Hi, everybody,

I met Henk Steneker, the organizer of this workshop, during the Masterclass I did last year. There he asked if I would like to give a workshop in the following year at his relative new Bonsai shop “Iss Hogai” that is based in his new house in Emmen (Holland). Well, of course, I said yes and last weekend it was time for me to make the 2 and a half hour long trip to the North East of Holland. I made it in one go and arrived right in time for a warm welcome by Henk and a cup of coffee with cake! He showed me around his large garden that is being converted to a Bonsai garden with benches for his and his club members Bonsai and a large area to work. There is a nice indoor section in his garden to work when it is cold and raining or as in this case, rather hot! His club consists of a small but very enthusiastic group of Bonsai junkies, that had a great time during this sunny day! It is good to know, that there are so many people in Holland that are willing to make that extra effort to progress in their hobby! Because I know that improvement through working on Bonsai, will make this magnificent hobby, even more, enjoyable for them!

Below: First we started with discussing the trees that the students had brought along.

Below: One by one the unworked material, pre Bonsai or Bonsai were discussed by me.

Below: Rene pulling my leg when he brought with a straight face a half-dead Ulmus to see how I would react and talked my way out of it without hurting any one’s feelings! 🙂

               Below: Rene’s very promising Yamadori, Mugo Pine.

A very promizing Mugo pine!

                  Below picture: discussing the trees possibilities.

                                                     Below picture: WHAT ?!


                 Above: Harry Gerdes concentrated at work on his Juniper.

              Monique van Ommen, working indoor were it was much cooler!

Rene Bakker was very eager to start working on his Pine. I cant blame him! 🙂

Above: Henk Steneker, founder of this club and organizer, hard at work on his “Taxus”.


Above: Anneke van Lintum, enjoying Bonsai! A picture that speaks for itself!

Above: Rene, bless his heart, did not hesitate to cut off and bend some major branches, after we discussed where we could go with his magnificent old “Mugo”!

Above: Wet raffia was applied to prevent branches to break when they were severely bent.

                          Above picture: Bram de Visser working on his tree.

     Above picture: Bram’s “Chamaecyparis” obtusa before his work started.

                                      Above: The cut off branch is Jinned.

Above: The well-protected branch is slowly brought into its desired position.

 Above: Even after all of the students were gone we went on wiring and styling…we both wanted to see this great tree finished! 😉

    Above: Almost everything wired and brought into its desired position.!

After a long day of bonsai work, it was nice to finish off with a promising tree like this one! And than it was time for a nice cold beer with my new Bonsai friends from up North!

Above: Bending the last branches of the top into place! After a long day of bonsai work, it was nice to finish off with a promising tree like this one! And then it was time for a nice cold beer with my new Bonsai friends from up North! And then it was off for the long trip home…tired but very happy and satisfied!

Hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed this day!


Hans van Meer.




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