On 7 and 8 June, the annual meeting of the Danish Bonsai Association was held in Aalborg, in Northern Jutland (Denmark). I was invited to do a demonstration on the Saturday and a workshop on the Sunday. After just a short flight, I arrived early in the afternoon on the Friday before the event, in Copenhagen airport. I was picked up by my bonsai friend Klaus Buddig and together we started the 5 hour trip to the North of Denmark. Which included a 45 minute catamaran ferry crossing to Jutland. This boat trip was anticipated by me with some horror, because I get seasick even writing about it! But I have to admit it was a lot of fun to race across the water on this bed out of hell! And I have to be honest: there is not much that 2 beer cant fix!
Above picture: me on the back of this large speed boat (the things I have to go trough for this hobby).
Left picture: Klaus Buddig relaxing on the back of the boat.
Right picture: Those mighty twin turbines, created a water spray over 30 meters long, leaving a foam trail that can be seen from a airplane!
After a long but pleasant drive, during which, many bonsai talk was spoken, we arrived in Aalborg, one of the main city’s in Northern Jutland. The TOMTOM brought use safe to the “Huset” (which means “The House” ) were this event would take place. My dear friend Morten Albek showed use were to park behind the large old building and after we sad our Halloo’s, he let use trough a big old gate into a big courtyard like square, that was completely surrounded by this beautiful ocker colored square shaped building. We arrived right around diner time and the smell of the barbecue that was going on made my mouth water, but first a beer! There was a large stage were musicians were setting up there instruments for the show that would start in a few hours and in frond of that stage, scattered arround the square, local people were having a nice diner, sitting under old Linden trees, that were planted in a circle (like a donut). These stunning trees provided some picturesque shades in the setting sun light and having your diner under need them observing the atmosphere of the place wile listening to some light Jazz and Blues was a real tread for me! It proved to be a great start to a great weekend.
The “Huset” picturesque inner courtyard seen from above. I shoot this picture from a second floor window were the Shohin exhibition was staged.
Left picture: The local folks enjoying a lovely diner, wile waiting for the band to start playing.
Right picture: How nice it that on a warm summers night?!
Both pictures above were shoot by me from the Aalborg camping were we stayed, not a bad place either!
After the diner and some light refreshments, we only had to drive a couple of minutes to reach the “Aalborg Camping” were we all would stay during this weekend. After we enjoyed some more refreshments while sitting outside in the still setting sun, we all went to bed very tired. Next day, it was early out of bed to enjoy a lovely breakfast and then it was of to the “Huset” to start the show!
*Picture right: Just before the doors for the public were opened, Ljunberg a very lovely and talented new potter preparing here first ever display aria.
Picture left: A equally lovely friend that helped here during the weekend.
Above picture: This is the tent were the new talent competition was held. It was next to the tent were I was giving my demonstrating, so every now and than I could catch a glimpse of all those eager, enthusiastic and nervous bonsai lovers at work. This made me smile and it worked very inspiring for me.
The new talent contest winner was a very new talent, Julie Isager from Keyaki Bonsai Club in Copenhagen. Julie is 26 years old, and started to practice bonsai only six months ago. She is a student of my friend Klaus Buddig. The second place was taken by Finn Christensen from the bonsai club Kita in Aalborg. (No third places was chosen, only first and second).
* Above picture: Here I am posing with Klaus Buddig in frond of his Yamadori Pinus Sylvestris he so kindly entrusted to me to demonstrate on. In the middle you can see the design I made for this future Bonsai.
*Left picture: The design I made for this old pine.
*Right picture: Explaining my plans for this tree to the audience.
*Picture above: I like demonstrations, like this one, were the audience can walk right up to me and ask me questions and see hands on what I am doing. You can see here than the cascading branch is all ready brought down the trunk. The future top section is here still reaching for the sky.
*Above picture: Concentrated and hot at work.
*Above picture: It is always nice to have a extra pair off hands! Erling Klysner did a great job helping me wiring the top and bending it into place. So we could all go to diner in time!
*Left picture: Working on the future top.
*Right picture: The finished pre bonsai for now. The cascading branch, needs a sharper bend to the right, just were it appears from behind the main trunk! But because this is it first styling and the branch had come such a long way from were it was originally before all the works started, that this will be don in the future, when the tree is fully recovered from all this stress! The trees health should always come first, even in demonstrations!
* Above picture: And than there was Coffey!
On the Saturday I had the hard task of judging the bonsai on display in the show. And during the diner I was invited on stage to present the award and give some comments to all the winners. I myself was honored with some lovely words and a bottle of some of the best Cognac I ever sipped (half empty already)! They all sure made me feel very much at home here, really special people indeed!
Above picture: During a break in the gala diner on the Saturday night, a proud Morten Albek received the first price award for the best Shohin composition in show.
Winner of the best bonsai in show was won by Martin Nielsen with a beautiful Juniperus chinensis.
I had a couple of hours to kill, Before the Sunday workshops would begin. So Lona Rasmussen asked me, if I would style one off here Yamadori Pinus Sylvestris, she brought along for here own first demo, she would give that afternoon. So wile everybody was busy for a few hours at the annual club meeting on the other side of the venue, I had some nice quiet bonsai time on my own, wile working on here tree in the morning sun with some coffee.
*Picture above: The tent were the Sunday workshop was held.
*Left picture: Aase Wiberg working on here big garden Juniper.
*Right picture: Here I am working together with Julie Isager on here Yew, she is the winner of the new talent competition. I am sure she has a bright bonsai future ahead of her!
*Left picture: Helping with some final wiring.
Right picture: Peter Landerloos working concentrated on his Yamadori Pine.
*Above pictures: During this Sunday workshop, Klaus Buddig enjoyed himself very much working on the deadwood of his Pine, that I worked on during my Saturday demo! And I liked to ad: he did a beautiful job!
Than before we all knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes already! I had a great time and made a lot of new friends and was trilled to spent this long weekend with some old friends! I am sure that this was not the last time I visit beautiful Denmark to do bonsai! Infect: I have already been asked by Morten to do a show he is staging next year!
After the 5 hour long trip to Klaus his great house, I had a good night rest in his famous bonsai guest room, were many well know artist have spent the night before me! On the Monday we had a wonderful relaxed day in his garden, enjoying the Sun and each others company, just a brilliant day to finish my wonderful visit to Denmark!
Left picture: For our diner, Klaus took my to a posh and very exclusive sailboat club in Copenhagen. The view there, over looking the Sea was really stunning, and the food and cold beer were not to bad ether!
Right picture: A beautiful Acer buergerianum raft in Klaus his garden.
Above picture: In Klaus his large garden, I had a great time playing with young “Sheva” a rare Bergen pichard lady dog….YO SHEVA!! I said LADY DOG!
Above picture: That’s much better! Isn’t she pretty!
Than it was of to the airport to fly home, a other wonderful bonsai memory came to a end, up to the next one!
Here are the links to the site of the Danish Bonsai association were you can see more pictures of this event, my demo and workshop.
*Pictures with star by: Morten Albek.
Hans van Meer.