The 'Trophy' bonsai exhibition this year, was a special 3 day event, to celebrate the '20 years of the Trophies continued success.
It was an extremely impressive event and an honour to be a part of.
In addition to the EBPC trade stand, my selfless and extremely generous friends (to whom I am indebted) and I organised a 100 foot display of Bonsai Ceramics, with 101 fascinating examples from across China, Japan and Europe - some estimated at over 300 years old!
It was also an incredible experience to deliver a 'Bonsai Empire 'mini-lecture' with leading potter Tom Benda, on the topic of 'Pot Selection'. Thank you to Bonsai Empire for the opportunity and all those that came along and interacted with the talk.
Bonsai Empire's overview of the Exhibition, including a glimpse of the EBPC Pot Display.
- Get your pots here! .. The EBPC Trade Stand.
The EBPC had a fantastic weekend trading - at an incredible site within the trading hall. Many superb containers were taken home by our fantastic friends and customers - and we thank you all for your continued support. It is your support that enables the EBPC to keep expanding, support the potters, and offering you more free information and some of the best bonsai ceramics from around Europe.
EBPC organised display of 101 high quality bonsai pots.
With the help and contribution of some of Europe's leading pot collectors, the EBPC also organised a display of 101 fine bonsai pots from China, Japan and Europe, ranging over a 300 year period.
Rather than purely an aesthetically beautifully display, the arrangement contained a large number of rare and high class pieces, and was aimed more towards inspiring appreciation and interest. From a personal note, it was for me a sheer pleasure to have the opportunity to take my share of these pots out of their boxed homes and be able to share with friends and enthusiasts from across the world.
I would like extend a warm thank you to all of the collectors that contributed incredible pieces, and helped with the arrangement, especially to; Guido Pozzoli, Harald Lehner, Dario Mader, Enzo Ferrari, and to all of the potters that made pieces especially for this show, or entered some of their finest (often award winning) pots, including amongst others; Martin Englert, Andrew Pearson, Igor Carino, Maria Jose Gonzales, Marc Berenbrinker, Thor Holvila, Tom Benda, Sami Amdouni, and Giang Nguyen (Lotus).
As with many other shows recently, bonsai ceramics comprised a more substantial part of the show; with this pot display, a larger proportion of ceramics traders, and even a visit and demonstrations by leading Tokoname's bonsai potters; Shuho, Reiho, and Koho. It was an honour to meet and speak with them, and fascinating to seem them in action!
It is evident that in the West, greater weight is being given to the importance bonsai ceramics within the bonsai scene, as is the case in Japan. This is an inevitable process, as the level and quality of bonsai exhibited continues to escalate in Europe, as does the appreciation of its ceramics.
It was an enormous honour for me to discuss the pots with Masayuki Fujikawa san of the famous Fujikawa Kouka-en garden, Japan. Fujikawa san also chose his 'winning pot' and kindly presented this award to me for the 'winning' pot at the Trophy Gala dinner.
Bonsai Empire 'mini-lecture'
Tom Benda and I also gave a brief talk on 'Pot Selection' at the event.
We discussed how much a pot and their features influence the overall image of a 'bonsai', how to identify the image you are striving for, and how to select the appropriate pot to harmonise with your tree and create that desired image. It was fascinating for me to hear it from a leading potter's perspective and Tom's insight was fascinating.
Further to this, I will be soon adding a free EBPC article on this topic.
We would again like to thank our customers, incredible support team, and everyone involved in the exhibition, especially the Bonsai Association Belgium team, led by Luc and Christian. The event was superbly well organised and was thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational!
... and this article has not even touched on the trees, traders, esteemed international visitors, or fantastic demonstrations including Ryan Neil of the U.S.A. and the Korean dream team! ... back to Bonsai Empire?!
Trophy for best 'European Bonsai Pot / Tree combo'
We are thrilled and honoured to be supporting the Bonsai San 2018 exhibition in France this October. In addition to trading some of Europe's best pots, we are also contributing to the Tombola raffle, and presenting the trophy for 'Best European Pot / Tree Combo'.
The trophy is now finished and these great pictures from designer Nino in Croatia show the trophy off in all its glory. Nino does a lot of design work for Harry at Bonsai4Me.com and for the EBPC and as always, has risen to the challenge and smashed all expectations!
EBSS (Bonsai San) has grown to become a leading European bonsai show, and one not to be missed. The friendly, open atmosphere, combined with a high level of trees and traders makes this a truly wonderful show! We wish the best of luck to, and thank everyone entering trees into the exhibition, and allowing the public the opportunity to see such great trees.
A huge thank you to Nino and Harry, and also to Fred & Stephanie for organising and hosting European Bonsai San Show! You do a phenomenal job!
We look forward to seeing you all there!
Me & Raimondi of Slovenia - First rate bonsai ceramists!
The EBPC is proud to announce new members to the Collective; Me and Raimondi. You can find out all about them in their EBPC POTTER PROFILE, which also shows examples of some of their fantastic work.
A video showing Me & Raimondi branch pots under construction...
Auction Raku pot for Macmillan Cancer Support
This weekend another successful bonsai weekend workshop was hosted by a friend & club member, Les & family - where over £1000 has been raised so far for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The EBPC is proud to donate the proceeds of this auction to the current total raised, so if you would like to bid, the auction can be found here.
The auction ends Thursday 6th September, 2018.
The pot is a Raku fired piece, made by one of Europe's leading bonsai potters, Andrew Pearson of Stone Monkey Ceramics. It has a wonderful crackle glaze in teal, and bears the EBPC stamp in addition to the Stone Monkey Ceramics stamp, and makes a wonderful addition to any pot collection. Please note Raku fired pots are not frost proof, yet with a little care are very useable bonsai pots. A care sheet will also be provided to the winner.
The bonsai workshop was busy again, and some great trees were worked on over the two days. A variety of games and raffles were also arranged, with many local businesses around Ashford kindly donating raffle prizes. In addition to raising money for a great cause, a fun weekend was had by all.
We are very proud & excited to welcome a wonderful new member to the EBPC - Guerao.
An superb European bonsai potter, passionate about classical Japanese design and form, and experienced & knowledgeable with trees too.
Read the EBPC 'Potter Profile' for this wonderful artist here.
.. A selection of his works are available to buy in the EBPC online store here.
Spain is a leading European country where bonsai is concerned - with some of Europe's finest nurseries, museums, artists and collectors of trees and bonsai ceramic. Spain also boasts some fantastic bonsai potters, such as Maria José González Rodríguez, Carles Vives & Jose Antonio Guerao Navarro!
The European Bonsai Potter Collective has therefore become a member of the ABE and are proud to support this great organisation, and to help spread the great Spanish bonsai pottery to bonsai enthusiasts around the world.
This event will be held on 3rd & 4th November 2018, for more information, please visit the ABE website at: http://www.abebonsai.es/
#MareaABE #CongresoABE #EBPC #EuropeanBonsaiPotterCollective
Please join me in welcoming fantastic French potters: 'TERRE EN VADROUILLE' to the EBPC!
They traded last weekend at Arco in Italy, and this weekend will be at Expo de bonsai region sud - Donzac!
Read all about them in their EBPC potter profile and examples of their work here.
The EBPC will be releasing some of their pots for sale TOMORROW (Thursday 10th May) - around 4pm GMT!! And there are some superb mame and shohin stunners in there, including some beautiful painted pieces.
A great new high level show just outside London!
Sunday 8th April saw the much anticipated first Expo Bonsai U.K. exhibition, located just outside West London. This show is set to be the largest show in the South of England, and in time may well grow into one of Europe's great shows.
The European Bonsai Potter Collective is proud to support this great new event, and in addition to trading and displaying a tree, the EBPC are also proud sponsors for the trophy for 'best pot and tree combination'. I would like to express a warm thank you to all of the EBPC / B4Me team for your hard work and great company on the day! I can confidently say we all had a very enjoyable day. From left to right: Maarten, Mark, Tom, Alex, Harry, Sean & John.
The tree I entered, is an Arakawa maple in a pot by Peter Krebs. The table is by Doug Mudd, and the pyracantha accent is in an Ino Shukuho pot.
A few trees I was very impressed by ...
ExpoBonsai - the results!
Huge congratulations to all of the winners who are listed below .. including Simon Temblett who won the EBPC sponsored trophy for best tree and pot combination with this stunning Hawthorne in a nanban style pot by Dan Barton. The rustic design of the nanban with the 'kink' to the rim, compliments the ragged deadwood of the trunk wonderfully!
Here are the final results of the show.
BEST IN SHOW, SUPPORTED BY SARUYAMA BONSAI: JOHN PITT, BLACKTHORN.
BEST LARGE DECIDUOUS DISPLAY SUPPORTED BY GREENWOOD BONSAI STUDIO: MARK & RITTA COOPER, TRIDENT MAPLE.
Runner up: Steve McKee.
BEST LARGE CONIFER DISPLAY SUPPORTED BY KAIZEN BONSAI: MO FAGAN, CHAMAECYPARIS.
Runner up: Dean Morgan.
BEST MAME/SHOHIN DISPLAY SUPPORTED BY WINDYBANK BONSAI: JOHN ARMITAGE.
Runner up: Mark & Ritta Cooper.
BEST ACCENT PLANTING SUPPORTED BY LEE VERHOREVOORT BONSAI: JOHN PITT.
Runner up: Andy Jordan.
BEST TREE/POT COMBINATION SUPPORTED BY THE EUROPEAN BONSAI POTTERS COLLECTIVE: SIMON TEMBLETT.
Runner up: Ian Cuppleditch.
We would like to thank the organisers, Steve, Mark, Brian, Ming and Tony as well as all of those who helped out in the organisation and running of the event. A superb job was done by all in putting on an extremely enjoyable and great quality bonsai exhibition. We will be back for future events!
We are very excited to welcome a wonderful potter from France; Sabine Besnard!
Sabine creates a diverse range of stunning ceramics for bonsai, shitakusa and Ikeabana.
If you are not aware of her work -
Check out Sabine's 'potter profile' here - and her pots in the EBPC webstore !
Introducing Second Generation Holvila. 熊谷
As many have been following through his fascinating blog, EBPC potters Thor Holvila and Carina Jern have just spent a month in Japan working alongside one of Japan’s most famous and well respected bonsai potters; ‘Shuhu’ - Hidemi Kataoka of Tokoname, amongst others. This article is an announcement and celebration of the ‘second generation’ of Thor Holvila’s works. Don’t miss this article (available soon...) on the experiences of Carina Jern on this momentous journey.
The invitation came as quite a surprise, as this has not really been done between the west and Japan since the great friendship between Bernard Leech and Shoji Hamada in the early part of the 20th century. Thor and Carina hastily accepted this great honour and started packing for a journey into the unknown.
Having been a dedicated fan of Holvila’s work for 3 years now, it has been enthralling watching his artwork evolve and getting to know the fascinating man behind the pots. Thor’s passion for nature and art are quite inspiring, as is his humble nature and work ethic. Perhaps it was these qualities as well as his talent in pottery that appealed to the Japanese psyche.
Holvila pots reflect the rugged, yet extremely beautiful surroundings around Sweden’s valleys and mountains. Works are influenced by the sense of immense power and peace felt gazing at a glacier, or the serenity of a waterfall scene.
Thor’s work is now very popular in America and Australia, in addition to here in Europe, and twice this year Holvila pots have been recognised and praised in Japanese bonsai magazines; ‘Bonsai Shunju’ and ‘Bonsai World’. Which in itself, is quite an accolade!
Thor and Kataoka san shared knowledge and techniques, which the enthusiastic Thor soaked up like a sponge. Needless to say, friendships were born and some wonderful pots were made in the process.
The pots shown are quite obviously Holvila pots, but with a definite and complimentary Japanese influence. The first has smooth lines, a beautiful shiro glaze and superb Holvila ‘skull feet’. The second is an evolution of the ‘Gotham’ design (a pot EBPC spotted and released in the EBPC webstore!), in a deep ruri glaze.
In addition to working alongside Kataoka san, Thor also spent time with other legendary potters, such as: the great Koyo (Aiba Koichiro), his son Juko (Kuniaki Aiba), Ikkou (Kazuhiro Watanabi), Bigei (Hirata Atsumi) and Eimie, (Hideaki Shimizu) son of Youzan.
Towards the end of the month’s visit, as a further mark of respect, Thor was honoured by the gift of a new potter’s stamp and name. As he stands between the mountains of east and west, he has been given the name ‘熊谷 （くまたに）, or in English - kuma tani – Bear of the valley.
Dalbjörnen in Swedish :)
This new hanko / mark will be used for all future Valley Bear (Thor Holvila) pots and represents a new era of works, distinct from the ‘pre-Japan’ era. In Japan, ‘generation’ can also mean ‘era’ in this way and some Japanese potters will call themselves second generation as their work evolves markedly in this manner.
Bear retires to the valley ...
The effect of these four weeks in Valley Bear’s work will be exciting to witness. Now back home however, and before even attempting to catch up on sleep, Thor has already been busy creating more inspired pieces! ... The EBPC are very proud to welcome ‘Valley Bear’; second generation Holvila.
Thor Holvila pots are available from the EBPC web store at www.bonsai4me.com/shop
Articles are written by Alex Rudd unless otherwise stated.