četrtek, 29. december 2016

BREST

This elm was collected one nice winter day just 10 months ago. Encouraged by very good experiences with this species I didn't hesitate and decided to styled it just after one growing season and set a future path of this tree. Elm has an attractive trunk line which makes it very interesting and different. And I like trees with different character! So, the first idea was to tilt the tree to the left and balance it, but closer inspection showed a weak branch which suppose to be a new top.

Ta brest je bil izkopan na lep zimski dan pred desetimi meseci. Ker imam zelo dobre izkušnje s to vrsto, se nisem obiral, temveč začel s prvim oblikovanjem že po prvi rastni sezoni in določil prihodnost tega drevesa. Brest ima atraktivno linijo debla, kar ga dela zelo zanimivega in drugačnega. In rad imam drevesa z drugačnim karakterjem! Prvotna ideja je bila nagniti drevo proti levi in ga tako uravnovesiti, toda podrobnejša analiza je razkrila šibko vejo, ki naj bi postala nov vrh.


So I came forward with another idea, very similar to the first one, but with other branches in the design. And also the position will stay more or less the same as it is in the training pot. This was my idea:

Potreboval sem torej drugačno idejo, ki pa je bila zelo podobna prvi a z drugimi vejami v dizajnu. In pozicija bo ostala bolj ali manj enaka, kot je zdaj v trening posodi. To je bila moja ideja:


So, the cutting started, I wired primary branches and set them into position. And the future bonsai started to emerge!

Rezanje se je začelo, ožičil sem primarne veje in jih postavil v pozicijo. In bodoči bonsaj se je začel kazati!



I like all the lines in trunk and branches, elegant and very dynamic character of the tree! I am looking forward to developing this tree into a nice bonsai! 

Všeč so mi vse linije debla in vej, elegantni in zelo dinamičen karakter drevesa! Veselim se razvoja tega bonsaja!

ponedeljek, 19. december 2016

SEASON 2016

Every year, hundreds of trees of all shapes and sizes go through our atelier. This year we lay hands on close to 300 trees, and I didn't count all the trees used for beginner's courses. All this work wouldn't be done without help of graduate Tora student Gašper Gabrijel. This album shows only a minor number of trees we worked on this season...

Vsako leto gre skozi naš atelje na stotine dreves vseh oblik in velikosti. Letos smo delali na blizu 300 drevesih in v to niso všteta tista, ki smo jih oblikovali na tečjih za začetnike. Vse to delo brez Gašperja ne bi bilo mogoče. V albumu je le manjše število dreves, na katerih smo letos delali ...


ponedeljek, 05. december 2016

TAŠKAR

Meanwhile, a lot of trees were styled in our studio, new and old students worked on their projects and enjoyed in Tora International Bonsai School environment. This is a story about one of the many projects, story about Juniper from Sašo Taškar's collection. Sašo is a professional gardener, so he has access to the vast amount of garden material. Of course not all material is suitable for bonsai, but sometimes he finds some old plants which are not interesting for owners anymore, but they have a lot of character and are good for bonsai. This Juniperus virginiana came in to atelier as a big green bush two years after it was collected in an urban environment.

Kar nekaj dreves smo oblikovali med tem v našem studiju, novi in stari člani šole so delali na svojih projektih in uživali v okolju šole Tora. To je zgodba enega od mnogih projektov, zgodba o brinu iz zbirke Saša Taškarja. Sašo je profesionalni vrtnar, tako da ima dostop do skoraj neomejene količine vrtnega materijala. Seveda ni ves primeren za bonsaj, toda tu in tam naleti na staro drevo, ki za lastnika ni več zanimivo, toda ima veliko karakterja in je primerno za bonsaj. Ta virginijski brin je v atelje prispel kot velik zelen grm dve leti po tem, ko je bil izkopan.

Juniperus virginiana as arrived to the atelier in September 2016

The big problem for almost all beginners is to see a bonsai in such a bush. Also Sašo came to me with a question: "Can we do something out of this?" After a few second of observation I replied: "Of course we can!" How I knew, that a bonsai is hiding in this bush? I saw some interesting lines, tapering and suitable branches. More than enough that I knew we can make a good tree out of this material. This ability one can develop only with experience, with work on many trees and of course with some talent. Then, with time, one can see more and more solutions in the starting material. But in this case Sašo trusted me all the decisions.

Videti bonsaj v takšnem grmu, je velika težava za skoraj vse začetnike. Tudi Sašo je najprej vprašal: " A lahko iz tega grma kaj naredimo?" Po nekaj sekundah analize drevesa sem odvrnil: " Seveda lahko!" Kako sem vedel, da se v tem grmu skriva bonsaj? Videl sem nekaj zanimivih linij, ožanje in primerne veje. Več kot dovolj, da sem vedel, da lahko iz tega materiala napravimo dober bonsaj. To sposobnost se da razviti samo z izkušnjami, z delom na mnogih drevesih in seveda z malo talenta. S časoma potem v začetnem materijalu vidiš več in več rešitev. Toda v tem primeru mi je Sašo zaupal vse odločitve.

This will be the future front ... Before the works started

So, first we decided which side is best for front and cut all redundant branches. Soon enough, it was clear, that the left side of the crown, the secondary trunk must go. There were no suitable branches, and also two trunks were too similar. So we decided to go with simple, classical tree. 

Najprej smo se odločili, katera stran je boljša za prednjo in odrezali vse odvečne veje. Kar kmalu je bilo jasno, da se bomo morali znebiti leve strani, drugega debla. Tam ni bilo primernih vej, pa tudi obe debli sta si bili preveč podobni po debelini. Odločili smo se, da bomo oblikovali enostavno, klasično drevo.

After we cut all redudant branches the interesting lines were more visible

Sašo then worked on deadwood, wiring took another three or four sessions in TORA atelier, but finally the work was done and the styling begins. The result is a nice compact tree with a lot of dynamic. 

Sašo je potem delal na mrtvem lesu, žičenje je opravil v naslednjih treh ali štirih seansah šole, končno je bilo delo opravljeno in oblikovanje se je lahko začelo. Rezultat je simpatično kompaktno drevo s kar nekaj dinamike.

Sašo started with work on dead-wood

Wiring took one ...

twoo ...

three workshop sessions, before the styling took part

The result studied by some TORA student

The bottom left jin will be drastically shortened in the near future, some deadwood will be added on the trunk, crown will gain much more definition. And of course, the tree will be repoted in to bonsai pot. But the major work has been done, we set the future of this tree. Now is Sašo's turn to keep this tree nice and happy and in two or three seasons it can be show-ready!

Spornji levi džin bo v bližnji prihodnosti precej zmanjšan, neka jmrtvega lesa bo dodanega na deblu, krošnja pa bo pridobila na definiciji. In seveda, drevo bo presajeno v bonsajsko posodo. Toda glavno delo je opravljeno, drevesu smo določili prihodnost. Zdaj je Sašova naloga, da drevo pravilno vzdržuje in v dveh do treh sezonah je že lahko primerno za razstavo!

Juniperus virginiana, December 2016

before/after

torek, 11. oktober 2016

ITO

In the relationship between master and disciple there is always a moment when this relationship is not one-way only anymore. Instead of that, it becames a two-way relationship, a mutual growth of both: master and his student. I found some 'masters' hard to admit that. Gašper came to Tora international school some four years ago, and started an apprentice-program a year later. He is really talented and in only two years time he completed the program. He continues to work in my atelier, but he is now more like a partner than a student. Can I still teach him something? Probably, but as I wrote before, now we can benefit both from this relationship.     

V odnosu med mojstrom in učencem vedno pride do trenutka, ko odnos ni več le enosmeren. Postane dvosmeren, skupna rast obeh: učitelja in študenta. Veliko 'mojstrov' to težko prizna. Gašper je v Toro prišel pred kakšnimi štirimi leti, vajeniški program pa začel leto kasneje. Je izjemen talent in program je končal že v dveh letih. Še vedno dela v ateljeju, toda zdaj je bolj partner kot študent. Ga še vedno lahko česa naučim? Verjetno, toda, kot sem napisal že zgoraj, zdaj lahko imava od najinega odnosa koristi oba.


Of course I don't trust my best trees to everyone. But Gašper gradually climbed up on that ladder of trust, his works were always exactly as I expected, so now It was time for the ultimate test: I trusted him a Shimpaku from my personal collection.

Seveda svojih najboljših dreves ne zaupam kar vsakemu. Toda Gašper se je počasi vzpenjal po lestvici tega zaupanja, njegovi izdelki so bili vedno točno taki, kot sem pričakoval. Zdaj je prišel čas za največji test: zaupal sem mu brin iz moje osebne zbirke.
This Shimpaku came to my collection with the help of friend Piotr Czerniachowski, who imported it from Japan. In spring 2012 it finally arrived in my garden.

Ta brin je v mojo zbirko prišel s pomočjo prijatelja Piotra Czerniachowskega, ki ga je uvozil z Japonske. Spomladi 2012 je končno prispel v moj vrt.

Shimpaku as arrived to atelier, April 2012

After a year of acclimatization, in that year it reacted extremely well, I started to work. And already after first styling it looked great.

Po letu aklimatizacije, v katerem je reagiral izjemno dobro, sem začel z delom. In že po prvem oblikovanju je izgledal odlično.

After one year of acclimatization it reacted good, April 2013

After first styling, April 2013

In Januar 2014 I prepared it for Noelanders trophy, and exhibited it in one of the biggest European show.

Januarja 2014 sem ga pripravil za Noelanders trophy in ga razstavil na eni največjih evropskih razstav.




Shimpaku at Noelanders trophy, January 2014

After repoting in spring 2015 the problems started. First one of the small branches at bottom crown died, next year two more branches died further up the tree. Dyeing of the branches was a result of a combination of two reasons: too much green mass on grafted branches, so the live veins couldn't support it anymore, and the bark beetle. The latest, so the bark beetle was far more dangerous. But luckily we found it soon enough and treated it with insecticide. 

Po presajanju spomladi 2015 so se začele težave. Najprej je odmrla manjša veja v spodnji krošnjici, naslednje leto še dve višje na drevesu. Vzrok odmiranja vej je bila kombinacija dveh stvari: preveč zelene mase na cepljenih vejah, tako da je žive vene niso mogle več hraniti, in podlubnik. Hrošček je bil seveda veliko nevarnejši. Na srečo smo ga odkrili dovolj zgodaj in drevo tretirali z insekticidom.

Traces of bark beetle on the dead branch ...

Now, with all problems solved (hopefully) the tree was ready for wiring again. I trusted this job to Gašper. He did it slowly but surely :-) and in the few weeks he completed the job:

Potem, ko so bili vsi problemi rešeni (upajmo vsaj), je bilo drevo pripravljeno za novo žičenje. Delo sem zaupal Gašperju; opravil ga je počasi a zanesljivo :-) in ga dokončal v nekaj tednih:

Shimpaku before wiring, September 2016

Gašper started to work in late summer heat ...

And finished in early fall cold :-)

Shimpaku after wiring and cleaning. Superb work by Gašper!


Yes, he did a superb job again! The Shimpaku called Mama is shining again, and Gašer - he passed the ultimate test with honors!

Da, spet je opravil sijajno delo! Brin imenovan Mama spet blesti in Gašper - največji test je opravil z odliko!

petek, 07. oktober 2016

VIRGINIANA

The trees are changing and together with them also we are changing ... As we all know, bonsai art is a never ending story; but we pursue perfection and with years we get closer and closer ;-) This is a story about Juniperus virginiana.

Drevesa se spreminjajo in mi z njimi ... Kot vsi dobro vemo: bonsaizem je nikoli dokončana umetnost, toda z njo zasledujemo popolnost in z leti smo ji bliže in bliže ;-) To je zgodba o virginijskem brinu. 
Juniperus virginana species is not as highly appreciated in the bonsai world as Juniperus chinensis; but nevertheless one can obtain a very good results with it. I am not a fan of grafting Itoigawa species onto all junipers because I like diversity, different colors and character of different species. Of course, Itoigawa is still a king, and I have some of them in my garden, but I wish a diversity too. I acquired this tree from Marek Gajda in Warsaw in 2009 and started with work a year later. From the very beginning I have a dramatic shape in mind, so I started to work on deadwood and split the trunk. 

Virginijski brin v bonsajskem svetu ni tako cenjena vrsta kot kitajski brin. Toda vseeno se da z njim doseči dobre rezultate. Ker imam rad raznolikost, različne barve in karakter, nisem privrženec cepljenja itoigave na vse druge brine. Seveda je itoigava še vedno kralj in v mojem vrtu jih je kar nekaj, toda, kot rečeno, rad imam tudi raznolikost. To drevo sem leta 2009 kupil v Varšavi pri Mareku Gajdi in leto kasneje začel z delom. Že od začetka sem imel v mislih dramatično obliko, tako da sem začel z delom na mrtvem lesu in razcepil deblo.

Juniperus virginiana, starting material, 2010



After first intervention

In May 2012 I proceeded with work, further split the trunk and made the selection of branches.

Maja 2012 sem z delom nadaljeval, še bolj sem razcepil deblo in naredil selekcijo vej.



It reacted well and in spring 2013 I repoted it into a bonsai pot. Also, after repoting the tree still grew vigorously. This is a feature of Virginia junipers - they are really strong and they can undertake a lot of stress. 

Reagiral je dobro in spomladi 2013 sem ga presadil v bonsajsko posodo. Tudi po presajanju je živahno poganjal. In to je značilnost virginijskih brinov - so močni in lahko preživijo veliko stresa.

Juniperus virginiana, Jun 2013

In summer 2014 I removed the wood which devided the live trunk from dead part and wired it fully. I also started with preparation for exhibition - I registered it for the biggest show in Europe - Noelanders trophy.

Poleti 2014 sem odstranil les, ki je živo deblo ločeval od mrtvega dela ter ga popolnoma ožičil. Začel sem tudi s pripravami na razstavo - prijavil sem ga na največjo razstavo v Evropi - Noelanders trophy.



So, in February 2015 I traveled to Belgium and put it on the exhibition in Genk. This is the highlight of this tree for now. But I proved to myself that with hard and proper work one can achieve a high level even with such  material.

Februarja 2015 sem se torej odpravil v Belgijo in ga v Genku postavil na razstavne police. To je gotovo vrhunec tega drevesa do sedaj. Toda dokazal sem si, da se s trdim in pravilnim delom lahko visok nivo doseže tudi s takšnim materijalom. 

Juniperus virginiana at official photo-shooting, NT 2015

Now, after one year of rest, the tree needed a haircut and complete re-wiring. I slowly proceeded towards the top of the tree and completed the job in a few days. 

Po letu počitka je drevo potrebovalo obrezovanje in kompletno prežičenje. Počasi sem napredoval proti vrhu in delo v nekaj dneh dokončal. 

Juniperus virginiana, October 2016


After wiring

Because the lowest branch was too heavy for this design and it also covered the main feature of the tree- jin on the right side, I decided to remove it completely.

Ker je bila spodnja veja pretežka za ta dizajn in ker je tudi zakrivala eno glavnih značilnosti tega brina - džin na desni strani - sem se odločil, da jo v celoti odstranim.



Then I proceeded with work on dead-wood and live veins, cleaned all and applied lime-sulfur. The juniper Drama is now shining again and it is show-ready!

Potem sem nadaljeval z delom na mrtvem lesu in živih venah, ga očistil in premazal z apnenim žveplom. Brin Drama spet sije v vsej svoji lepoti in je pripravljen na razstavljanje.

Cleaned and wired, shining again, October 2016

White background

Composition in tokonoma


So, we, the tree and I, are 6 years older, 6 years of work, 6 years of living together. This is relatively short period of time in bonsai world, so I am looking forward for the next decades of our mutual growth!

Drevo in jaz sva 6 let starejša. 6 let dela in skupnega življenja. To je v bonsajskem svetu relativno kratko obdobje, zato se že veselim naslednji desetletij skupne rasti!

ponedeljek, 26. september 2016

MEDVODE

Past weekend I spent at VII. International bonsai exhibition in Medvode, Slovenia. The exhibition was organized by the Slovenian bonsai club (Slovenski bonsaj klub); first time in 12 years I was not the main organizer of this event, so for me this was just relaxing and enjoying time! Even though I was a moderator on demonstrations, this was a completely different experience as it was in past six editions of this event. After more than 10 years of presidency in 2014 I resigned as president of the club, to concentrate on my school and my trees.  After almost two years without president Nik Rozman took over. And he did a great job organizing the exhibition; even though at different and smaller venue than in previous years, the event was a success! The quality of the trees was good, we had a lot of visitors, the demos were interesting.

Minuli konec tedna sem preživel na VII. Mednarodni razstavi bonsajev, ki jo je v Medvodah organiziral Slovenski bonsaj klub. Prvič v 12-ih letih nisem bil glavni organizator, tako da sem tokrat lahko zgolj sproščeno užival. Čeprav sem bil moderator na demonstracijah, je bilo to vseeno povsem drugačno doživetje, kot na prejšnjih šestih izvedbah razstave. Po več kot desetih letih predsedovanja, sem leta 2014 odstopil s te funkcije, da bi se lažje posvetil moji šoli in drevesom. Po skoraj dveh letih brez predsednika v klubu, je vodstvo prevzel Nik Rozman. In kot organizator razstave se je izkazal: čeprav je bila na drugi in manjši lokaciji, kot v preteklih letih, je dogodek uspel. Kvaliteta dreves je bila dobra, imeli smo veliko obiskovalcev, demonstracije so bile zanimive.

I prepared three of my trees for exhibition; Juniperus chinensis 'Itoigawa' known as Pelican got one of the nominations, but probably the most great and emotional award I ever "win" was the award for years of my work in the club. This was a total surprise for me! Award and recognition from my fellow-bonsaists in Slovenian bonsai club means me a lot! We grew together as artists and we developed this art in our country. Thank you!

Za razstavo sem pripravil tri moja drevesa: Kitajski brin znan kot Pelikan je bil med nominiranimi. Toda verjetno največja in najbolj čustvena nagrada, kar sem jih kdaj prejel, je bilo priznanje za moje dolgoletno delo v klubu. Popolno presenečenje! Priznanje s strani kolegov bonsajistov v Slovenskem bonsj klubu mi res veliko pomeni! Skupaj smo odraščali kot bonsajisti in skupaj to umetnost v Sloveniji razvijali. Hvala!

Thank you guys!

Pelican prepared for exhibition in my tokonoma

Picea abies in tokonoma, before it was taken to the exhibition

My third entry: Pinus sylvestris

As I wrote before, the level of exhibited trees was quite high, maybe the exhibition would be even better if there would be 10 trees less on the shelves, selection even more strict, but this is just my opinion. Here are some photos from the exhibition and just some trees I liked the most.

Kot sem napisal že zgoraj, nivo razstavljenih dreves je bil dokaj visok, mogoče bi bila razstava še boljša, če bi bilo na policah deset dreves manj, selekcija še nekoliko ostrejša. Toda to je le moje mnenje. Tu je nekaj fotografij z razstave in le nekaj fotografij dreves, ki so mi bila najbolj všeč.




Pinus pentaphylla 'Zuisho' by Rajko Podgornik

Pinus thunbergii by Sandor Papp

Juniperus chinensis 'Itoigawa' by Rajko Podgornik

Prunus mahaleb by Aleš Zavodnik




See you all in two years! 

Se vidimo čez dve leti!