My friend Jiri and I got an opportunity to visit a well known Bonsai artist and so we didn’t have any second thoughts about jumping in the car and making the trip.
Mr. Slovak lives in a very humid area by the Beskydy Mountains close to the Slovakian border and the health of his Mugo, Scots Pines, Larches and various other trees are direct reflection of his talent. Not only does he have a great eye for designing and bringing out the best in Yamadori and garden material but he fundamentally understands the growing process during the season and maximizes development plans based on this natural cycle.
Jirka brought a great Scots pine that has much potential but the green was just too far out to wire but thanks to its health, a plan was put into the future design. Branches were removed that would be obstacles down the road and 3rd as well as 2nd year needles were removed to about 12 pairs. Anytime you receive a pine, you can and should balance the tree out by matching stronger areas to the same needle count as the weaker areas you want to include in your design later.
Top is Jirka’s Scots Pine and the bottom Scots, I acquired from Mr. Slovak. It has great potential and will be a great literati/bunjin down the road. So far it had the straight section bent as far as it can go without tearing the cambium too much and needles thinned out to this year’s growth.
A lot of great material and a wonderful location to grow bonsai, I am very happy we visited and I very much look forward to visiting and learning more again.
We made one more stop at Pravoslav Dorda’s workshop. He makes amazing pots and has a very unique finish and touch on his creations.
Enjoy the new season! I’ll be back soon.