First styling!! A step in the right direction: chronicles of a bonsai show

I don’t know if any of you have ever organized a show: cat show, book show, bonsai show, or whatever else. Well, I have: a cat show a couple of years back and believe me, it’s not an easy task! Without getting into details about my experience as President of our cat club (Abyssinians Breed Club Europe), I would like to report my view of the Swiss Bonsai Show held in Lugano on 8-9 June, 2013.
As a visitor of the show, I must first and foremost say “hats off”! When someone like the Bonsai Club Ticino (a local bonsai club in Switzerland) puts up a show about bonsai, suiseki, kusamono and much more, as someone who’s been through this before, it is immediately clear to me the effort that every single person invested, the energy and nerves, the struggle to organize vendors, the eternal search for sponsors, the hours spent on the phone discussing this and that. It’s a perpetual battle until it’s done. And even on opening day, other problems are bound to pop up. The microphone doesn’t work, the exhibitor has a question, the vendors argue about something. And at the end of the show the work is still not finished! You need to take apart the show hall, update the homepage, write an article about it for the bonsai magazine, and so on. It’s not easy but it’s fun and the Bonsai Club Ticino did  a great job indeed.
The club offered to hold the Swiss Bonsai Show, the most important show in Switzerland, by the VSB, Vereinigung Schweizer Bonsaifreunde. It was the first time that the Swiss Bonsai Show was held in Ticino (the southern part of Switzerland, near the Italian border). Taking advantage of the importance of the show, the BCT decided to add more Japanese and bonsai related topics. For instance they held the 2nd contest of the BCT which presented several trees from Ticino, Italy and the Principality of Monaco. The show hall was big enough to accommodate more than just bonsais, and the club has gone above and beyond!!! It featured a show of Shitakusa and Kusamono, a demonstration and show of shodo (Japanese calligraphy), Japanese music with koto (Japanese stringed instrument) and harp, Japanese dolls, a demonstration of bonsai potting, dressing a kimono, sward show and of course a live demonstration of bonsai styling by Sandro Segneri and Mario Pavone (I reported on Mario in a past post) and a demonstration about Kusamono, which was a revelation for me! The new Swiss Talent contest was also held on Saturday under the supervision of the VSB which, by the way, expressed great praise for the success of the show.
Here a couple of numbers to give you a clearer idea:
+ 1500 visitors
+ 150 show plants
300 m of pannels
15 vendors of Japanese items of various nature
9 presentations by other Bonsai Clubs in Switzerland

And the winners are :

Swiss Bonsai Awards

Dedicious native Dedicious Import Conifer native Conifer Import
1° Mario Pavone 1° Luca Brignoli 1°Hugo Berther 1° Carmine Samà
2° Nicola Crivelli 2° Nadir Marcon 2°Madlaine Campo 2° Walter Schmutz
3° Mina Boscacci 3° Mario Pavone 3° Enzo Ferrari 3° Nicola Crivelli

Bonsai Club Ticino Awards

Swiss Suiseki Award Winners of the 2° Award Bonsai Club Ticino: Award Bonsai Club Ticino Suiseki Winner of the audience favorite: 
1° – Sonzini 1° Juniperus Chinensis-Nicola Crivelli Igor Carino Lebanon Cedar forest, by Enzo Ferrari
2° – Enzo Ferrari 2° Ezo Pine –Paolo Dassetto
3° – Amadeo Ducoli 3° Pseudocidonia –Mario Pedrazzetti

Here photos of almost all the trees

Facebook of Nicola “Kitora” Crivelli

Does any of you remember the Bonsai Autumn in Switzerland? Can you recall the quality of the trees, the perfection in its organization (like a Swiss clock!)? Well, I do, and I certainly hope that some day the BCT will be able to put up such a show, because, let’s face it, the Italians have been a force to contend with the last few years, and Noelander should not be the only big bonsai attraction in Europe!

…love, Melanie!!

Bonsai upcoming stars: Mario Pavone


Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world! The weather is sunny and warm, the cities are old, the people are gregarious and friendly, the food is sublime and the bonsai artists there are great at the moment!

One of the upcoming talents is surely Mario Pavone, a young man that lives in Luino, not too far from the Swiss border. Mario started with bonsai in 1997-’98, he’s received many prizes, articles about his trees have been published in many bonsai magazines and he’s been a featured guest at many demostrations. He’s a member of UBI (Unione Bonsai Italiani) and of the BCT (Bonsai Club Ticino).

I had the honor of visiting his small but very powerful garden: he seems to be a lover of pines because I only saw very few deciduous trees. Regardless of the size of the garden it’s a piece of paradise and I was impressed with the elegance of some of the trees. I was expecting big large trunks with little foliage but I was greeted by very stunning and spectacular trees.

Mario has an artistic background and a very accurate knowledge of his trees, although he loves big trees, every single one has his own charm and elegance.

He’s also a teacher at the Bonsai Creativo School, which was established and is directed by Sandro Segneri (another well known Italian bonsai artist) with 21 locations in Italy and throughout Europe, one of the most prestigious school of the country.

Hope to see  some of his work at shows soon and meet him again maybe at a demonstration.

love…, Melanie!!