Demo by Corin Tomlinson

Wednesday 27th March, Sussex Bonsai Group welcomed Corin Tomlinson as our guest speaker/demonstrator.  Corin is no stranger to our group having visited us on a number of occasions and is always well received.  Tonight saw around 40 members/visitors and enthusiasts enjoy an evening of Bonsai demonstration at its highest level.


Corin bought with him a very large collected Hawthorn (a yamadori); this he had taken in as a part exchange.  The tree having been in the large rectangular pot for the last ten years.  Corin said that had he had the tree in his possession earlier, the work that he had planned for tonight would have been carried out then.  However, it is not too late to re-style the tree and bring out its best features.

Corin first considered the viewing angle which was to be the front, (the viewing side).  This he stated would be one of the two possibilities which were quite close to each other.  On closer examination, he pointed out to the audience that the tree in his opinion had two crowns, which he thought distracted one from the other.  So decided to go with the one which had the best taper and movement.  In doing so, this would require a number of large branches to be removed, this he achieved using a mini chain saw (with gasps!! from the audience).

Following this, Corin selected a number of branches which he wired into position or used guy wires and turnbuckles to obtain their position.  After which he pruned away the smaller branches, those upward or downward pointing, those that were too thick or those that would not contribute to the framework of the finished tree; structure he said was the first fundamental element we should all consider when designing a Bonsai.

A short break for refreshments, which also gave the audience an opportunity for a closer look at the re-styling work achieved so far.  After which Corin proceeded to remove the tree from its existing pot and pruned the roots using a powered saw (more gasps!! from the audience) and a hand rake.  The Pot that Corin had chosen was a deep oval, which he felt suited the tree and with some manipulation repotted the tree.  The front was moved slightly to allow the character of the trunk to provide a better movement.  Following this, Corin proceeded to carry out some basic carving of the dead wood, this he said would be finished at a later date but would give us some idea as what the finished tree might look like.

Our thanks to Corin for a thoroughly entertaining and inspirational evening.

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