It has been a while since i posted. i still have to post some pictures and tell some experiences from my trip at Shunka-en. It was a dream come true. Visisted kokufu-ten, seeing wonderfull trees, learning a lot, had a taste of the japanese culture and delicious food and most important of all made new friends. Mostly after our work we still worked a little on trees or just were sitting in the working area or apprentice house close to the stove having a lot of laughs and deep conversations(about bonsai and other guy talk). Here is a picture of Peter Warren fooling around.With in the back Akiyama-san. Here is Jin-san AKA The japanese Harry potter 😀 I have to say i really had a lot of laughs and interesting discussions with Peter, in Japan i really learned a lot of his visions and not only his visions in bonsai, he truly is a wise,modest man. And i really have to thank him a lot for the things he did for me. Here for example is one of those nights we were just discussing in the working area. Peter bought himself a little white pine with the foliage type Nasu Musume, it has really little tight foliage. He asked me what i thought of this little tree. I told him it wasn’t that bad. He told me i had to look more at poor quality trees as they can offer greater opportunity for making profit. So he took a cutter and with one snip … the pine looked like this, totally different and better. (Peter i hope you don’t mind i borrowed your pictures) 😀 Also with a tosho i was working on he gave me some pointers, just little changes that make a different and better impression. So my trip was almost to end and Oyakata asked me if i wanted to assist him in a picture demonstration for a Satsuki magazine. This was a honor for me.(to be continued…) The day appeared i had to take my flight back to home , before leaving i thanked everyone and said goodbye. Oyakata came with a present , he gave me 2 of his books signed by him saying he is my oyakata and i have to keep in touch. After Peter brought me to the airpot back to Belgium. I left Japan with mixed feelings,I was glad to see my family back but will miss Japan and Shunka-en. After in March i organised a deadwood workshop with Will Baddeley. Will is a close friend to me who thought many techniques by his own that’s influenced by Kevin willson’s deadwoodtechnique and styling. He has a passion for working on native trees. He first had to give a demonstration on wednesday at Noelanders his club. For the demonstration he brought himself a nice twisted Hawthorn. And some other trees of his private collection to tell how these trees developed over time.
Here is a close up of the deadwood on his Elm he made. What good work, weather elements and time can do!
Will starting to work…
He started by carving the bark of a big stump and the base to create better taper and movement.
With different tools he creates depth, movement, burn marks to show age in the deadwood.
And the result. Now time, weather elements and further work will improve this beautiful tree in future!
Thursday we had a workshop with him. We first discussed the trees and than the work could start. We all learned a lot and the trees improved by the work he thought us. Here is Chris’s Prunus mahaleb.
Eric his Forsythia
And my Pinus sylvestris. This tree had a ugly rotten hole and we hollowed it further out and made it more attractive.
We had all had a great time, also due to the fact of this… 😀