Shohin workshop enthusiasm – part one

Love shohin, so seeet, so small, so vulnerable, so precious

Shohin Bonsai Europe - Morten Albek

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The past weekend November 23 and 24 I teached at a Shohin-bonsai workshop at the Bonsaiwerkstatt in Düsseldorf, Germany.  9 dedicated Shohin enthusiasts took part with great enthusiasm and very fine quality shohin and pre-bonsai. A lot of good stuff to work with, and with friendly people and concentrated work we made some really good future trees, small adjustments at already established trees, and some promising longer termed projects too. Some trees imported from the well known Koju-en and Tomohiro Masumi in Japan, including also high standard pots.

The Bonsaiwerkstatt is run by Werner Busch for now 30 years!, and is a well organized and relaxed place to be. The workshop facilities are very good, and located at a nice spot in an older part of the city. A very beautiful city by the way, absolutely worth a visit too. The mood was relaxed but still the students all worked…

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Casual friday: being a polyglot

polyglot

Maybe you don’t know it but I understand 4 languages: English, German, Italian, French and I am learning Japanese. The best point about being a polyglott, I can capture the topics I am interested in different languages, as for instance by bloggers that write only in one of these four languages and understand their point of view. Pretty cool, eh!

Recently I am quite into Japanese culture and all about travelling and living in Japan and, lucky me, I find some bloggers that post in Italian and French and love them.

I know that most of my viewers are English speakers but maybe some of you do understand and appreciate what written in these posts.

Satori Nihon Japan A jung german student that lived in Japan
Hanami blog lovely manga and Japan blog, the italian girl has her own learning e-book!
A gaij IN Japan French bloger about travaling in Japan.
sale quato basta Italian blog for food lovers and other.

…love, Melanie!

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Creating a forest out of almost nothing

Last week I went to Nicola’s for another workshop. We worked on an abies picea or spruce, I created a Kusanomo, some Shitakusa, we did some autumn work on two shohin, a zelkova and an acer burgeniamum.

It takes me up to 2.30 hours to travel to Nicola’s place and during the long way by car I always review, or try to review, what happened to the plant since the last time I went, and I try to figure what will happen to the new plant I am bringing for the first time. But at the end of the day I am always amazed about the results and my first ideas are a far cry from the end result..
 
This workshop was focused on “Allegra” a 3-tree forest, well of course it’s no forest yet, but one day it will be one. You may wonder about the name; well all my trees have a name! Lastly they may stay with me for a long time, so might as well give them names like pets. Funny? Weird? As Oscar Wilde said There is method to my madness! I bread cats for many years and the association with which I was affiliated gives a “letter” to the member to name they kittens for each year, so 2012 was V and W, 2013 are X, Y, Z and 2014 will be A. With this in mind, you can always come back and review the cat by the name given. They do this also in pedigree dogs in some countries. With bonsai, I am doing the same with my trees!  I started in 2010 with bonsai, for me the “A year” unfortunately t’is not the year of birth of the tree, but the year of purchase. Long story short, Allegra is with me since 2010.
 
Ok, back to the topic. This abies picea is vigorous, but the first style she had was at the very beginning of my bonsai life, so nothing special, difficult to find a real style with a 3-tree composition. The nice thing about Nicola is that he can “see something” in everything, even in such a difficult raw material as this one, for me it’s still very hard to foresee anything no matter how the tree looks at the beginning.
 
I believe we did a good job indeed and she is on her way to becoming an outstanding bonsai.
 

 
Next step will be to get 2 other spruce in the same diameter and height to give the composition more depth and dimension. I visualize her in the future on a stone plate. After all I am travelling so far to learn and understand how a composition has to look in the end and alas, I did learn something!

…love, Melanie!

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Casual friday: mini tokonoma

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I will love to have a Tokonoma in my living room, but the house is small and the space is already taken from my goldfish and turtle tank. So on the search for an alternative I find out that I was not the only one having this kind of problem and lots of bonsai lovers opt for a mini Tokonoma; a small little box than contains kakejiku, table, tatami and of course a shohin bonsai, all in a smaller size.

Last week end I made my first experiment on the creation of the mini Tokonoma. First I tried with carton, then with 4 mm thick chipboard, but none of both succeed.

Frustrated, I brought my failed Tokonoma’s to the bonsai club members for some piece of advice and lucky me, our presidet is a carpenter! With brand new plan’s I went to the local DIY retailer and purchased the new needed stuff. Now I have better measures, better material and better knowledge.

The next task will be: paint and impregnate, build it and install the mini Tokonoma in my small living room.

Stay tuned!!

 

 

Casual friday: viaggio in Giappone

This post is about Japan but also about an Italian blog I am following to learn Japanese. The owner of the blog, Federica Ercole, is Japan fan but not only. I love her blog and already learned a lot with her method. She is now in Japan and she write about her journey.

The text is in Italian but I hope that you can still enjoy her Fotos.

http://hanamiblog.net/viaggio-giappone-prima-parte/

…love, Melanie!

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