Last Saturday I organised for some of my study group members to visit the home of Jackson Conn a local bonsai potter who has been making bonsai ceramics on and off for over 20 years. I am a firm advocate of supporting local business and I encourage all enthusiasts to do so when the product is right. Yes, sometimes you can shave a bit off the cost by shopping elsewhere, but when your local suppliers and artisans no longer are in business and you have to buy the same product as everyone else and pay through the nose for delivery, don’t complain. Jackson is a prime example of this and it was a pleasure to spend a few hours with him and see him giving the guys a guided tour of his set up and see so many pots going out the garden gate at the end.
I picked up this Pinus Nigra back in 2014. It had previously been a bonsai but when the owner died it spent about 5 years in open ground before being transferred into this large pot and kept as you see it for many years.
below we see the tree being removed from the pot. No easy task as the owner wanted to keep the blue pot intact which caused us to have big issues getting it out with roots attached!!
This is the tree potted up and removal of some unwanted branches.
This is the tree in September 2019 after several years getting it to regrow roots and start the process of back budding.
And after a wiring of the primary structure and another chasing back of terminal buds to induce further back budding.
I’ve put most of this up on social media during the exhibition but I wanted to record the event here on my blog with a few words about the event.
This was my first time attending EBSS and I was blown away with the standard of the exhibition but more so the relaxed atmosphere in which it is run. Others exhibitions could learn from this. You could walk the display area and take photos and not once did I feel others doing this was an inconvenience to me. In fact I think photos being shared on social media probably attracts more of a buzz around the event and gains more visitors year on year. I know I was one of them this year.
Here is a rather large gallery of photos from the event all taken off my phone. Apologies if the odd shot was taken from someone else on social media as I saved a few to my phone. I’ll do a few separate posts covering the demos and accents etc just to split it up a little. Enjoy.
On Sunday I cooperated in an event with Boundary Brewing in Belfast. ‘Beer and Bonsai’ brought together two of my favourite things and helped spread to word about both in the local area. This was not about sales or money for me, just friendship and promotion. Starting at 4pm I arrived a little early and set up trees for those attending to view. I had three large window spaces to fill as well as wanting people to get up close with table displays. I selected trees for the tables that I knew would be robust enough to take some handling but I need not have worried as everyone was well behaved.
I did a demo on a raw Scots Pine in a corner which saw most people coming up and asking questions. The tricky part was wiring and styling a tree as it got darker under poor light conditions and under the influence of some pretty decent craft beer. I think in the circumstances it turned out alright.
Below is a gallery of photos taken at various points during the night and some cleaner photos of the trees used.