Thank you to Willowbog bonsai and Peter Snart for sharing this article!!
The third day of Ryan Neil’s visit to Willowbog Bonsai earlier in the month was designated a demonstration day where he would work on a nursery owned tree in front of a paying audience.
Many thanks to Scott Ridley for helping get the studio ready on the Friday evening following that day’s workshop. At the front to the right you see the demo tree from two years ago which Ryan proposed to just talk about, basically to explain what I should have done in the intervening period but had actually failed to do [ it was not so bad really thank goodness ! ] The tree on the left was chosen by Ryan as his demo piece. It is a French origin Pinus sylvestris purchased from my good friend Yannick in Belgium, who, incidentally, collected the tree himself.
Round about fifty enthusiasts from all over the UK had purchased tickets for the day. As you can see , we had pretty much a full house, all eyes focused on the main man !
A major feature of a Ryan Neil demonstration is the way he turns the event into a real learning experience for the audience whilst at the same time transforming the piece of raw material into something special.
Notice his use of the flip chart to illustrate points thus making it easier for the watchers to absorb the information, nothing done to the tree itself yet but everyone totally focused on what he is doing.
Fast forward a couple of hours or more to the actual progress of starting this tree on it’s bonsai path. Surplus branches removed, some deadwood created and wiring partially done. A change of inclination to make the best use of the movement in the trunk.
The tree at the end of the day showing the basic structure of a bonsai to built upon from now on. Some branches kept for the time being, to help to retain vigour, that will be eliminated later on as further growth is achieved. At the appropriate time, the removal of the branch on the extreme left side of the image will help give more direction to the flow of the structure and at the same time reduce the symmetry that is evident now. I am not trying to sound clever , just repeating what Ryan said !!!
This tree was originally for sale and we had intended to continue to offer it , at a price , but……………………..I reckon it deserves a place in Mr. Greedy’s Bonsai Collection.
Just like two years ago Ryan gave the audience a remarkable day , both informative and entertaining, and he did that whilst not being one hundred percent well, though you would never have known that , thanks Ryan for the ultimate professional performance !!!