Some Lazy Sunday Work On A Acer Buergerianum.

Hi, everybody,

I did a lot of joy full Bonsai work on this unexpected Sunny Sunday afternoon. Just little things, here and there. Some cutting, some bending, some cleaning of old needles and leafs, just the fun Bonsai stuff on a perfect lazy afternoon. One of the trees I worked on today was the Acer buergerianum in the picture below. This tree is more than 12 years under my care now and during that long time, it was always one of my favourite projects that came along nicely. When I bought the tree, it had just a few little and ugly placed and deformed branches. And a lot of ugly scares from bad wound treatment! So I worked all those years towards better ramification and everything looked very promising until 3 years ago! During that winter, the tree lost 1 important branch and most of it smaller ramification! So its image was destroyed!

But with a lot of love and care, the tree recovered and today again shows a lot of healthy growth! It those needs some more small branches and finer ramification to get to the image I have in mind. But I am already very happy to see that the tree is willing to give me a second chance, it made me smile! I hope you like it?

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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MY DEMO AND WORKSHOP AT DANSK BONSAI SELSKAB 2008

Hi, everybody,

on 7 and 8 June, the annual meeting of the Danish Bonsai Association was held in Aalborg, in Northern Jutland (Denmark). I was invited to do a demonstration on the Saturday and a workshop on Sunday. After just a short flight, I arrived early in the afternoon on the Friday before the event, in Copenhagen airport. I was picked up by my Bonsai friend Klaus Buddig and together we started the  5 hour trip to the North of Denmark. Which included a 45-minute catamaran ferry crossing to Jutland. This boat trip was anticipated by me with some horror because I get seasick even writing about it! But I have to admit it was a lot of fun to race across the water on this bed out of hell! And I have to be honest: there is not much that 2 cold beer cant fix!

Above picture: me on the back of this large speedboat (the things I have to go through for this hobby).

                 Above picture: Klaus Buddig relaxing on the back of the boat.

Above picture: Those mighty twin turbines, created a water spray over 30 meters long, leaving a foam trail that can be seen from an aeroplane!

After a long but pleasant drive, during which, many bonsai talks was spoken, we arrived in Aalborg, one of the main cities in Northern Jutland.  The TOMTOM brought us safely to the “Huset” (which means  “The House” ) where this event would take place. My dear friend Morten Albek showed use were to park behind the large old building and after we sad our Halloo’s, he let us through a big old gate into a big courtyard like square, that was completely surrounded by this beautiful ocker coloured square shaped building. We arrived right around dinner time and the smell of the barbecue that was going on made my mouth water, but first a beer! There was a large stage were musicians were setting up their instruments for the show that would start in a few hours and in front of that stage, scattered around the square, local people were having a nice dinner, sitting under old Linden trees, that were planted in a circle (like a doughnut). These stunning trees provided some picturesque shades in the setting sunlight and having your dinner under need them observing the atmosphere of the place while listening to some light Jazz and Blues was a real treat for me! It proved to be a great start to a great weekend.

    The “Huset” picturesque inner courtyard seen from above. I shoot this picture from a second-floor window where the Shohin exhibition was staged.

Above: picture: The local folks enjoying a lovely dinner, while waiting for the band to start playing.

                    Above picture: How nice it that on a warm summers night?!

Above: Both pictures above where shoot by me from the Aalborg camping were we stayed, not a bad place either!

After the dinner and some light refreshments, we only had to drive a couple of minutes to reach the  “Aalborg Camping”  where we all would stay during this weekend. After we enjoyed some more refreshments while sitting outside in the still setting sun, we all went to bed very tired. Next day, it was early out of bed to enjoy a lovely breakfast and then it was off to the “Huset” to start the show!

Above picture: Just before the doors for the public were opened, Ljunberg a very lovely and talented new potter preparing here first ever display area.

Above picture: An equally lovely friend dressed in a traditional local dress who helped here during the weekend.

Above picture: This is the tent where the new talent competition was held. It was next to the tent where I was giving mine demonstrating, so every now and then I could catch a glimpse of all those eager, enthusiastic and nervous bonsai lovers at work. This made me smile and it worked very inspiringly for me.  

The new talent contest winner was a very new talent, Julie Isager from Keyaki Bonsai Club in Copenhagen. Julie is 26 years old and started to practice bonsai only six months ago. She is a student of my friend Klaus Buddig. The second place was taken by Finn Christensen from the bonsai club Kita in Aalborg. (No third places was chosen, only first  and second).

* Above picture: Here I am posing with Klaus Buddig in front of his Yamadori Pinus Sylvestris he so kindly entrusted to me to demonstrate on. In the middle, you can see the design I made for this future Bonsai.

                          Above picture: The design I made for this old pine.

              Above picture: Explaining my plans for this tree to the audience.

                   

*Picture above: I like demonstrations, like this one, where the audience can walk right up to me and ask me questions and see hands on what I am doing. You can see here than the cascading branch is all ready brought down the trunk. The future top section is here still reaching for the sky.

                                *Above picture: Concentrated and hot at work.

*Above picture: It is always nice to have an extra pair of hands! Erling Klysner did a great job helping me wiring the top and bending it into place. So we could all go to dinner in time!

                                  *Above picture: Working on the future top.

*Right picture: The finished pre-bonsai for now. The cascading branch needs a sharper bend to the right, just where it appears from behind the main trunk! But because this is it first styling and the branch had come such a long way from where it was originally before all the works started, that this will be don in the future, when the tree is fully recovered from all this stress! The tree’s health should always come first, even in demonstrations!

                               * Above picture: And then there was Coffey!

On Saturday I had the hard task of judging the bonsai on display in the show. And during the dinner, I was invited on stage to present the award and give some comments to all the winners. I myself was honoured with some lovely words and a bottle of some of the best Cognac I ever sipped (half empty already)!  They all sure made me feel very much at home here, really special people indeed!  

Above picture: During a break in the gala dinner on Saturday night,  a proud Morten Albek received the first prize award for the best Shohin composition in the exhibition.

Winner of the best bonsai in the exhibition was won by Martin Nielsen with a beautiful Juniperus Chinensis.

Below: I had a couple of hours to kill Before the Sunday workshops would begin. So Lona Rasmussen asked me if I would style one off here  Yamadori Pinus Sylvestris, she brought along for her own first demo, that she would give that afternoon.  So while everybody was busy for a few hours at the annual club meeting on the other side of the venue, I had some nice quiet bonsai time on my own, while working on her little tree in the morning sun with some coffee.

                        Below: Lone’s Pinus Sylvestris before work began. 

                                            Below: Wired and ready to style.

                               Below: The finished sweat little Literati Pine.

                       Below: Me and happy Lona Rasmussen with here Pine.

               *Picture above: The tent where the Sunday workshop was held.

*Above picture: Here I am working together with Julie Isager on here Yew, she is the winner of the new talent competition. I am sure she has a bright Bonsai future ahead of her!

           *Above picture: Aase Wiberg working on here big garden Juniper.

                               *Above picture: Helping with some final wiring.

 Above picture: Peter Landerloos working concentrated on his Yamadori Pine.

*Above 2 pictures: During this Sunday workshop,  Klaus Buddig enjoyed himself very much working on the deadwood of his Pine, that I had worked on during my Saturday demo! And I liked to add: he did a really beautiful job!

Then before we all knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes already! I had a great time and made a lot of new friends and was thrilled to spend this long weekend with some old friends! I am sure that this was not the last time I visit beautiful Denmark to do bonsai! Infect: I have already been asked by Morten to do a show he is staging next year!

 After the 5 hours long trip to Klaus his great house, I had a good night rest in his famous Bonsai guest room, where many well-known artists have spent the night before me! On Monday we had a wonderfully relaxed day in his garden, enjoying the Sun and each others company, just a brilliant day to finish my wonderful visit to Denmark!

Above picture: For our dinner, Klaus took me to a posh and very exclusive sailboat club in Copenhagen. The view there, overlooking the Sea was really stunning, and the food and cold beer were not too bad either!

Above picture: A beautiful Acer buergerianum raft in Klaus his garden.

Above picture: In Klaus his large garden,  I  had a great time playing with young  “Sheva”  a rare Bergen Pichard lady dog….YO SHEVA behave !! I said LADY DOG!!!

                         Above picture: That’s much better! Isn’t she pretty!

Then it was off to the airport to fly home, another wonderful Bonsai memory came to an end, up to the next one!

Here are the links to the site of the Danish Bonsai association where you can see more pictures of this unique event, my demo and workshop.

http://www.bonsai-danmark.dk/BILLEDERDBS-2008-demo.htm

http://www.bonsai-danmark.dk/BILLEDERDBS-2008.htm

*Pictures with a star by Morten Albek.

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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MY WORKSHOP AT DONNA DOBBERFUHL ATELIER IN SAN ANTONIO TEXAS

Hi, everybody,

the second workshop I gave was in  San Antonio Texas in the amazing atelier of brilliant artist Donna Dobberfuhl. I remember that I was overwhelmed by her artwork and the immense heat that day! Even with the largest ventilator that I had ever seen at full speed, it was almost unbearable for me! The students smiled a little and sad: and it is not even summer?! I must have drunk 5 litres of water during that day!

Above: This magnificent statue stood in the entrance of Donna’s studio to greet us.

Above: The original moult of the famous John Naka bust she made. One of the two copies that were ever made was standing right next to the bed I was sleeping in at my hosts Irene (MOM) house. It was nice that the old master was watching out over me!

Above: And a large poster of a stunning Murial, also from here talented hands.

Above: One of the several live size bronze cattle, Donna made for the “Red Bird” range.

Above: Discussing the possibility of this large yamadori Boxwood that Trent brought along.


Above picture: Working on the deadwood of Donna’s Kidneywood. Look at the colour of my face!

Above left picture: Donna and Terry listening to me babbling!  The great thing about these workshops is, that all people can join in, to hear an explanation!

Above picture: Irene’s “Hubby” Terry brought a Juniperus Chinensis along to work on.

           Above: Explaining how to safely bend a thick Yew branch. First an in water soaked raffia. Than two lengthwise placed wires. 

                                    Above; Then a second layer of wet raffia. 

                                              Above: Then apply normal wire.

                                 Above: Then carefully bent the branch.

                                    Above: Until it is in its desired position.   

             Above: Still not convinced about the big branch that needs to go?!

Above: We had a great lunch in the famous “PIG STAND” restaurant. This place serves good food since 1921. Their onion rings were as big as tiaras! MMMMM!!!! 🙂

                                                 Above: Trend’s “Boxwood”.

                                         Above: Discussing every possibility.

                   Above: Everybody concentrated at work in their own zone!

                             Above: Laughing about the size of his Bud! :0

We all had a lovely Bonsai day at Donna’s studio and I was shattered when we finally arrived back at Irene’s place!

Above picture: I took this picture, right after I collapsed, tired and warm, on the steps leading into  Irene’s house. The only place around with some shadow! I was so glad to take a load off and get a breather and some cold water into me!  But  immediately after the first  small refreshing drink I took I looked down,  alarmed as I was,  by  that  small warning bell in my head, that got stuck forever  in the back of  our minds,  since ones long ago some  guy with thick eyebrows, saw his confused grandfather trying to path an innocent looking “Sabretooth on the head”!  Suddenly, there in front of me,  out of nowhere, sat  “BRUN” (short for “BRUNO”),  the oversized alpha male of the “Irene’s cats clan”  who is well known to tackle deer and wrestling moose! Which, he then often leaves on Irene’s and Terry’s front porch as a token of his affection for them!  “BRUN”  is contemplating here, without blinking, if he would eat me, or just play with me a bit…before eating me anyway!  

But to be honest, after I told “BRUN”  in a soft voice while avoiding any sudden movements, that  I was good people, and too tired to move anyway! He gave me some gentle pussycat head buds on my knees, that rattled the teeth in my mouth!  So I  thought it would be safe to give him a nice scratch behind his battered ears. Not too long though! I found out that disturbing pictures of Sigfried and Roy, do seem to pop up into once mind, during these pressure moments! Than “BRUN” curled up beside me on the footboard and started to wash. I thanked him for the use of his afternoon shadow spot and took another drink. “BRUN” was right,  this was a cool spot to hang out! And there was more than enough room for the both of use! Thank God!!!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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Donna L. Dobberfuhl, MFA, NSS

Sculptural Designs Atelier

1514 Broadway

San Antonio TX 78215

(210) 224-0220

(210) 326-0862

www.sculpturaldesigns.com

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ONE OF THOSE DAY’S!!!

Today I started to style a  Yamadori Larch in the warm February sun.

PPPPFFFFFF! There must be a better way to spend your day?! LOL!!!

Updates on this styling will follow here soon!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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Marry X-MAS and a very happy New Year!

Dear Bonsai friends,

thank you all for visiting my Blog so often. I am honoured by your interest in my work and it inspires me to go on in the direction I have chosen for my Bonsai. I have high hopes for 2008,   I am already asked to do workshops and demo’s in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, England and a long visit to the USA in May is in the making!  To do so much travelling to show what I like to do so much is like a dream come true!  To see so many new countries and places to meet many new Bonsai friends….I can hardly wait for the New Year to begin! And, only in just a few weeks, it is off to Belgium for the annual Noellanders Trophy. I will be showing 3 Bonsai in the show and more important will have 2 days of fun with all my Bonsai mates that come every year to this very friendly event,  from every corner of  Europe!

 And some of my Yamadori are up for there second and third styling, so that is exciting to for me. I will take lots of pictures and post them first here on my blog as soon as possible! You are welcome anytime here to visit my blog or my YOUTUBE channel, where you can find lots of videos of my work and progressive stories of my Bonsai.  https://youtu.be/hjp1tfEPJB0

Thanks for visiting, it is highly appreciated!

Hans van Meer.

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Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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THE “BURRS” Bonsai Residency Workshops 2007.

 

 

Hi, everybody,

my workshop weekend at “BURRS” (UK)  10 & 11 November 2007

For the second year running, I was invited by my dear friend Tony Tickle to do a weekend-long workshop in his (the now already legendary)   “BURRS” Bonsai Residency Workshops in the UK. Together with Enrico Savini and his student Ivo from (Italy) and my good friend Terry Foster we worked with almost 30 bonsai friends from all parts of Europe, with wonderful material.  The bunkhouse where this bonsai weekend takes place is situated in a park with nothing else but a pub across the road….how lucky can you get?  And on Saturday night there was wonderful food and later, all kind of whisky was there to sample, while Enrico and Ivo gave a demo on a magnificent Pine and I worked on a “one branch” Yew from my mate Terry.  Again it was a great success to all, I had a wonderful time with my old friends and made some new once this time! And November 2008, Enrico, Ivo, Terry and me will be back for more and so is everybody else that was there, because it was fully booked, the minute this last one ended! I hope you enjoy the images of this, yet another, great “BURRS” Bonsai weekend!

 I arrived early Thursday night “Very relieved” at John Lennon airport Liverpool. I took off from Amsterdam in the middle of a heavy storm! Just after the bumpy take off, the plain just fall down for a (long) couple of seconds! Everybody screamed and the sleeping guy next to me crept hold of my leg. Then there was an enormous bang when the plain got hold of some air again! It scared the living shit out of me and I had to re-swallow most of my meal for the second time. So In a panic, I tried to take an anti-air sickness pill, but I had nothing to drink with me on board (thanks to you know who?), so I tried to swallow the thing without any water! Trying to swallow a pill the size of a small golf ball, with a dry mouth from fear, is simply impossible! And so the damn thing started to melt on my tong, so I had to spit it out! After that, it took several hours before I finally could speak again without a lisp! But until this day, I still not got my normal taste back in my mouth! After a bouncy landing, my humour got quickly better, when I met up with Tony, who brought me to his car were Enrico and Ivo were already waiting. Along the way to the house of Terry, where I would stay during the weekend, we had an animated talk about… well stuff!! 😉 They dropped me off at Terry and Charlot’s place, just in time for a lovely home cooked big and juicy pepper steak, fresh from the Hill’s (I’m drooling on my keyboard again)! Then some beer and a film on his wall-size television and then (around 2) off to bed, for a short night. Early in the next morning while, Terry was making a large breakfast, I had a chance to wander through his amazing collection of bonsai.   I admire Terry’s delegate style and I would like to share some of his lovely Bonsai that I saw that cold morning. Enjoy!

                                                   Bellow: Terry’s garden.

Bellow: One-off my favourites: A lovely small “Hawthorn” on a piece of rock that seems to be made for this tree. Terry him self-found this rock as well.

Bellow: A great “Yew” on another wonderful rock and another of Terry’s famous “Hawthorns”.

Below: Later that morning we were joined by Tony, Enrico and Ivo. Under the pleasure of warm coffee and croissants, Enrico and Ivo had a long look at Terry’s trees, Especially this old and very twisted “Yew” had there intention!

Below: Then Tony drove Enrico, Ivo and me, up North, to a magical place. I have been there before, but Enrico and Ivo saw this wondrous place for the first time. You can find there very ancient trees, like this beautiful “Yew” tree. You only have to stick it into a pot and voila! But any collecting here is out of the question!

Below: Than we had some typical English lunch in a lovely old tavern in a very small village!

Below: After this lunch, we drove further up North to look for “Yamadori”. Tony drove his 4 wheel drive right up to the top of a small mountain. Is was wonderful up there.

                       Below: Look what I found buried under a massive rock!

It took some work to free this amazing Yew from under that large rock that you can still see on the left off the tree. And because this old “Yew” grew on a large piece of flat rock its roots spread is awesome!

Below: Happy me, with a beautiful “Shohin” sized Yamadori “Yew”.

                               Below: Ivo guarding our newly found treasures!

Below:  Picture with a Press release. As posted on the IBC NEWS forum:

burrs-2007-043-d-hans-van-meer.jpg

BBC News London.

Northern England:

Today, late in the afternoon, high on the south side of mount “Glenn Morecock”, after a tip received from a Dutch backpacker, 3 odd looking persons were caught in the middle of some sort of strange and suspicious ritual.

Pati O’furniture, the mountain ranger who apprehended the suspicious man said: It must have been around Sunset when I finally stumbled on this 3 weird behaving man!  I caught them on camera,  just in the middle of some sort of bizarre offering! The man on the left, stood there with a silly grin on his face, holding, what seemed to be a bare rooted Yew. While the man in the middle kept repeating with an obvious foreign accent the same lines over and over again: I am only the translator, where is the pub?! A little further up the hill the third man, kept mumbling: Damn those cheap contact lenses!

All three persons were taken down the mountain, during which several telephone calls were made by the man in the middle to his wife. After further investigations, everything seemed to be a misunderstanding based on a falls tip! The three-man were immediately released, with apologies. The Dutch backpacker was last seen driving on the road to Liverpool, with a trunk full of small trees and a big grin on his face!!!! Grin Grin

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Below: Sorry for the poor quality of the next 3 pictures, bud it was very stormy and I was very cold! LOL. The 3 “Yews” were left soaking in water overnight, so their roots could fill up with water. Then early next morning, Terry and I planted them in suitable plastic containers (look at the amazing roots), in a mixture of Akadama and Biosorb (cat litre). Terry is an expert in these little gems, so I let him do most of the work. LOL. The trees were firmly attached in there containers so that there would be no change of root damage when moved.

Then it was high time to leave for “Burrs” were people were already hard at work!

The next pictures are made by several participants, but I know they don’t mind me sharing them here with you all!

Below: This is how bonsai heaven looks like from the inside! A Saturday and Sunday of pure FUN!

Below: Mick, working on a “Yamadori” common Juniper, came together with Morea, over a very stormy sea all the way from Holland.

                                          Below: Less concentrated at work.

Below: Me bending Daves “Juniper” and Ian is waiting for it to snap! The branch was hollowed out and filled with lengths of aluminium wire, than raffia and tape to protect it from breaking.

Below: Ivo and Enrico discussing John’s “Itoigawa Juniper” and me on the right ears dropping.

              Below: Discussing trees helps! Here is the finished tree of John.

Below: The design for Bob’s  Pine.

Below: Happy Bob with his finished tree!

Below: Dave and Terry working hard on Dave’s “Yew”.

Below: The lovely end result!

Below: Chris worked very hard for two days preparing his big “Scots Pine” for styling.

                            Below: Terry and me helping Chris with his tree.

                         Below: A too low-end picture of the finished result.

                             Picture 30: Enrico and Ivo splitting a “Juniper”.

                Below: Some people kept on working, way past there bedtime!

 On Saturday evening, after a hard days work, followed by a  great meal, it was time for the boys and girl to sit back and relax while enjoying a wide ranch of alcoholic drinks, snacks and watching an informal evening demonstration by Tony, Enrico & Ivo and me.

                             The “Burrs” Saturday evening demonstrations.

Tony planted a beautiful small “Yew” on a very heavy stone he earlier prepared. I still don’t understand how he managed to get that big hole in that hard rock.

                 

Enrico and Ivo demonstrated on Tony’s Big Yamadori “Scots Pine”. It was an enormous transformation, made possible by  Enrico’s great technical knowledge and beautiful style. Some extreme heavy bending was don by these two, and it was great fun for me to throw a heavy metal oven tray on the floor behind them, while they were very concentrated bending the thickest branch! Boy, can those Italians jump high! LOL :). The outcome of their hard work was absolutely amazing!

My demonstration was on an elegant, “one branch” Yamadori “Yew” from Terry. The deadwood whirls around the whole length of the slim trunk, so I decided to go along with this character of this tree.  I  made the one life branch dance around the back of the tree, towards the front again, in harmony with the gentle movement of the tree. The opening that you see between the branch (in raffia) and the trunk, looks much less obvious in real life. Breaking the rules about not crossing branches? But that was on purpose and necessary because of … hé if it works…who cares?!

Below: Sitting down to draw my design for the tree and to take off the weight of my back, that was absolutely killing me!

Below: And this is what was waiting for use on the Sunday morning before the last day started.

And after the last day of intense and hard but fun work, it all came to an end way too soon! I enjoyed my self immensely and found it a great privilege to work with such enthusiastic Bonsai fanatics, who trusted us enough, to work with them on there loved and valuable trees, without any hesitation’s! Well, Enrico, Ivo, Terry and me are invited to do it all over again in November 2008, and I have heart it is already fully booked again! I can’t wait!

I hoped you enjoyed this “Burrs” story?

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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