the second workshop I gave was in San Antonio Texas in the amazing atelier of brilliant artist Donna Dobberfuhl. I remember that I was overwhelmed by her artwork and the immense heat that day! Even with the largest ventilator that I had ever seen at full speed, it was almost unbearable for me! The students smiled a little and sad: and it is not even summer?! I must have drunk 5 litres of water during that day!
Above: This magnificent statue stood in the entrance of Donna’s studio to greet us.
Above: The original moult of the famous John Naka bust she made. One of the two copies that were ever made was standing right next to the bed I was sleeping in at my hosts Irene (MOM) house. It was nice that the old master was watching out over me!
Above: And a large poster of a stunning Murial, also from here talented hands.
Above: One of the several live size bronze cattle, Donna made for the “Red Bird” range.
Above: Discussing the possibility of this large yamadori Boxwood that Trent brought along.
Above picture: Working on the deadwood of Donna’s Kidneywood. Look at the colour of my face!
Above left picture: Donna and Terry listening to me babbling! The great thing about these workshops is, that all people can join in, to hear an explanation!
Above picture: Irene’s “Hubby” Terry brought a Juniperus Chinensis along to work on.
Above; Then a second layer of wet raffia.
Above: Then apply normal wire.
Above: Then carefully bent the branch.
Above: Still not convinced about the big branch that needs to go?!
Above: We had a great lunch in the famous “PIG STAND” restaurant. This place serves good food since 1921. Their onion rings were as big as tiaras! MMMMM!!!! 🙂
Above: Trend’s “Boxwood”.
Above: Discussing every possibility.
Above: Everybody concentrated at work in their own zone!
Above: Laughing about the size of his Bud! :0
We all had a lovely Bonsai day at Donna’s studio and I was shattered when we finally arrived back at Irene’s place!
Above picture: I took this picture, right after I collapsed, tired and warm, on the steps leading into Irene’s house. The only place around with some shadow! I was so glad to take a load off and get a breather and some cold water into me! But immediately after the first small refreshing drink I took I looked down, alarmed as I was, by that small warning bell in my head, that got stuck forever in the back of our minds, since ones long ago some guy with thick eyebrows, saw his confused grandfather trying to path an innocent looking “Sabretooth on the head”! Suddenly, there in front of me, out of nowhere, sat “BRUN” (short for “BRUNO”), the over sized alpha male of the “Irene’s cat clan” who is well known to tackle deer and wrestling moose! Which, he then often leaves on Irene’s and Terry’s front porch as a token of his affection for them! “BRUN” is contemplating here, without blinking, if he would eat me, or just play with me a bit…before eating me anyway!
But to be honest, after I told “BRUN” in a soft voice while avoiding any sudden movements, that I was good people, and too tired to move anyway! He gave me some gentle pussycat head buds on my knees, that rattled the teeth in my mouth! So I thought it would be safe to give him a nice scratch behind his battered ears. Not too long though! I found out that disturbing pictures of Sigfried and Roy, do seem to pop up into once mind, during these pressure moments! Than “BRUN” curled up beside me on the foot board and started to wash. I thanked him for the use of his afternoon shadow spot and took another drink. “BRUN” was right, this was a cool spot to hang out! And there was more than enough room for the both of use! Thank God!!!
Hans van Meer.
Donna L. Dobberfuhl, MFA, NSS
Sculptural Designs Atelier
San Antonio TX 78215