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Bonsai In Conversation
Bonsai In Conversation
Educational chats with leading artists, personalities and the pioneers from around the Bonsai world with David Segal from Australia and Tony Tickle from the UK.
May 30, 2021
EP21: Scott Martin - Bonsai Matsu & Australian Bonsai
Scott Martin is a Bonsai professional and the founder of Bonsai Matsu in Victoria, Australia . Via his business, Scott provides a full service Bonsai school where he holds workshops and demonstrations, both in person and online. He also sells tools and general supplies and runs a regular podcast called “Bonsai Stuff” In this episode we talk to Scott about his approach to Bonsai, his thoughts and techniques on soil mediums, dealing with pests and diseases, as well as his thoughts on Australian Bonsai, in particular the recent “Bonsai Reshaped” event which took place earlier this year in Canberra.
1 hr 13 min
Apr 25, 2021
EP20: Yannick Kiggen - Bonsai App Creation
Yannick is a Bonsai professional from Belgium , operating under the banner of “Yama Bonsai” where he offers education via courses, private workshops, demonstrations, as well as the sales and maintenance of trees. Yannick has been practising Bonsai since the age of 10 and has studied under tutelage of renowned masters such as Kunio Kobayashi and Mario Komsta. In this episode we talk to Yannick about a new APP he has created which is designed to help both professionals and hobbyists track the photographic progress of their trees, as well as assisting with the scheduling of maintenance routines and tasks.
Mar 13, 2021
EP19: Greg Tuthill - Steel Stand-Making
Greg Tuthill is a Bonsai artist and metal sculptor from Palmerston North in New Zealand, producing aesthetically beautiful and highly functional Bonsai stands out of steel. Throughout the course of our chat, Greg walks us through his intricate processes which involve the use of 3D computer software, laser cutting, welding and his accelerated technique for creating rusty patina finishes for that wabi sabi feel.
Feb 27, 2021
EP18: Laurent Darrieux - Cosmic Bonsai
Laurent Darrieux, is the creator of the Burton Style of Bonsai design and author of the recently released publication “Cosmic Bonsai". In our discussion with Laurent, we discuss the origins of the Burton Style and how his early years of traditional Bonsai education gave him the foundational skills to explore unique and daring aesthetics. We also get an insight into Laurent’s views on cultural appropriation ond it’s impact on how Bonsai is practised around the world. As with all artists forging new ground, Laurent’s work and opinions evoke polarising feelings, which above anything else, cannot be ignored. Tony and I felt like we only got to scratch the surface with Laurent and will be endeavouring to have him back for some detailed discussions on the process of executing Burton Style compositions.
Feb 13, 2021
EP17: Richard Kearney - 3D Printed Bonsai Pots
Richard Kearney is a progressive Bonsai ceramicist from the North Island of New Zealand. Richard has developed innovative techniques for producing Bonsai pots using computer programming and 3D printers, which has allowed him to create intricate designs with precision and predictability. In this discussion, Richard walks us through his creation process and the challenges and failures he’s faced along the way. We also discuss where he hopes to take these techniques into the future in respect of glazes, firing techniques and the hybrid approach of adding hand made elements.
Feb 5, 2021
EP16: Bjorn Bjorholm - Valuing Bonsai
Bjorn Bjorholm is a world renowned Bonsai artist from the United States. He first gained notoriety with the world bonsai community with his Vlog series, "The Bonsai Art of Japan" which followed his apprenticeship journey at Kouka-en nursery under Mr Fujikawa. In recent years, Bjorn has become most well known as a travelling Bonsai professional, sharing his skills and contagious energy with artists and enthusiasts from all over the world. Since relocating back to the USA, Bjorn has setup his own Bonsai nursery in Nashville Tenesse Called Eisei-en, where he offers a full range of services, including education, styling and design, as well as boarding, maintenance and exhibition preparations. In this episode Bjorn talks with us about valuing Bonsai, ranging from raw material, all the way through to exhibition pieces. We discuss the nuances of different species and regions around the world, as well as brief interlude about Bonsai ceramics.
1 hr 12 min
Jan 23, 2021
EP15: Andy Pearson - Stone Monkey Ceramics
Andy Pearson is a prolific leading ceramic artist from the UK. Andy's unique creations are sold under the banner of 'Stone Monkey Ceramics' and his pieces have featured in many international Bonsai exhibitions, such as; The Trophy, The Bonsai World Expo, Bonsai Europa and the Gafu Ten, where his work was awarded Gold in the unglazed category in 2015. In our discussion with Andy we covered a variety of topics, including the different stages of his ceramics career, his influences and creative processes and some technical insights into his bisque firing program.
1 hr 2 min
Jan 17, 2021
EP14: Hugo Zamora Luna
Hugo is a professional Bonsai artist from Mexico who apprenticed under renowned Japanese Master - Mr Kobayashi at the Shunk-en Bonsai Museum in Tokyo. In this episode, Hugo gives us an insight into his time as an apprentice, his travels with Bonsai and his love of Japanese culture. Hugo was scheduled to be a headline artist at the Bonsai World Convention in Perth, Australia prior to the COVID19 crisis.
Jan 2, 2021
EP13: Jan Culek - The Stone Master
Jan Culek is a multi medium Bonsai artist haling from the Czech Republic in Europe. Whilst being a very accomplished and skilled sculptor of trees, he is most well known for his extremely natural looking and highly functional stones and slabs that he creates with his partner, Martina. Jan’s sculptures have opened the door to a new dimension in Bonsai creation, allowing artists around the world to experiment with seemingly infinite possibilities, particularly with multi tree and true to form compositions. In this episode we explore Jan’s artistic inspirations, his approach to bonsai and stone design, as well as his thoughts and feelings on the artists who are forging new ground with the use of his stone masterpieces.
Dec 25, 2020
EP12: Randy Knight - The Wild Collector
Randy Knight is one of the most well known and respected Yamadori collectors in the world and is a key driving force behind the modern Bonsai movement in North America. Working closely with the countries most talented and prolific Bonsai artists, Randy has been instrumental in the paradigm shift toward using Native American species in Bonsai. In this episode Randy takes us on an imaginary journey, venturing into the wilderness in the pursuit of the very best Yamadori, he shares many hints and tips on how to maximises the survival rate of collected trees and his close encounters with Wolves, Moose and a Mountain Lion.
1 hr 4 min
Dec 19, 2020
EP11: Pauline Muth - PMF Bonsai Studio
Whenever someone mentions bonsai artists who are inspirational, Pauline Muth's name seems to always top the list and for very good reasons. She has been actively involved in bonsai for over Forty years, and she has studied with some of the greatest masters in bonsai, such as John Naka, over the years. Pauline was not simply content with learning bonsai, she wanted to give back to the art as well and it was not long before she was actively involved in many organizations and publications dealing with bonsai and the advancement of the art form. Pauline holds and has held many governing positions including: President of the American Bonsai Society, Ambassador for Bonsai Clubs International (BCI), on the Board of Directors of Mid-Atlantic Bonsai Societies, Chair person for ABS Learning Seminars, and she is a contributing author for local newsletters, Bonsai On Line Magazine, ABS Journal, and BCI Bonsai magazines. In addition to all of the above responsibilities, Pauline also teaches clas…
Dec 8, 2020
EP10: Ofer Grunwald - The Contemporary Artist
Ofer Grunwald is living and working in Brussels and Jerusalem and is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist, working mainly in mixed-media installation and figurative sculpture. His work is informed by his background as a world-leading bonsai artist, and driven by a fascination with processes (whether personal, social, cultural, technical, or artistic) and the tension between the dynamic and the seemingly static. In this episode we explore the crossover in Ofers sculptural figurative work and his bonsai creations. His involvement with the national Bonsai collection in Jerusalem, Israel and his stewardship under Italian bonsai artist Enric Savini. Ofer’s installation pieces, which have become his main practice, emanate from various deeply-ingrained traditions that have served as a formative backdrop for him, personally. These can be cultural traditions, religious traditions, artistic traditions, etc. His work tends to turn a critical, but ultimately compassionate eye on these tradi…
1 hr 1 min
Nov 27, 2020
EP9: Todd Schlafer - First Branch Bonsai
Todd is a full time professional Bonsai artist based in Denver, Colorado USA. Todd has a passion for Native American trees, and this is noticeable in his choice of material he works to create bonsai, with spruce being one of his favourite species. Todd has an extensive nursery selling yamadori that he has personally collected and he gives us an insight into his collecting regime. Todd trades under the name of ‘First Branch Bonsai’ In this episode we explore his early start in bonsai, the extensive tutorage under Ryan Neil, his experiences and views on European bonsai and where he sees the future of bonsai in the United States, Todd also has a cool line in T shirts. (David's Microphone was playing up for this episode, apologies for the drop in his sound quality, all has been rectified now).
Nov 20, 2020
EP8: Martin Walters - The New Zealand Bondi Scene
Martin Walters is a Bonsai artist and professional electrician from Auckland in New Zealand. His love of Bonsai originally came through his fascination with Japanese Culture and the martial arts. Martin works under the banner of "Kenzo Bonsai" where he holds regular workshops and demonstrations to his students and Bonsai friends. Martin's tutelage has primarily been under Australia artist and former guest on the podcast, Tony Bebb. Martin is the former president of the Auckland Bonsai Society, which saw him primarily running beginner classes and arranging international and local demonstrators. In this episode we find out what's happening on the New Zealand Bonsai scene, the different species people are working on, as well as some Bonsai tips and tricks that Martin was happy to share with us.
Nov 12, 2020
EP7: Austin Heitzman - The Master Craftsman
Austin Heitzman is a master craftsman who uses wood as his primary medium in the creation of avant-garde tables and stands for Bonsai. Austin's work has given rise to a paradigm shift in the minds of many artists who are beginning to explore a new frontier with the way in which Bonsai can be displayed. In this episode, Austins tells us about his approach to stand making, the different timbers and techniques he likes to use and how he transitioned into this niche form of art. We also discussed his recent collaborative efforts on the highly successful *"LAB Project"* series in conjunction with the *Pacific Bonsai Museum*, *Ron Lang *and *Ryan Neil*.
Nov 5, 2020
EP6: Tony Bebb - The Bonsai Bloke
In this episode we get to know Australian Bonsai professional, Tony Bebb, AKA "The Bonsai Bloke". We discuss Tony's 16 year apprenticeship under his father, Lindsay and hear about his expansive travels. Tony's teaching and demonstrating schedule see him cover thousands of kilometres every year, up and down the vast eastern coastline of Australia and frequent trips across to New Zealand, spreading his knowledge and passion for Bonsai wherever he goes.
Oct 29, 2020
EP5: Peter Warren - Monkey Mountain
In this episode we are in conversation with Peter Warren from the UK. We discuss his traditional six-year apprenticeship in Japan under his master, Mr Kunio Kobayashi at his world famous nursery in Tokyo, Shunkaen Bonsai Museum. After completing his apprenticeship, Peter returned to the UK and settled in London, creating Saruyama studio and nursery. Peter travels far and wide, teaching and working with Bonsai collectors and enthusiasts across the globe on a mission to elevate the art of Bonsai.
Oct 23, 2020
EP4: Thor Holvila - Nordic Vibes
In this Episode we are in conversation with Thor Holvila, a Bonsai potter and artist based in Sweden. Thor's unique approach & philosophy has endeared him to people from all over the world. Here we get an insight into this time in Japan, the influences that inspire his unique work and we visit the oldest living tree in the world (spoiler, its' in Sweden!).
Oct 23, 2020
EP3: Robert Steven - Visions Of My Soul
Robert is a firebrand in the world of Bonsai. He predominately works with tropical species and complains they grow too fast!! In this episode we discuss the Black Scissors and 'WORBAC' movements, Robert's approach to Bonsai design, how Ryuga came to be and Robert's visions for the future of Bonsai worldwide.
Oct 23, 2020
EP2: Mauro Stemberger - Italian Bonsai Dream
In this episode, Mauro tells us about the foundation of his studio 'Bonsai Dream', his private collection, his many Bonsai schools around the world, how he started with Bonsai and where to find the best Bonsai party on the planet.
Oct 22, 2020
EP1: Bonsai In Conversation - What's It All About?
Introducing Bonsai in Conversation. David Segal in Australia and Tony Tickle in the UK have teamed up and are creating a podcast that presents some of the best known names in the world of Bonsai. It’s a great listen full of stories and sprinkled with hints and tips on bonsai, pots and the events around the world.