One of the very best Bonsai Exhibitions on the European circuit is now over again for another year - but what a weekend it was!
Here is a brief overview of parts of the show from the EBPC perspective.
Although an 18 hours round trip (driving) from London, the EBPC always supports this great event, which brings together friends, enthusiasts, and some of the best bonsai trees from across Europe. Set in beautiful French countryside, the exhibition is in one large open room, with huge vaulted ceiling beams like the hull of a ship, and high windows that allow light to flood in; perfect for viewing some of Europe's finest specimen bonsai and catching up with friends and other enthusiasts that visit from every corner of the globe!
EBPC Trade Stand
The EBPC trade stand, as in previous years, is quite imposing at 30ft in length and is beautifully positioned, directly opposite to exhibition trees, yet with maximum space for enthusiasts to browse in comfort. Pots by over 20 EBPC member potters were available on the stand, the main focus this year was on new pots by: Bryan Albright, Ian Baillie, Me & Raimondi, Guerao and Walsall Studio Ceramics.
The EBPC had on offer a variety of fantastic new pots from many of europe's leading potters, and enjoyed a very fun and successful weekend trading. We would like to thank not only our customers, both returning and new, but also the fantastic EBPC potter members for creating such wonderful pots especially for the EBPC and its customers; many great pieces were snapped up, and we look forward to seeing more photographs soon in 'Trees in EBPC pots'! (Please don't forget to send them in! )
EBPC Focus: EBSS Exhibition trees in European made bonsai pots
In recent years at high level shows such as this, there has been a noticeable increase in the quality of not just the trees, but also the bonsai pots chosen. Many more bonsai artists and hobbyists are learning to appreciate the intricate attributes of high quality bonsai pots and the benefit of their appropriate use.
This year, a large number of the trees in the exhibition were in high quality European bonsai pots, in addition to Japanese or antique Chinese containers, which made selecting the 'EBPC Best Match European Pot and Tree' winner a difficult task. After much deliberation however, three of the EBPC member potters and myself all agreed on the eventual outcome.
A selection of the trees in European pots we admired or found interesting:
Which were your favourite Pot / Tree combinations?
EBPC Award for the 'EBSS Best Match Bonsai Pot and Tree 2019'
This award focuses on the best combination of pot with tree, rather than the best tree or pot in themselves. Myself and 3 EBPC member potters were looking for a balanced harmonious coupling of tree and pot, whereby the pot enhances the overall image and characteristics of the tree, without being an overriding focal point in itself.
As can be seen above, many of the trees were beautifully paired with their European pots, so this was a difficult call to make, however, each of the judges were in agreement on the winner - this beautiful Ulmus Carpinifolie in a shallow rectangular Bryan Albright bonsai pot by Martin Nielson of Denmark.
An explanation of our thoughts ...
- The width of the pot is perfect; it does not 'clash' with the foliage by being the same width, and as the tree is taller than it is wide, the pot width is less than the width of the foliage spread, and by just the right amount.
- The shallow profile of this pot gives this composition a landscape impression of a tree in an open field.
- The shallow pot depth also enhances the trunk of the tree.
- The straight lines of the rectangle balance the composition and harmonise with the feminine characteristics of the tree.
- This shape does not clash with the round foliage mass as a round pot might.
- The soft glaze in blue with hints of light browns compliments beautifully the colours of the autumnal turning leaves.
- The 'shibui' form of the pot, together with this soft yet vibrant glaze, do not overpower the tree - but act to emphasise the trunk and the beautiful colour within the well ramified foliage mass.
The Trophy for this category was made by the fantastic potter; EBPC member, Sabine Besnard and depicts a 'pot & Prunus mume branch in flower,' sculpted from clay and mounted on a beautiful piece of hardwood, with laser inscribed lettering and the stamp marks of Sabine Besnard and the EBPC.
We offer a huge thank you to Sabine for making this wonderful award, and congratulations to Martin, who not only won this award for this tree, but also that of 'Best Bonsaist', which takes into account the techniques and dedication required along the incredible 20 years journey in creating this bonsai from collected material.
This has covered of course just a fraction of what was on offer at this great exhibition. As a trader it is hard to see or record all of the show, and I was unable to look in on for example the demonstrations by world-leading bonsai artists; Bjorn Bjorholm, Raffael Torres and Jan Culek, although im sure you will find many other blogs about those.
There were also around 10 EBPC potter members trading themselves, and it was wonderful to catch up with them and our customers and friends from around Europe. A final thank you must go out to the incredible organisers of this event, Fred and Stephanie Chenal, whose tireless work throughout the year make it possible for so many to gain enjoyment from such a well organised and friendly event. ... See you next year!