Here’s a selection of photos from the Trophy.
This was the most used phrase on this trip away with friends 🙂 Folk getting lost, falling asleep, trying to open their hotel room with a credit card, Getting threw out of the demo for eating mustard dripping hotdogs in the front row, breaking a pot on a trader stand, trying to bluff their way into the priority boarding queue for their flight, the list was endless. But what a great few days we had on the road at the Trophy.
Here’s a few general pics of our travels. Photos of trees in exhibition to follow shortly.
The Trophy has arrived. Well, almost, I start travelling early tomorrow to spend Friday and Saturday at the Trophy. I’m normally only there for a few hours in and out on the same day. However this year seven of us are heading over together and meeting up with a few other travelling Irish when we get there. Looking forward to seeing old friends and quality trees. Hope to see some of you there.
Another great Trophy last weekend. That’s my second Trophy attendance two years in a row thanks to my good friend Harry who facilitated my flying visit again. Cheers Harry.
I think I enjoyed this one more than the last. This was mostly due to the traders being in the same slots as last year making it a lot easier to get round the two halls and find what I needed. I was also able to purchase pretty much all the pots I was seeking. I know my carry on luggage wouldn’t have taken any more.
The exhibition was just as you’d expect, a few that looked out of place, most fitted the bill, and of course, a few outstanding trees. I walked the trees with friends on the Saturday and I picked the spruce as my personal best in show. Great to see it getting the best Conifer award.
Great to meet up with old friends and new. Apologies to those who I didn’t get to meet. My phone died half way through the day and I was unable to make contact with a few people to hook up. Sorry Xavier, next time my friend 🙂
Apologies as all my own photos are from my phone and quality is low. These are in the gallery below. However the following quality photos are courtesy of Oscar at Bonsai Empire along with the video. Enjoy.
I was delighted to receive these photos from my friend Harry showing bonsai in his clubs Bonsai exhibition in The Netherlands. He’s letting me share them here for all to see. Some great trees on display. This is a small group of only 10 members which makes their display all the more impressive.
It’s been full on lately with both bonsai and family and the blog has taken a back seat as a result. I’m now playing catch up and thought it only right to share some of the photos from my trip down to Munster to do a few one to one sessions with the folk in the Munster Bonsai Club. A more enthusiastic bunch I’ve yet to meet. I was also lucky to time my visit with their first ever exhibition which, for me, was the highlight of the week.
First up was Mark’s place. A shorter session than usual but we worked late and managed to wire the primary structure into two field grown trees. A first styling for a Japanese Red and a Black Pine.
The lower branch was left to develope into a second trunk and also improve inverse taper. It can always be removed at a later date.
The next day was at Demot’s, again a first styling on a tall Scots Pine and some tweaking on a few Junipers.
He even gave me a tour of Cobh, the town where he lives and the world’s Second largest Natural Harbour.
Day 3 was Piotr’s place and yet another initial styling of a Pine, this time a Lodgepole.
Next was a little Hinoki Cypress that was in need of thinning and a little wiring.
A Japanese White Pine
and then whilst having a few beers… another pine!
Day 4 was with Michael and a change of species, a yew. Not many photos here as I had a limited time period and a lot to discuss as well as work to get done.
Day 5 was at Steve’s place and saw a fair bit of carving both by hand and with power tools. First was this Yew that had been carved previously but showed a lot of tools marks.
And after some work. Further refinement needed on the deadwood, but a step in the right direction.
Some initial carving on a new larch for Steve.
Sadly no finished pics, it was too dark 🙂
Day 6 was the Exhibition and I was delighted to put on a shohin display along with the club members. We set up and had an hour before opening, so we did a critique of the displays with all the club members and exhibitors. I was given a tall Scot’s Pine to style in the demo.
Day 7 was spent with Ray. The main tree was a hinoki cypress that we’d done initial work on 2 years ago. It had grown free for 2 years and was now ready of a new look. We decided to go for a different look that breaks a few rules as far as multi trunk trees go but I feel we created a bonsai that looks like a tree, not a bonsai.
We also did a clearing out of a shohin Chinese Juniper. A nice start.
Day 8, my last day, was with Paul. A lover of Japanese Art and by the look of his garden and house, all things Japanese.
A massive thank you to all the guys who made this tour possible. I was looked after so well at every stop and the craic was mighty. The drive shown by this club is inspiring and this is only their 4th year. To deliver an exhibition to this standard, AND, there where trees there from 10 members, not all from a few with the higher level trees, shows what a fun club they are to be involved with. It was great to meet the newer members at the exhibition and get a chance to talk bonsai and share ideas for the future.
I look forward to seeing you all again soon and exploring new opportunities in 2018.
My last post looked at the Natives Exhibit specifically but I wanted share a few thoughts on the venue and people I met there and share the rest of my photos taken of trees outside of the Natives.
Having seen both Huntington Gardens and Lake Merritt on my travels I was expecting big things from this place. I’d been told, on good authority, that this is the pick of them all. Big praise indeed as the others were impressive albeit in different ways. Pacific Bonsai Museum was the same, impressive in it’s own way. As a stand alone attraction I could not fail to be impressed with the set up, layout, trees, staff, and it’s all free. The Natives Exhibit and the thought that had gone into it made this special but there were other things for me to see too.
On entering we got to see some of the fantastic artwork created for the Natives exhibit and we got to check out the tokonoma set up with a Satsuki azalea. There is also a small tropical exhibit as you enter and I had the pleasure of seeing a tree that I’d seen before in the States, last time in Florida. Paul Pikel’s Buttonwood was sitting there as I walked in. Last time I saw that was at the side of his pool in his back garden in 2011.
Within the main exhibit area were some other trees that I’ve included in the gallery, some natives, some not. Apologies if they should have been included within the Natives section.
A highlight of the day was getting to meet Tony Fajarillo aka Bonsaiko, a fellow blogger who was keen to hook up on the trip. Tony was keen to show me a few other sights in Seattle and made me very welcome. Sadly time was tight at this point and we had to settle for a meeting of the bonsai minds at Pacific Bonsai Museum. He brought some of the family as well and we couldn’t have been made more welcome. Next time Tony, next time 🙂 Check out his Blog if you already haven’t BONSAIKO
While wandering the exhibit with Tony I bumped into Jak, one of the staff and asked after Aaron. On hearing he had the day off I was disappointed but on instruction from Mr Neil I asked if there was any chance of getting into the back lot for a look at the bonsai currently not being exhibited. Zak, was a gentleman and took us straight there. Many of the photos in this gallery are from that area. Some great bonsai that emphasise that a repeat visit is necessary to see the rest of the trees. Tony pointed out the Nick Lenz Larch with the many hidden deadwood faces. It’s little things like this that create the memories for the visit.
Another treat was getting to see the Domoto Maple, a tree with great history that can be read HERE.
It’s free folks, but donations are essential to help keep this thriving. If only the UK had something like this, don’t take it for granted. I bought a T- Shirt of course, quite the collection now after this trip 🙂 Here’s the Gallery.
The last Bonsai stop of my journey took me to Pacific Bonsai Museum in Seattle. Check out the video below for an overview.
I had been looking forward to this after seeing the Mirai Live overview of the Natives exhibit and the panel discussion from the involved artists. I had hoped to catch up with Aaron Packard on my visit, but someone gave him the day off! Probably himself 🙂 Well deserved too. Next time Aaron.
Again, I was a little camera happy on the visit and took a serious amount of photos. After spending longer editing them than it took to actually take them, I’ve decided to split it into 2 separate galleries. One about the place and people I met there, and the other, this one, about the Natives exhibit. My photos as per usual, don’t do the trees justice as the sun was shining bright that day and put a lot of the tree detail into shadow. Whoever said it always rains in Seattle missed a great few days.
The ‘Natives’ was a great concept for a bonsai exhibit in the United States. Having been inspired for 3 weeks travelling, by some stunning trees in the landscape and some amazing collections of bonsai, I could see the attraction of getting so many species from so many great artists, together in one place. Add to that a funky art concept capturing the landscape from each trees habitat and even accents that reflect what can be found there, and you have yourself a great exhibit. I walked it twice, in company and on my own. A great experience. It was great to see and compare styles of work from the different artists. Some of Dan Robinson’s rugged trees caught the eye. I’ll have to get back and go see Dan’s place in person next time for sure. I got to see the bonsai that were missing from Ryan and Michael’s place as well. All the artists deserve a pat on the back, or maybe even a man hug for allowing their trees to be displayed here for the duration of the exhibit.
I have added snaps of the name cards were I remembered to take them. Only fair to give the artists credit. The info boards in each bay also were very informative and I have added those too. You’ll need to do a little zooming to see the text though. This may well be the biggest photo gallery yet from this trip. Simply put, go there and see them for yourself if you get the chance. You won’t be disappointed.