Thursday, September 03, 2015

Mah-jong, bonsai and Steve Tolley

Last Saturday, I went to the ‘Tops Weekend’, an annual event organised by the Illawarra Bonsai Society. This year’s star attraction was Steve Tolley, a bonsai artist from the UK (picture above). In the morning, the audience of Steve’s workshop was abuzz as everyone was really curious about him. The workshop progressed reasonably well, however after a while the audience started trickling away to other workshops and activities. I found myself in the most unlikely activity – the mah-jong workshop. Playing mah-jong and checking on the bonsai events in between the games gave my day a pleasant rhythm.

In the course of the day, Steve mentioned many interesting facts, opinions and useful techniques, however I skipped his afternoon workshop hoping that all will be revealed at the evening demonstration. It was revealed indeed. You can see the images of the tree he styled below. In my opinion, the final result of the demonstration was uninspiring.

You may have some questions about the ‘AFTER’ image, so let me clarify a few things. It is the final product of a four-hour-long demonstration and you a looking at the front of the tree. All branches of this tree are wired and intentionally placed by Steve in those positions.

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