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!

torek, 06. september 2016

MUGO PINE

Finally time for another post has arrived! :-) Work in atelier doesn't stop and some time, after all hard work, is hard to find a motivation for post. I hope you'll still come back to check for new one's and I'll try to post more regularly. Here is a story of another mugo pine, Pinus mugo, yamadori from Slovenian Alps. Although I personally prefer Pinus sylvestris over mugo, this time I was attracted by this ancient tree, collected by Miha Oberstar, and so the tree came in to my possession. After one year of acclimatization (with mugo pines one can't be to careful and to patient) the tree was re-potted into first bonsai pot. The inclination was corrected, but because of roots the planned front didn't fit in to the pot right. 

Končno sem našel čas za nov prispevek. :-) Nenehno delo v ateljeju včasih vzame enregijo in motivacijo za nove zapise. Upam, da boste vseeno tu in tam preverili, če je kaj novega, jaz pa se bom trudil pisati bolj redno. Tu je zgodba o novem ruševju, Pinus mugo, jamadori iz naših gora. Čeprav imam raje rdeče bore kot ruševje, me je to starodavno drevo, ki ga je izkopal Miha Oberstar pritegnilo, in tako je pristalo v moji zbirki. Po enem letu aklimatizacije (z ruševjem človek nikoli ne more biti preveč previden in potrpežljiv) je bilo drevo presajeno v prvo bonsajsko posodo. Popravljen je bil nagib, zaradi korenin pa načrtovana sprednja stran ni na pravem mestu v posodi.  

Pinus mugo, August 2016, before first styling

After another year of resting and 5 years after collecting, the tree was ready for first styling. I studied this tree for more than a year, so there were no dilemmas about design. Here is the quick sketch I drew. And then the work started.

Po še enem letu počitka in 5 let po izkopu je bilo drevo pripravljeno na prvo obdelavo. Drevo sem v več kot enem letu dodobra preštudiral, tako da dvomov o dizajnu ni bilo. Na hitro sem pred oblikovanjem narisal skico in delo se je začelo.


After the needles were cut I lift the main trunk and fixed it with rebar. Then I wired all the branches and put them into position. At the end I cleaned the natural shari and shaped the jin. 

Potem, ko sem postrigel stare iglice sem dvignil glavno deblo in ga učvrstil z železno palico. Potem sem veje ožičil in jih usmeril v željeni položaj. Na koncu sem še očistil naravni šari in oblikoval džin.



I am pleased with the result! This will be a great bonsai! Working on this centuries old tree was a pure joy. Now the aftercare will be important and in few years the root-ball will be shortened so that the tree will fit in a proper pot (something like as in the sketch). Meanwhile the crown will mature and the tree will be ready for show! :-) 

Z rezultatom sem nadvse zadovoljen! To bo lep bonsaj! Delo na tem več kot sto let starem drevesu je bilo čisti užitek. Zdaj bo pomembna oskrba po oblikovalskem šoku; v nekaj letih bo koreninska gruda zmanjšana tako, da bo primerna za dobro posodo (nekaj takega, kot na skici). Med tem bo dozorela krošnja in drevo bo pripravljeno za razstavo! :-)

Pinus mugo, August 2016, after first styling

P.S.: New season of school is here. We'll meet in Wednesday, 7. September. All students of TORA international bonsai school and all who want to became one are welcomed! 

P.S.: Novo šolsko leto je tu. Dobimo se v sredo, 7. septembra. Dobrodošli vsi študentje šole TORA in vsi, ki bi to radi postali!