WORKSHOP AT MY FIRST BONSAI CLUB “KOYA”. WORKSHOP BIJ MIJN EERSTE BONSAI CLUB “KOYA”.

Hi everybody,

here are some pictures and the text from the workshop that I gave on the 28 of April at my first Bonsai club “KOYA”.  Text by: G. Schwagermann.

 It took some surging to find the temporary location of the “Lijm en Cultuur” (glue and culture) building in Delft. But how nice it was that this old building is not yet demolished so that we all could enjoy Hans van Meer’s workshop in this “ART DECO” ambience. The workshop was fully booked with 10 Koya members, jong and old, beginners and advanced but above all, a group focused to learn. Dan Snipes did a short introduction that was followed by Hans presenting himself,  he started once upon a time at Koya and now he is an international asked Bonsai teacher. Who as he sad himself now was “back on base”. All trees that were brought in were discussed at length, with in between a lively discussion about the phenomena that brought us all together: Bonsai! After that, it was time to start working on the trees. Hans did his rounds and helped with advice and hands-on action, also there started a spontaneous interaction between different members, typical Koya! It was an instructive and entertaining afternoon that brought us a bit closer to the charm of Bonsai. Koya thanks you, Hans for participating in this workshop. 

G. Schwagermann

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Workshop Hans van Meer
Delft, 28 april 2018

Het was even zoeken naar de locatie van Lijm en Cultuur aan de Rotterdamseweg 272 in Delft.
Maar wat fijn dat ze dit oude gebouw (nog) niet gesloopt hebben zodat wij nu in een sfeer van “Art-deco” de workshop van Hans van Meer mochten ervaren. De workshop was volgeboekt met 10 Koyanen, jong en oud, beginners en gevorderden maar bovenal een enthousiaste groep gefocust om te leren.
Dan Snipes gaf een korte inleiding waarna Hans zich presenteerde, ooit begonnen bij Koya en nu een internationaal gevraagde bonsaimeester.
Nu, zoals hij zelf zei “terug op honk”!
Alle bomen werden met aandacht van de hele groep uitvoerig besproken met daar tussendoor een levendige discussie over het fenomeen wat ons samen brengt: Bonsai.
Daarna was de tijd gekomen om aan de bomen te gaan werken. Hans deed de ronde en gaf raad en daad, ook ontstond er een spontane samenwerking van de leden, Koya eigen?
Het was een leerzame en onderhoudende dag en zijn we weer een stukje dichterbij de bekoring van Bonsai.
Hans bedankt, Koya bedankt voor het ter beschikking stellen van deelname hieraan.

G. Schwagermann

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Below: every single Bonsai is discussed with the owner and the rest of the group. Their plans, ideas, options, health, techniques, timing etc..  

Below: many different varieties and styles are on offer and that is always a nice challenge, very interesting and informative for the students and me!

Below: some trees offer a real challenge.

Below: after the talk and discussions of all trees it is time to work.

Below: explaining and helping with an approach root craft to improve the Nebari (root base).

It was a fun day working together with the members of the Bonsai club were I once started my now 28 years old Bonsai adventure and I hope that we will do more of these in the future! Thanks, Koya for this article and the pictures it is highly appreciated!

Next up my trip to Slovenia for a demo and a workshop and a lot of hiking and site seeing with my good friend Roland! So watch this space!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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DOING WORKSHOPS IS SOOOO MUCH FUN!!!

Hi everybody,

I had the good fortune to give some workshops these last months and there are more planned for the coming months here in Holland and abroad! And although I love to give a demo like the one planned in Slovenia in a few weeks time, workshops are still a bit more favourable to me! The interaction with the students and the shared pleasure of creating and working on those llittle trees is so fulfilling to me! Here are some pictures that Marijke made a week ago during my workshop in Poortugaal (NL).

It is also good to see that the material that is brought in these days to work on is much better and that means that my students and their trees are evolving and that is a good thing to see and makes me proud and happy!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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PICTURES AND A VIDEO OF MY WORKSHOP AT THE “TORA” INTERNATIONAL BONSAI SCHOOL IN BEAUTIFUL SLOVENIA.

Hi everybody,

just one day back from my visit to and my Friday workshop in beautiful Slovenia! My dear friend and kind host TOMAŽ KOVŠCA from the “TORA” International Bonsai School in Slovenia took me on an amazing two days sightseeing tour around Slovenia that left me even more in love with this breathtaking country and its super friendly people! Like I told him many times during that trip: I could happily live here and grow old with a smile on my face! Images and the story from that part of my visit to this wonderful place will follow soon! On Friday afternoon and evening there was a workshop planned in his great Bonsai studio that I would lead with the help of  Tomaz himself and his talented student Gasper Gabrijel. Relaxing after our sightseeing trip before it all would start we were waiting in the sun enjoying a Turkish coffee and home-brewed vodka with Juniper berries in it that you could chew…it was absolutely heavenly and boy did it hit the spot! And the view of  Tomaz beautiful Bonsai collection that surrounded us was not half bad either! Here are some images of his amazing collection that were shot (with a not so good old camera) by me before the students arrived.

Below: A view of just a section of  Tomaz his beautiful collection.

Below: A wonderful self-collected and styled Spruce.

Below: One of his many amazing Sylvestris.

Below: A very stylish Juniper.

Below: A local Prunus mahaleb Yamadori.

Below: And another stunning Sylvestris Yamadori.

Below: And this is the one that I fell in love with a very promising Mugo Yamadori!!!


Below: In his studio, this beautiful self-build Tokonoma with a uniquely styled garden material Juniper Bonsai was welcoming me and the students.

Below: Before the actual work on the brought in trees started I discussed them all with the owners in front of all the students. So that everybody could learn from each and every tree! This is a very valuable part of the workshop for the student and very excited for me to do! This Juniperus sabina Yamadori was after I discussed the possibilities styled by two Croatian students with the help of Tomaz himself and the end result is pretty impressive and promising indeed!

Below: Tomaz and his student Gasper Gabrijel working on the final touches.

Below: The beautiful end result of this first styling.

Below: A Yamadori Hawthorn before the work started.

Below: Almost finish after some drinks and lovely finger food!

Below: And the end result a Literati deciduous Bonsai.

Below: A local Yamadori Spruce with a unique but difficult root base.

Below: And the end result, a young but already elegant and natural looking pre-Bonsai.

Below: Some were so into the work that they resisted the late night cold before coming in!

Below: Later that evening inside with that same tree, the owner is concentrated looking on while I make some adjustments and bring some of the branches in position.

Below: My old friend Roland Petek brought in two mindblowing Mugo Yamadori Pines with him! This one has amazing deadwood all along this side, but still, we selected to style it with the other side as its front. This side would always look like a Tanuki and that is not what you want for your Bonsai…especially a Mother like this one!!!

Below: Roland concentrated applying a layer of raffia and then a layer of black plastic tape to protect the thick and old branches from cracking. And this is much-needed because we have to bend and reposition them severely!

Below: And this is the very promising end result after its first styling. From this side, there is still more than enough deadwood to be seen, but now it is accompanied all along the trunk by the beautifully contrasting old flaky bark! The left side hanging branch pushes the sloping tree back upwards and gives the whole composition an exciting balancing act. The foliage is basically a triangle that cuts through the upwards going lines of the trunk, leading the eyes to the left and back again on there way to the top of the tree and then down again! So this Bonsai has it all: balance, rhythm, movement, visual old age, a wide Nebari, Jin, Shari, life veins, and a very proud owner! Weldone Roland and thanks for trusting me!

Below: From another student came yet another beautiful Yamadori pine! And again with some problems to solve and big decisions to make! But I had no problems convincing the owner and the rest of the students how to proceed to solve them and to bring the best out of this, once again, beautiful and exciting Yamadori. The long downward Jin needed to go because it distracted the beauty of the abrupt movement of the trunk line in the top section! This was mostly caused because it protrudes from the inside of the curve in the trunk its top section and like with branches that grow from the inside of a curve in a trunk they almost always look misplaced and disturbing! Also two Jins on the lower section of the trunk needed to be reduced because they were distracting and other Jins and the Shari needed to be styled! Then the top main branch was protected by a layer of raffia and wired before everything could be put into place and that sounds easier than it actually was because the top section needed a lot of heavy bending!

Below: And here is the (for now) finished pre-Bonsai. I am discussing here at the end of the workshop what the happy student with some help from me has reached…and that is simply amazing! Because I really do think that this is a very exciting and promising result! And I do believe that in just 3 or 4 years time this will be an amazing Bonsai!

The above-shown trees are just a small selection of the 10 or 11 that were worked on and styled that day and more images can be seen in a very nice video that Tomaz made of it all and has posted on YouTube (link below)!

 I would like to thank Tomaz and his lovely wife for taking so good care of me and for trusting me to do this workshop in his Bonsai School! And I would like to especially thank all his students for trusting me with their precious trees!

I can hardly wait to go back in May to Slovenia to do my workshop and demo at the  

 

I will be posting soon pictures that I made during my trip with Tomaz through stunning Slovenia…so I hope to see you back here soon!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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MY WORKSHOP ON FRIDAY THE 6TH OF APRIL AT THE INTERNATIONAL BONSAI SCHOOL “TORA” IN SLOVENIA.

 

 

Hi everybody,

I am proud to announce that I will be giving a workshop on Friday the 6th of April in my dear Slovenian friend TOMAŽ KOVŠCA his International Bonsai School “TORA”.

TORA International Bonsai School

Besides being really honoured I am also very happy to be reacquainted and working again with a lot of my Slovenian Bonsai friends! I have already heard that it is fully booked…but maybe there is still place for my workshop a month later on 19 and 20 May 2018 at the VIII yearly international Bonsai exhibition of the Slovenian Bonsai Club?! Hope to see you there?!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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LINK TO THE AMAZING VIDEO BY RYAN NEAL “HOW TO MAKE A BONSAI” .

Hi, everybody,

I would like to share with you all this LINK to Ryan Neal super video “HOW TO MAKE A BONSAI”!!!  It is by far the best tutorial Bonsai video that I have come across on the internet and a must-see for all beginners and intermediate Bonsai enthusiast alike! Ryan takes us along to a nursery to find with us a potted Chrismas tree that he can use to create an amazing Bonsai! He then shows us what to look for in nursery material, how to find the front, the inclination of the trunk, what branches to choose, how and why to prune, how to wire and how to bring all branches into place etc. etc. !!! He is by far the best online Bonsai teacher I know of and he truly inspired me to go that extra mile with my own student group! Bravo and thank you, Ryan, and everybody else from “MIRAI” for all your good work for the worldwide Bonsai community! And a happy New Year from me to you all!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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The Video Of “THE FIRST STYLING OF DIEDERICK HIS PINUS SYLVESTRIS YAMADORI” Is Posted On YOUTUBE!

Hi, everybody,

I have just posted the video of

“THE FIRST STYLING OF DIEDERICK HIS PINUS SYLVESTRIS YAMADORI” on YouTube! This is the story of the two fun sessions that we did to style this tall and unique Yamadori that I collected some 5 years ago. My friend and student Diederick and his wife fall in love with this tree when they visited my garden for the first time and they were happy to buy it from me and we then made an appointment to style it together at his place and film it all! This Yamadori is a tall formal upright uniquely shaped Pine with a long first branch that somewhere in its distant past was almost completely broken off by either snow or a falling rock! Somehow this almost fatally cracked branch stayed alive and health over with a beautiful Shari and was now all those years later the reason why I fell in love with it that day on that mountain…I just had to save this old guardian from falling into the closing dept just in front of him! It might be a bit controversial as a Bonsai, but we both really loved the story this tree had to tell because of this branch and would not thick off removing it! Thanks to Diederick and his lovely wife for their trust and for taking good care of me and the “Guardian”. I hope you all enjoy this little story of this pre-Bonsai?!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

 


 

MY BONSAI DISCUSSION AT THE “KOYA” BONSAI CLUB (NL). MIJN BONSAI BESPREKING BIJ DE “KOYA” BONSAI VERENIGING.

Hi, everybody,

yesterday I did a Bonsai discussion at my first Bonsai club “KOYA” that is located in Rijswijk the Netherlands. I became a member there way back in 1991 and stayed there for 6 or 7 years. During those years there I organized with Farrand Blog en Rene Rooswinkel (now from BonsaiFocus) en many volunteers from KOYA one of the first big Bonsai exhibitions in Holland! And I was head of the activity committee for a while. And last but not least, I gave there my first and second demonstration ever! That first demo tree was a garden centre “Chamaecyparis nana” that a few years later won the “Dutch Bonsai days” and was later shown at the very first “Ginkgo Awards” and the “Crespy Cup”! I have fun memories of this club so it was great to go back there after all these years to help and teach the new and old club members with there questions and to give advice about maintenance and styling. I was welcomed at the door by a beautiful (portable) Tokonoma with a very mature delicate Holm (Quercus Ilex) that you don’t see that often as Bonsai in our part of the world. It was accompanieth by a nice scroll with a winter image and a suiseki. I had a great afternoon and the day was over before we knew it! The reactions were very positive and we agreed that I would come back early next year to give a workshop! After all the hearty goodbyes I drove back home…tired but very happy! Thanks to all the members of “KOYA” for their warm welcome and trust! I hope to see you all soon again?!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer. 

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Hallo allemaal,

gisteren heb ik een Boom bespreking gehouden bij mijn eerste Bonsai vereniging “KOYA” in Rijswijk. Ik ben daar lid geworden in de begin jaren negentig en ben er zo’n 6 a 7 jaar gebleven. Gedurende die tijd heb ik met Farrand Bloch en Rene Rooswinkel (van BonsaiFocus) en veel vrijwilligers van KOYA een van de eerste grote Nederelandse Bonsai shows georganiseerd. Tevens was ik een tijd hoofd van de activiteiten commisie en ik gaf er mijn eerste en tweede domonstratie ooit! Die eerste demo boom een tuin centrum “Chamaecyparis nana” won een paar jaar later de land dagen en heeft nog op de “Ginkgo Awards” en de “Crespy Cup” gestaan. Onnodig om te zegen dat ik leuke herrineringen heb aan mijn tijd by KOYA, dus het was fijn om eindelijk weer eens terug te kunnen gaan om de leden te helpen met al hun vragen over de verzorging en het stijlen van hun Bonsai. Ik werd bij de ingang verwelkomt door een hele mooie portable “Tokonoma” met een hele mooie en volwassen Steeneik (Quercus Ilex) en een prachtige scroll met een winter motief en een goed bij passende Suiseki. Ik had een fantastische dag en hij was voorbij voor dat we er erg in hadden! De reacties waren erg positief en we zijn overeen gekomen dat ik begin volgend jaar terug kom om een workshop te geven. Na een erg hartelijk afscheid ging ik moe maar voldaan weer op huis aan. Bedankt “KOYA” voor jullie vertrouwen en warm welkom en hopenlijk tot volgend jaar maar weer?! 

Bonsai club “KOYA” Tokonoma.

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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