My New Magic Ceramics Accent Pots

As must you you following here know I’m helping my friend Maciej from Bray, Ireland, get his passion for making bonsai and accent pots turned into a viable business. The more he makes the better he gets, and that has to be good for bonsai and kusamono in general here in Ireland.

A perk for me is that I get first pick of Magic Ceramics pots. I find myself wanting one of every new glaze or design he experiments with just so I have one in my collection. Problem is, his experimenting has lead to a massive range of pots from the subtle glazes to the full on in your face pots! His bonsai pots are also coming on in massive steps and with a big kiln he’s able to turn out some great large pots, but more on that in another post.

I’m in the process of starting an Etsy shop for his pots and my accents and plants and I’ll keep you updated on that as we go. Bonsai for me is NOT about making money, I do sell trees and other bits and pieces, but only to ‘thin the herd’ and help finance this passion of mine for wee trees. As the passion grows so does the standard which I’m trying to reach, which usually means more expenses. I am all for supporting bonsai nurseries and bonsai professionals in the UK and further afield, indeed we work with them here whenever we can I I share there work on this blog. Support them or lose them! However Ireland as a whole is rather isolated from the rest of bonsai community in Europe. That’s a very expensive bit of water to cross by boat or plane. Therefore, offering trees for sale here can only be good for bonsai and growing our little community. For the last 3 years I have done all in my power to spread bonsai across Ireland and with the help of others we are seeing stead progression.

Well, showing you a few pots has turned into a bit of a ramble! How did that happen? :-/ Tempted to hit the delete button, but what the hell, I’ll leave it be. Below are my pots.

I love the glazes on this one, plenty of interest.


This is more of a rock image but I love the shape with the options for placing different plants.

This is a new glaze but this one caught my eye for the subtle blue patches. Photo doesn’t do it justice as usual.

Another blueish pot but the texture of this one with the volcanic type glaze is beautiful.

I liked this one for the glaze combo but also the split in the pot for planting options.

This one is just nuts! Hard to match up to a tree in exhibition but I’ll pop it on the benches between trees and add a splash of colour to the display area.

I have all the new batch of pots here with me and over the next few days I’ll be posting a link to where you can view them all. Well done Maciej, keep up the good work.


Graham Potter Demo Video

I watched this video this morning, a lazy start to the day.  🙂 It was uploaded onto Youtube by Ian Wright, cheers Ian, and shows a Graham Potter demo at a recent club event in England.

We are used to seeing Graham’s own excellent 10 minute videos but this is a little different and nice to see or hear another side. It’s roughly an hour long although you can skip over from 45 to 53 minutes if you don’t want to watch Graham placing branches. I really enjoyed listening to Graham’s view on preparing yamadori before work and his ethos around this. He makes great sense. The man can talk, but I can relate to that  😛

Mother and Daughter Hawthorn

This is my largest Hawthorn, really starting to take shape. It’s been a long road but I’m starting to be a little happier with it these days. This year saw it’s best flowering to date. Plans afoot for a new pot for next year. I think it’s the most protective mother ever 🙂





Noteworthy Accent Plant: Giant Helleborine

Michael Hagedorn

This charming terrestrial orchid, Epipactis gigantea, is name-appropriate…in the wild it may reach 3 ft/ 1 m. In a small container, like this red dish, it tends to be more diminutive, 10″/25 cm. It is native to the west coast of North America from British Columbia south to Mexico.

Available at nurseries specializing in unusual orchids, Giant Helleborine can be a stand alone plant, enjoyable for its own merits on the bonsai benches. It likes a lot of water, a bit on the acidic side. The one pictured here is in a shallow dish without drainage holes, so some water may stand there for half a hot day. It grows well with a couple other plants in the pot, as long as they are not too vigorous or competitive.

DSC_0659 Giant Helleborine, a terrestrial orchid from the western coast of North America


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Arco 2016

A big thank you JP Reitz for sharing these photos from Arco with me, and from me to you.

These are my personal favourites from the exhibition.

Check it Out

Check out this inspiring exhibition by Ryan Neil at the Japanese Gardens in Portland. This blog post over on Phutu.com has all the information.

Check out Eric’s short video about the exhibition and listen to Ryan’s concept. I laughed when Ryan said he wasn’t striving to create controversy. He may not have been but the 5 exhibits are, for sure, unusual and you will have your own view on them. They are Marmite, you will either love them or hate them. My view, Why not? What better way to exhibit in the open air in a Japanese Garden?   Sticking them up on wooden poles would be predictable. This is a well thought out and in my view inspiring way to exhibit in this environment.


The Bonsai Experience 2016

Only one month to go until our clubs next event, time to step up the promotion machine 🙂

Free kids workshop places available. Please contact me if you want to book a place.Please share freely thanks.

Sorbus Reducta Then and Now

I’ve been going through some old photos in preparation for an article or two on the club site looking back at 30th years of the NIBS. Boy have people changed 🙂 As I was browsing I found this photo of my little sorbus going back to 1995 in a club show. I remember buying this as a young plant from Timpany Nurseries in 1994, so probably around 25 years old now.

This is it now.


This is it on the left in 1995, the little branch at the bottom be came the whole tree.

Hillmount Show 1995 2

and again in 2000, easier to see where the chop was made in this one.

Sorbus 2000

Wire Trees with a Twist

Twist, see what I did there 😉

Anyway, I was in the local Tourist Board Shop in my town and they have a small gallery display every month. I saw these and thought about all the wire Bonsai we see on the net, but these are a little different and have an Irish Twist. Trees like this are a common sight here with windswept Hawthorn along the coast and on every hillside.

Even a bird! Photos snapped on my phone so sorry for the quality. Enjoy.

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