Thursday 31 January 2013

Turning Heads

My friend Adrian is one of the few disabled bonsai hobbyists that I know.  Like me, he enjoys making things from scratch (mainly, in my case model cars) and he really surprised me, and it seems many within the Bonsai community, with his revolving and tilting workbench.  There are not too many times that things come onto the market that are a “must have” but I feel that what he has produced falls into this bracket.  Seen being used by UK professionals, at the UK New Bonsai Talent contest and now being used in Europe after successful sales at Burrs this little gem is a joy to work with.

Although originally aimed at the Shohin market this stand will hold up to 6kg so also ideal for smaller Chuhin trees.  Here’s what Peter Warren had to say on Adrian’s gadget:-

“I found it to be a great little table, much better than the one I had previously which had a similar design but the ball joint and the clamp was too slack so I never used it.  This one has a very secure and stable feel to it, and especially combined with the turntable it makes for easy work and easy work makes for good work.  They will be for sale at the Shohin UK show next year no doubt, but for any Shohin enthusiast, I would recommend it.”
High praise indeed. 

Adrian is working on a larger floor standing model and I’m sure that it will be as popular as his table top version.  You can order yours by visiting Adrian's new website HERE or keep an eye out for him at a Bonsai Show near you!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Drawing on inspiration


Whilst looking back on my personal Bonsai year I spent some time looking at what has inspired me and areas where I need to improve on.  One area that separates the pros form us mere morals is that use of design sketches.   One of my Bonsai heroes, Will Baddeley,* has produced (and encourages us to embrace) some stunning designs for members on his Forum (the European Bonsai Forum) as well as at the many Workshops he attends.  Although “art” might not be everyone’s strong point it’s worth taking the time to give it a go.

Whilst at the Burrs Workshop in November many of the professional artists used this medium to help explain their design “vision” for the material but it also helps the owner to refine the overall design over the following years.  Here’s what I mean………….

I know that myself, along with many other novices, benefit from having a blueprint for future work and it also provides an excellent part of a trees progression, just ask anyone lucky enough to be the owner of an original Slovak or a Baddeley!

*Check out Will’s Blog here

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Happy New Year from Suteki!

Apologies for my lack of recent “posts” but this is due to a) I’m totally erratic at posting at the best of times, b) lack of, or extremely intermittent, broadband and c) having to babysit 2 unwell children over the Christmas period.  Not having a landline “jelly-bone” was quite interesting (just goes to show how often it got used!) but the lack of internet did prove frustrating!  Any-ho, I digress!

I’m extremely proud of what I achieved with Suteki Accent Pots during 2012 whether it was the fantastic sales (especially at CKB) or seeing my pots or plantings being used in formal displays.  My thanks go to all my customers and friends that have given me encouragement to continue with what I enjoy.  Thanks again for your support, next stop my pots at a “Top” Show!

Talking of Celebrating Kent Bonsai, I think that that had to be right at the top of my “proud moments of the year” list.  OK, I’m gunna toot my own horn here but I think that the Show was one of the best events this part of the country has ever had.  The feedback was tremendous (no pun intended) and bearing in mind it was my first large scale organisational event I’m very, very pleased with the outcome.  The help and support that I received from Kent’s Club members and traders alike was fantastic and I couldn’t have organised the event without their input, but I’m pleased for me.  Lots of stress, plenty of sleepless nights but an overall feeling of a “job well done” outweighed everything.

So what does 2013 hold for the Fiendish Frog?  Well I’m gunna be continuing to explore new avenues on the pot front, new glazes, designs etc.  My last batch, available here, went down a storm along with a couple of new colours that I managed to “sell” to one of the UK’s best Shohin pot makers – sorry bud could resist it!  Although I’m gunna miss Noelanders I’m really looking forward to the Swindon Winter Image and Shohin UK Shows along with Bonsai World later in the year.  Best of British Bonsai – the jury’s still out for me I’m afraid!  Lastly, but probably most importantly, it’s another year back at school.  2012, plus the trees in my garden, proved to me that although I’m on the right path I still need to improve some of my basic skills.  I’ve mentally planned my curriculum for the year but will have to see how the pennies, and pots, go.