The maximum of four bonsai folk took part in yesterday’s Carving workshop here at Willowbog Bonsai.  It was the first of two workshops dedicated to the use of deadwood in bonsai design that we are staging this autumn, the next is on the 10th November and is also fully subscribed.


Although not recorded on the camera we did start the session with a period spent looking at the reasons why we use deadwood, in what circumstances might it be appropriate, what the implications for the trees are and the techniques we use to achieve the desired effects. Then it was on to a bit of sawdust creation.


In most cases participants want me to at least start the process which, unless you are used to using the likes of the Makita die grinder, is probably a good idea !  As I can, obviously,  only work on one tree at a time, it makes sense for all the folk to watch.       We keep meaning to have a whip round to buy Rowena some new jeans !


This nice Common beech bit of material belongs to Dan in the cap,  just visible above my baldness.


Dan very kindly then let Rowena have a go at refining the basic carving that I had carried out with the die grinder. She used mainly a circular wire brush in a Dremel, which is generally a nice, easy and safe tool for a novice to try their hand on.


Next I did some further work on Terry’s European yew that we had began at a previous workshop here.



The handed it over to the owner to carry out the refinement.


Always a good idea to get comfortable when working on your trees, whatever you are doing, one of a great many important things that I learnt from Marco Invernizzi when he was our main bonsai teacher for nearly ten years here at Willowbog Bonsai.


Next up was Martyn’s Common hawthorn with quite a large stub of the former main trunk to ” naturalise ”

Dan and Rowena also had a very nice European hornbeam that we did a bit of work on but it missed out on getting photographed.


Rowena took some of the above images and Caz snapped the rest on my camera including a bit of lovely Autumn colour in The Proprietor’s gravel garden out the front of the nursery. Thanks to them both and to the participants,  and I must not forget my thanks to Scott for providing valuable assistance by way of making sure we had everything that we needed  immediately to hand during the course of the workshop. We got lots more done because of that, thanks Scott.