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Author:  Rob Kempinski [ Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:37 pm ]
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Thanks for the comments Bill.
One thing I learned, it is very tricky to take a decent display photo in a tokonoma.

Author:  Will Heath [ Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:14 pm ]
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On behalf of the staff of AoB, I 'd like to personally thank William Valavanis for sharing his expertise and for taking the time to judge our contest.
Bill agreed to select and critique the top three displays, but he, as usual, gave much more than was expected by selecting and critiquing other display entries as well.
The contest was a great success, thanks to Bill, the people who entered, and all the people who came and viewed the entries. We had forty entries in all, far more than we expected for a display contest, which lends credence to the thought that there is a real interest and desire in the bonsai community to explore artistic display.
Looking through the entries we can see traditional displays as well as what can only be called modern displays together. Experimentation in the display of bonsai is happening, people are breaking away from the traditional and soon, maybe in next years contest, we will see these new ideas refined and developed. I am excited to witness a small piece of this here.
A pleasant and unexpected outcome also came of the contest, thanks to Bill's critiques. That outcome was education. Education for those who had their displays critiqued and also for all of us who benefit from reading Bill's words and viewing all the great entries.
Bill, thank you for all you have done and thanks to all that have helped make this contest a success.

Author:  John Pitt [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:38 am ]
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Hi Bill,
Thanks very much for your constuctive comments, I love the art of display, combining elements is both fun and challenging, I always like to hear other people's thoughts on my display's and was particularly pleased that my maple display made you think " The light green leaves of the Japanese maple present a fresh early summer display." as this was my intention, I agree about the table, I have since had a larger one made.
With the prunus, I had hoped to evoke a quiet early morning feeling with this display and I'm happy you thought the same, Re your comments about the pot, I have been thinking for a while that this tree may suit a slab , maybe a slightly upturned curved type, what do you think?
Kind regards

Author:  Morten Albek [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Thanks to Bill and the AoB

Thanks to Bill and the AoB
I too will like to thank the forum and of course the constructive educational comments from Bill and his fair judgement.
Many congratulations go to the winners too!
It is especially nice to have a contest about displaying bonsai, because this is the final goal with bonsai. Setting up a display is a joyful, but also demanding job. So many possible ways to go, with formal or less formal styles, creative solutions i.e.
A contest like this hopefully will encourage more people to make good displays. Much is still to be learned, and new ways will probably be searched.
Personally I was not able to bring up a very good Shohin-display this time. My trees weren?t trained to be ready at the time, therefore some compromises were necessary. I find it more important though to participate and having the fun setting up a display even when the material isn?t ?perfect.?
So let us have another round of this competition again later on. And maybe some more discussions about displaying, because this is so interesting, regardless if it is Shohin-display (to which my heart belong) or the traditional displays.
Regards Morten Albek

Author:  William N. Valavanis [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:24 am ]
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Thank you everyone who enjoyed and perhaps, learned something about my comments on bonsai display.
John: As I mentioned in my discussion, your Prunus, in my opinion, could be refined and redesigned.... this is only MY personal opinion.
Well, since you asked about the container, I took the liberty to redesign your bonsai. It's different. Perhaps you will like the change, if not, that's OK too.
Bonsai is art and personal.

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Author:  Carl Bergstrom [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:44 pm ]
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Congratulations to the winners, and Bill, thanks for much for judging the contest -- I learned a great deal from reading your comments on the various entries.
I didn't have a tree ready to enter this year, but I feel like I've learned a great deal and I'm itching to try my hand putting together some displays in the coming years. Thanks for helping to build up both my understanding of, and my excitement about, the art of bonsai display.
With my best regards,

Author:  Attila Soos [ Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:53 pm ]
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Following this contest makes me ponder about the wonderful complexity of the art of displaying bonsai. Displaying is, after all, the ultimate goal of creating a bonsai. I feel that a true mastery of bonsai can be achieved only when one understands the intricacies of creating a certain mood or effect, using the tree and some accessories.
I have a lot of admiration for the contestants, for their courage and creativity. And thank you Bill for bringing the art of displaying bonsai a little closer to us.

Author:  John Pitt [ Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:45 am ]
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Hi Bill,
Thats certainly different, I have thought a few times about redesigning this tree, I think if I were to go in your direction I would have to do something with the left hand branch, which for me pulls the tree to the left, while the apex goes to the right.
This "branch" is in fact a secondary trunk, it splits of from the main trunk 1" above soil level, the main trunk actually does go from left to right, I've attached a winter image, which I hope makes the structure more visible.
As always I appreciate your comments,
John Pitt

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Author:  Wayne Schoech [ Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  bonsai display contest

I very much enjoyed the contest and especially enjoyed reading Bill's highly informed critiques. Thanks to all for an excellent and instructive event.

Author:  Mike Page [ Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:16 pm ]
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My third place finish in the Display Contest netted me some prizes. Among them were 2 small ceramics by John Pitt. Thanks again John.
The one I'll show here is very unusual. It's a hollow ceramic log that to me illustrates whats left of a fallen tree, the rotted out trunk. I've never seen anything like it, and have puzzled for a time as to how to use it.
The image is the "log" placed in a shallow tray. In the log I've planted a small succulent.
Comments welcome.

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Author:  John Pitt [ Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:59 pm ]
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Hello Mike,
Nice to see my pot put to good use, they were designed to be used as part of a larger Kusamono, as you have, or on there own as an accent to a bonsai.
The one I'll show here is very unusual. It's a hollow ceramic log that to me illustrates whats left of a fallen tree, the rotted out trunk.

Thats just what I imagine them to be.
I appreciate you posting pictures, always like to see how others use my work.
Attached a couple of pics of 2 "logs" I've used this year.
I used a tiny one in my display of European Larch and Shohin English elm at Newstead this year, and was honoured to be awarded "best mid-size bonsai display" by NOBUTAKA SAKUMA from Japan.
The bronze award is in the background and is a piece of fine art in itself.

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Author:  Mike Page [ Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  kusamono in John Pitt pot

Here's the second pot that John sent me as a prize for my 3rd place in the display contest.
The plant is a flowering succulent. Height from table is 17 inches.
John, thanks again for your generosity.

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Author:  Christine Hayward [ Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:44 pm ]
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Hi Bill,
It is always wonderful to read your instructive commentary about display and bonsai in general, as others have already said here. I enjoy and apprieciate your extensive insight into this art.

Author:  John Dixon [ Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:26 am ]
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Good stuff. Great entries and an honest critique.
Well done to all involved.

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