Set on stage for the demonstration was four very different trees. One welcome change to the event was the introduction of a big screen with three separate cameras. This made the experience much nicer as it use to be difficult to see from a distance in the past.
Tony Tickle (UK) had this cascading scots pine to work with. From his own collection, the purpose of the demo was to do a light styling and then to plant it on a natural stone.
Ryan Neil (US) was tasked with this sabina juniper from Danny Use´s collection. For most people it only requires a small touch-up, but Ryan saw the potential in the tree. He thought it was too two-dimensional and hid the best movement in the upper part of the tree. His solution was to change the angle and rearrange the canopy.
Minoru Akiyama (JP) got to work on this imported japanese yew. Too much foliage on some part and not enough on others, he resulted in manipulating the branches to bring out the flow and beauty in the tree. Among the things he did, eas to add a small apical region to the main branch. Sounds weird but works well. However, it might be cut off once other areas develop, who knows?
Mauro Stemberger (IT) brought a scots pine collected by himself in France four years ago. Had a contorted trunk and branches in odd places. Required some bending and creative thinking, but the final image from the front is nice.
As Minoru don´t speak english that well, Peter Warren (UK) translated for him. Both former appretices of Kunio Kobayashi, they knew each other well. Here you see the angle change to enhance the movement and flow to the right.
Mauros tree, the zigzag movement of the trunk is visible here. He had a few apprentices helping him on stage for the bending and wiring.
The structure and planting angle is set by Ryan and his friend Todd Schlafer, and the wiring process has begun. This was a time consuming tree so the usual lectures from Ryan about everthing bonsai was omitted.
Minoru has finished and the why and the how is translated by Peter.
Japanese yew with a powerful trunk. Sad to say, but I feel like I´ve seen this tree before. A common image but probably the best that could be done from this material. Previously styled, there were little room for drastic change.
Mauros finished tree, a broad image which suits the compressed trunk. I wonder though how much of the trunk will be visible once the foliage fills in? Very nice from the front, but the back branch sticks out a lot. Will be interesting to see this tree evolves.
This is Tony´s tree, a very unusual way of display. He likes to play with the norm, and this is very much like him. Nice with personal styles, and he executes it well.
Ryan´s final product. Once the tree is repotted, the base will be enhanced by the large jin o the right. The left jin is to hang over the rim of the container.