Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NITRA 2012

Nitra is a unique event. Basically it is a Slovak national bonsai exhibition, which the amazing organizers and hosts Alenka and Vladimir Ondejčik managed magically to transform into a really unique event.

Here are a few statistics of otherwise a complete non-statistical event. Around 300 trees, ranging from simple hobby level to hi quality bonsai from professionals ware exhibited for three days. A very rich accompanying program was presented each day all day long. A part of the program ware of course bonsai demos from demonstrators from three continents: Jose Jimenez Anastasio (Mexico), German Arrellano (Colombia), Rui Ferreira (Portugal), Xec Fernandez (Menorca), Bernie O 'Callaghan (Namibia), Andrea Melloni (Germany), Marek Gajda (Poland), Thomas Kovšca (Slovenia), Vladimir Ondejčik (Slovakia), Stefan Steininger (Austria), Johannes Krelovec (Austria) and Karl Thier (Austria). Each day around 10.000 people visited the scene. But most important thing is impossible express statistically. The incredible attention and hospitality of both hosts, which can be felt by everyone involved at every step, is what makes the even so special and unique.

Xec Fernandez (Menorka)

 German Arrellano (Columbia)

The hosts Alenka and Vladimir
with the Slovak president

Rui Ferreira (Portugal)

Bernie O"Callaghan (Namibija), his asistent
(left side) and the Slovak translator

Tomaž Kovšca and German Arrelano from Columbia

Jose Jimenez Anastasio (Mexico)

Marek Gajda (Poland)

Demonstrations were held all three days. All demos ware good but I will certainly forever remember Bernie O 'Callaghan from Namibia, which demonstrated for me a complete new concept. Hi made a tree based on natural forces that exist in their natural environment in Namibia. His tree was styled in a special way; it was turned over by an elephant. How cool is that? The other demonstrators each left their marks in their own way. Thomas Kovšca from Slovenia was making a demo in a yamadori Spruce (Abies Picea) and I was more than happy to assist him in the demo.

Spruce (Abies Picea) starting material

Spruce (Abies Picea) after the demo

Andrea Melloni form Germany made a demo on an interesting Juniper (Juniperus Sabina) and showed a very impressed work with nice end result.

Junipersu before the demo

Juniperus after the demo by Andrea Melloni

The prize for the best tree of the exhibition deservedly got Andrea Melloni for its red pine (Pinus sylvestris).

Pinus Sylvestris - Andrea Melloni
Best tree of the show award

Juniperus - Tomaž Kovšca

Quercus Pubescens - Karl Thier, Silvia Wiedl

Larix Decidua - SUIBON Marso 

Tilia Cordata - Karl Thier, Silvia Wiedl

Pinus Parviflora - Herbert & Barbara Obermayer

Ulmus Parvifolia - Heinz Leitner

Juniperus Virginiana - Marek Gajda

Juniperus Virginiana - Jacek & Marta Pietakiewicz

Taxus Baccata - Erik Tomko 

Juniperus Virginiana - Jacek & Marta Pietakiewicz 

Juniperus Itoigawa - Andras Koos

Pinus Parviflora - SUIBON Schreiner

Olea Oleaster - Heinz Leitner

Juniperus  Itoigawa - Jana Jandaskova Sonja

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chamaecyparis Pisifera Bulevard in new pot

I started to work on this Chamaecyparis Pisifera Bulevard three years ago and the tree made some nice steps since then.

This year it was finally repotting time. The position is unfortunately still too high in the new pot, but health and safety of the tree is always ahead of aesthetics. I could take a chance, interfered more radically in the root system and set her lower in the pot, but there is no need to hurry too much. With the next repotting it will be easier and above all with less risk.

Chamaecyparis Pisifera Bulevard 

Chamaecyparis Pisifera Bulevard - right side 

Chamaecyparis Pisifera Bulevard - left side

The start of the story of this tree is available here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Juniperus repotted

I work a bit more than two years on this juniper and now finally the time for repotting in it’s first pot has come. It is interesting what a great step in the development of a bonsai it is when you repott it in the bonsai pot. Somehow I feel that now when it’s in the pot a whole new dimension of the feeling of working on has opened. All mistakes and details popped-out and a whole new image of further development comes together.

Juniperus in the new pot -  front side
Left side
Right side
Back side

When the Juniper gets used to the new pot and shows signs of a successful repotting I will address the details and start working on further development. The crown will be more non-linear, left side slightly extended,..

The appearance alone is not satisfied yet, but I am much happier with the development. Three years ago the juniper looked like this.

Juniperus - 2009-11

Friday, April 6, 2012

Demo and workshop in Zagreb

Bonsai Society Zen and the studios for art and philosophy of bonsai TORA, organized a demonstration and workshop this weekend. So I spent two days with Tomaz in Zagreb, where Tomaz made a demo on a nice Spruce Yamadori on the first day of the show. I assisted him in the demo and had the opportunity to wire some additional meters of wire and gained some additional experience which I will need for this year's NTC contest.

Spruce (Abies Picea) before the demo

Tomaž Kovšca

Spruce (Abies Picea) after the demo

On the second day in Zagreb we made a dedicated workshop on the topic of transplantation. Together with the members of Bonsai association ZEN we transplanted some trees and in addition analyzed some of the trees from the club members. As always, time passed by very quickly, but with the outstanding hosts Dean and Nikolaj, one more nice bonsai weekend is behind us.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bonsai is not only about the trees

This week was so amazing that it took me some days to at least partially process all the happening. It was a dream week with old and new friends who have one thing in common. Not only that we all love bonsai, we all have the same, or at least similar perspective on bonsai. And when a couple of guys like this come together it means positive energy, happiness and pure fun. And this is how this week passed in a blink of an eye. 

There is so much to write about, but I feel there is no need to. It’s simple. Bonsai is not only about the trees, there is much, much more. Who knows what I mean knows why and who doesn’t will probably never understand.




Tomaž and Hans

Workshop at Tora

Team discusion

Tomaž and Hans