Maidstone Bonsai Society

Japanese Trees in the Garden of England

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During a weekend in May WWW 1hit MBS. I know your all thinking World War, something, 1 no don’t worry the club is not going to war. WWW1, better known as Warrens Weekend Workshop 1 is what we are talking about here. A number of MBS members spent time at Warrens Weekend Workshop which took place at Les S’s residence. Some people were at the Storey residence for both days others did only one day but all who attended benefitted from the wisdom of Warren, Peter was able to give all who attended an insight into how to take there trees forward. There were trees in abundance from Shohin to very large, from nursery stock to urban Yamadori



One of the members aged significantly over the weekend, it was Fireman Sam’s (Jose’s) birthday on the Saturday and we celebrated with a traditional Kentish dish!! Well I think paella should be standard fare at all club events. Sam and Mrs S slaved over a hot stove to deliver a delicious lunch, Mr and Mrs Seymour baked a cake for the occasion.



Despite the cold weather everyone enjoyed a pleasant and thought provoking weekend.




Thank you Peter and thanks to all who took part


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Whitstable Bonsai Weekend

The two day show at Nick Pearce’s was well attended by the public. A number of members contributed to the display and there was a lot of sharing of display stands, jitters and accent plants and a number of the shohin compositions were joint efforts. Sam led the placing of the trees, hindered by les and Keith, this was his first effort at show managing and I think he did a good job despite the help he had from others!


The Saturday was reasonably mild and Nick had even arranged for the Red Arrows display team to do a fly past!!. Personally I think it was coincidental as they were n their way to do a display on Folkestone!


Sunday to put it politely was bbbbblllloooody freezing but there were still quote a few people through the gates


Another successful display by the club and many thanks to all who contributed by submitting trees or helping to set up and man the display, particularly Keith who was on the stand both days describing the trees to people and trying to encourage new members to come to the club


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Curtain Call

After thinking long and carefully I have come to the sad and very hard decision to stop Bonsai Pottery for an indefinite period. I find that my creative ceramic urges have been taking me in a different direction away from Bonsai ceramics. Stone Monkey Ceramics will still continue with a different goal and different ware and the same love and passion for ceramics that can never be extinguished.
The Bonsai pots on my website now will be the last for sale but new Japanese inspired Stone Monkey Ceramics will appear in due course.
A huge huge thank you to all of my Bonsai related customers for supporting me, my passion and buying my ware, it has been a pleasure and I have made lifelong fantastic friends.


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The Storey of a Tokonoma

The idea for the tokonama emerged when Simon Temblett, renowned for his stunning bonsai, was landscaping my garden. He had relaid the patio and there was an area at the end of the patio where a horrible cotoneaster was growing. We decided to bin this as even Simon H could not have made a bonsai out of it, and replace it with an area near the house wher I could display my bonsai so they could be seen from the house and also when sitting on the patio. We looked at a number of options and decided to go with an outdoor tokonama, google provided some inspiration,. I had brought some slabs of slate from my previous residence on the Wirral so we used these as the base for displaying the trees.
The construction, by Simon was simply blocks rendered with an open wooden pergola type top. Following a discussion with my Japanese cultural advisor, Mr Warren the colours for painting the tokonama were decided, the plain background makes viewing the trees easier, the black edges represent the wood that would be used in traditional Japanese constructions.
As with any bonsai display we needed to think about having a scroll to complete the image. A normal cloth scroll with card illustrations would be ruined by our wonderful British weather so I consulted my ceramic expert and fellow club member, Mr A Pearson, known as Stone Monkey and we developed the id5ea do a ceramic background for the scroll to which we could attach illustrations depending on the season, as with traditional displays. Andy produced a brilliant ceramic background which he finished off with bamboo and copper wire, this is full weatherproof and can be shown 365 days whatever the weather. The illustrations are attached using industrial grade Velcro, and can be changed whenever I change the tree or to represent different seasons.
At this time I was starting to attend art classes so though I would have a go at preparing some illustrations on plastic board. I then had further discussions with Simon Temblett and Peter Warren and we decided that trying to make illustrations on slate might work. I have tried to paint, using acrylics and also had a go at engraving the slate using a Drexel. The slate was purchased from a roofing contractor and was all his broken bits which I got for buttons!
With the tokonama I am able to bring my trees near to the house and display them at their best changing the display whenever I want.

I am delighted with the outcome which has emerged as teamwork with some of my friends from the bonsai community