Peter Warren Weekend @ Munster Bonsai Club

Last weekend I was invited as a guest of Munster Bonsai Club to attend the Peter Warren two day workshop hosted by the Cuan Mhuire Garden Centre in Bruree. I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to watch and listen to Peter at work so popped down to road to Limerick to see the action. Peter flies under the radar in the bonsai world, a self confessed self deprecating personality with a unique but practical approach to bonsai cultivation and design, always putting the tree first over the owner. A true tree lover, you could almost call it Budan love 😉

We had two glorious days in the Limerick sunshine and even had to move outside to stop melting at one point. With 6-7 participants each day and a few added observers we had a pretty full house. It was great to meet up with a few people who to date I’d only texted with prior. More bonsai friendship in action, what it’s all about and makes for a fun weekend.

Congratulations to Munster Bonsai, especially Mark and Michael for organising and hosting the weekend. Your club continues to push bonsai learning and September marks 5 years from the point where we started this journey together in a Hurling Club in Cork. A long way in a short time.

Below is a gallery of some of the photos taken included before and after pics for the overly curious and many shots capturing the days activity. Some are a little out of order but you’ll figure it out.

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Munster Roadtrip

Back in the Heatwave, remember those days lol, I was on my travels in Munster province of Ireland working with some of the bonsai folk in that area. I did a school day with the Munster Bonsai Club one of the days and then toured around a few gardens working on trees. Here’s a gallery of a few of the trees and gardens visited. Agreat 9 days on the road but I was glad to get home and see my dogs and unwind. A big thank you to all the guys Munster group for continuing to support my road trips. See you again in November.

Munster Manoeuvres

A big thank you to all those in Munster stretching from Middleton to Ennis who allowed me to work on their trees last week. Some great craic and I was well looked after at every stop on the way.

Here’s a few photos snapped along the way some general some before and some after.

Grand Tour September 2017

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.

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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.

Room with a view. A truly inspiring place to stay.

Paul wanted some help with his niwaki style Pine in his garden. Starting at the top and working down 🙂

Afterwards we wired his Japanese White Pine making a few changes here and there to remove faults while keeping the original image that he liked when it was bought. A badly wire scarred apex had to be removed and replaced.

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.

The leftovers

Last week I did a bit of a tour of Ireland working with some of the chaps from the Munster Bonsai Club and even the odd Leinster man thrown in. I had a great week and was delighted to spend quality time with these guys. As I always say, Bonsai is as much about friendship to me as it is about the trees.

I did post each day last week but that was only a few quick snaps from my phone using the wordpress app. I’ve had time to wade through my camera and have added the leftover photos here for viewing. No order really, all a bit random, but I feel they capture the mood of the week. Thanks again folks for all your hospitality and for the kindness and understanding shown by your better halves. They all deserve a medal putting up with us lot for husbands 🙂

It was an awkward time to deliver work on many of the trees but we still managed some good work nudging trees in the right direction. Much planning was done for the future and hopefully some of the reasons why, when and how we do the work are a little clearer. Here’s the photos.

Workshop: MBC In Bunratty

Had a great weekend in Bunratty with the folks in the ever growing Munster Bonsai Club. A great mix of existing and new members on the day with lots of interesting trees to play with. Here some photos, some from myself and some stolen from the MBC guys.

Tight squeeze

Some sales items

Ray, the Boss at work

Busy busy

Tut tut Mark Tut tut 🙂

Piotr, another boss at work

More sales, Magic Ceramics

 

Harry’s little Larch finished28040896854_f9f743dfdc_z

Kung fu fighting! Ninja Kieran

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Finishing that Larch

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How much for just the pot? 🙂

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Mark’s Holm Oak finished

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The gang minus Ilene who had to shoot off before the team photo. Thanks for supporting the workshop everyone, a very enjoyable and productive day.

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Bunratty Workshop with Munster Bonsai Club

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Jim Doyle Workshop

Better late than never!

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Jim Doyle organised by the Munster Bonsai Club back on the 23rd April.

Jim was visiting Ireland and the guys got a rare opportunity to to work with one of America’s premier bonsai artists. Jim began with a presentation about yamadori and collecting in the States. Some interesting stories shared and proves that if you want the best yamadori you have to go to great lengths to get it.

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Jim then did a run through of the trees that were to be the focus of the workshop followed by some work Photos below capture the day.

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We finished off with a great meal in a local pub finishing in the wee hours 🙂

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Bonsai In Bunratty

If you are out on the West coast of Ireland and feeling isolated from all things bonsai, then maybe it’s worth making a trip to Bud Garden Centre in Bunratty. Ray, a member of Munster Bonsai Club is starting up regular sessions at the garden centre in an effort to promote bonsai and give a focal point for bonsai in the west. If you read this and are interested, please give him a shout via the number or email listed on the flyer below. Well done Ray for pushing on with bonsai in the West.

 

 

A Munster Weekend

A big thank you to the Munster Club guys for having Phil and I down last weekend. It’s taken me to Wednesday to recover enough to post this 🙂

 

Our usual talk though of the main trees to start.

Mark’s Juniper

Shouldn’t Mark be wiring?

Ray’s Pine

Taking a photo or praying to the bonsai gods?

And he’s the cheek to say I look old :-O

Piotr’s Korean Horbeam starting off on a new path.

Piotr’s Trident getting a new Pot.

until next time……