Windswept Cotoneaster

I dug this tree two or three years ago and always had shohin in mind for it right from the start. It sat in a plastic pot for a while which is usual and in the mean time I made this pot for it. The pot represents a sandstone rocky outcrop and the tree tells the story of being buffeted by strong winds and its successful struggle to survive against these conditions.

This photo was taken in November 2018 shown while it is in flower.
This photo is from April 2019 showing the flowers were successful because it now has fruit.

Much more improvement is needed but it is headed in the right direction.

Raising the Potters Bar

In the magazine “Bonsai Focus” number 2/2019 there is a very interesting article by bonsai artist and professional Tony Tickle. In the article Tony raises a number of interesting points about bonsai pots.

One that really struck a cord with me was a simple comment about buying, collecting or acquiring beautiful pots and not having a bonsai of suitable quality to put in it. I am certainly guilty of that on more than one occasion. My recent visit to Europe was a classical example of just that, I am now the proud owner of two very beautiful hand crafted pots and I have no idea what I will put in them, but I hold out hope that in the near future I can craft a tree to fit such pots. As Tony described I have a pot collection as well as a bonsai collection.

This wasn’t the major element of the article though. Tony was “arguing” that the quality of bonsai pots made outside Japan (and especially in Europe) is now matching those made in Japan and that trees native to counties or areas should be planted in pots made in those regions.

I would like to thank Tony for putting into words my thoughts and to have them published is even better. I have often purchased pots for specific bonsai from local potters, firstly because these pots suit the bonsai better, they are of very high quality, and also to support the local potters who can’t exist without the support of the local bonsai community. I have had a few pots custom made and I intend to continue this into the future. The number one goal is the final creation, one that is harmonious and the image pleasing to the eye. I just need better trees to suit these terrific pots I continue to buy!

A Pot for Our Visitors

I have been taking “pottery lessons” for about a year now and I am loving it. The week of bonsai held in Canberra at the NBPCA is an annual event and it is fantastic value for all bonsai enthusiasts. This year there were two international artists from Germany and I thought it would be nice to give each of them a small pot made in Goulburn from Goulburn clay.

The artists, Heike van Gunst and Sandra Grilca were here to demonstrate, conduct workshops and to be the headliners at “Bonsai After Hours, Women in Bonsai” which was on Friday 29 March 2019.

The red clay was used in Goulburn for brick making for about 50 years and if you drive around Goulburn you will see many dwellings and buildings constructed from bricks made from this clay. The other is also a clay from Goulburn that was also used for making bricks but to a lesser extent that the red coloured clay.. The pots were made by my teacher, Viveann Mennega and given to the visiting artists during the workshop that I attended. The pots were designed with a traditional Australian flavor. The pots were fired to about 1240 deg C and glazed with a clear gloss so they are frost proof.

Viveann, Sandra and me! And of course the pot.