torek, 24. oktober 2017


I met this Pinus sylvestris for the first time in Rok's garden in spring 2015. It was potted in to a plastic container, full of weeds, branches were all leggy and badly twisted to achieve a 'virtual' compact look. The first step was repotting to check a root system. Tree reacted with strong growth and good health.

Pinus sylvestris, spring 2015, before re-potting

The same tree after re-potting, on the table also small Pinus thumbergii

A year later, in summer 2016 the tree was styled for the first time. I bring it into TORA shop, where we fully wired it. As you can see - after re-potting the tree really reacted well. We corrected all unnaturally twisted branches and made a new design. We cut the big right branch and turned it into a jin. 

Pinus sylvestris, summer 2016, after wiring

Right branch turned into a jin

Same tree after styling in summer 2016

The tree was returned to the owner; but instead in good shape one year later returned into the shop in neglected state: wire biting deeply into the bark, branches overgrown, the whole season was lost. This is another example of how quickly bonsai can do two steps back instead one forward. Well, we put it back to the right path! 

This is how wire is NOT supposed to cut in

Pinus sylvestris, October 2017

TORA apprentices Samo and Socrates cuting needles

Gašper Gabrijel working on details

Author working on the tree

The tree has a really great bark!

This is the final image for now

The tree now needs a better pot and of course a better care in next growing season!


A short video about atumn work on JPB, Pinus thunbergii. Sorry, only in Slovene :-) :

sreda, 4. oktober 2017


Once I already wrote about the dilemma - buy or not to buy a bonsai. Let me explain: for some people the only way of doing bonsai is collecting trees in the nature and then develop them into bonsai. Buying is not an option for them and they even consider this way as 'cheating' in some way. Let me be clear: for me buying bonsai is almost the same as collecting - one must find a tree that he or she likes and then somehow bring it to his or her garden. And now the proper work starts. If you don't know how to work with trees, then even the most expensive bonsai will be turned into the bush in relatively short amount of time. Here is one example:
I wired this nice Pinus thunbergii three years ago and prepared it for exhibition. It was not quite ready yet, but customer wishes to exhibit it.

Pinus thunbergii, 2014

Pinus thunbergii, 2014, after first wiring

The same tree in the tokonoma in TORA studio

The tree has really great nebari and is poted into nice japanese pot

Ramification ....

Great bark

So the pine was on the right way and with proper care could be in top form right now. With top form I mean: great ramification, the same amount and length of the needles all over crown. But when the tree was returned to the owner it was neglected: it lost one branch (luckily not so important one), some areas on the tree are too strong, the others too weak, also with wrong cutting of the candles some damage was done. Now the tree will need at least two seasons to be back on the right way .... Anyway, Pine was back in our atelier, graduate student of TORA school Gašper Gabriel did an excellent job wiring and styling it.  

After two growing season in owner's garden it was totaly neglected ...

Gašper working in the studio


Pinus thumbergii 2017, back on the right path, but it will need some time to gain the top form 

I just did a minor correction on the top - I closed it a little bit, sorry Gašper, I couldn't help myself :-)

I just did a minor adjustment, the result for now

Even though you buy a bonsai, you'll need a lot of knowledge to keep it in proper form. Or, in a season or two, you'll end with a bush on the shelves....

torek, 3. oktober 2017


It is unbelievable how quickly the time flies! It is almost 6 months since my last post here ... Meanwhile so many things happened, so many trees went trough my studio! TORA international bonsai school is on more than ever, If you want to became a part of bonsai life don't hesitate to join us! 
Today I just want to show the story about the spruce from Peter's collection. He brought this tree into the shop in 2014. It is no easy material as all branches grow from upper-left side of the tree. The main feature is shari on the trunk which we want to incorporate into the final design.

Picea abies, August 2014

After first styling the tree didn't look attractive, it had a leggy branches, also the green was too far from the trunk.

Picea abies, August 2014, after first styling

Three years after Peter came back. Now it was time to push the tree at least one step further! :-) So we turned the tree for a few degrees for better front, did a selection on branches for better structure and started wiring. The result was quite pleasant, but we weren't satisfied yet. So we decided to cut the lower part of right branch.

Picea abies, September 2017

Picea abies, September 2014, after second styling

Peter cutting the lowest branch

Picea abies, September 2017, after styling

With that the tree gain some dynamic, and we also managed to incorporate all nice elements of the tree into nice and logic design. So this is the result for now: elegant, dynamic spruce with an interesting story to tell. The spruce will rest over the winter and in spring Peter will re-pot it into the first bonsai pot!

P.S.: It was also time to enjoy a good weather - this is a part of my garden with trees from personal collection.