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On Saturday, 18th February 2017, I had the great pleasure of being invited to lead an all-day workshop for the Leinster Bonsai Club of Dublin, Ireland. This article contains a selection of images from the day, courtesy of Alex from the European Bonsai Potters Collective, who assisted me throughout.
One of just three in the whole of Ireland, Leinster Bonsai is a very pro-active club that meets once a month, supporting enthusiasts of all levels from around Ireland. The level of material that greeted me at the workshop was outstanding, much of it collected by the members themselves and who include two landscape gardeners amongst their number! I would recommend anyone in the area, looking for help or who are simply like-minded enthusiasts to contact the Leinster Club via Facebook.
One of the downsides on the day was the high quality of the material; with 10 trees to style over the course of a 9 hour workshop, each one deserving over 5 hours of my time, it wasn't possible to 'finish' styling many of them. However between ourselves, we pushed them all forward, towards being very good quality bonsai.
Here is just a small selection of images of these trees:
A fantastic yamadori Larch (Larix) collected locally in Ireland.
The tree had previously been chopped to a low branch to create a new tapered trunkline. However the chop required carving to turn it into a feature rather than just remain an old stump.
Using chalk, I marked where the bark would be removed up the trunk to create a shari leading to the chop.
After removal of the bark. Notice that rather than creating a simplistic diagonal line from chop downwards, the edges of the new shari were shaped to look natural.
Carving, and hollowing out, the top of the stump.
Unfortunately, as can happen with some soft woods such as Larch and Pine, the newly carved wood 'fluffed-up', creating a thick layer of what looked like cotton-wool on the surface. I continued to rough-out the deadwood but it will need to be refined once the wood has aged a little.
By the end of the day the upper trunk had been positioned and we had begun to lay out the primary branches. The tree will need much more refinement but a design had been established with this first syling