Home :: Blogs & Articles :: Blogs :: Bill Valavanis weekend - review and photos

Bill Valavanis weekend - review and photos

Category: Blogs
Author Name: Corin Tomlinson
Posted: 05/06/2018 13:56
Views: 1052

To celebrate our 40th year here at Greenwood Bonsai Studio we have just hosted our first of 2 special events for this year. We were very pleased to welcome one of the World's top bonsai masters to the Greenwood !

Our 2nd Special event this year is to be held on 14th- 16th September. Featuring Sean Smith from USA.We will be publishing further details on this blog soon.

Greenwood Bonsai Studio is 40 this year !    Originally founded in 1978 by Harry and Christine Tomlinson, it quickly became the premier bonsai centre in the UK. Centrally located near Sherwood Forest, Nottingham. In later years Harry married Petra and they continued to run Greenwood, along with Petra making her pots. Around 10 years ago it was passed to Corin and his brother Paul and remains a growing family business.

William (Bill) Valavanis has been at the top of the bonsai world now for over 50 years. I was lucky to conduct my bonsai apprenticeship with Bill, and spent around 4 years studying with him at the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester , New York, USA.

We started off the event with an exclusive masterclass workshop, this enabled participants to get time with Bill, for him to help and guide them with their own trees. We had quite a selection of material, bonsai, yamadori and nursery stock trees all brought along for the masters touch.

Bill discovered my mini bonsai chainsaw! He loved it and had to have one (they are not available in the USA) so i ordered one straight away for him to take back. It was therefore used at any opportunity !

On Saturday Bill presented a great demonstration on selected Field Grown Western Hemlocks. Hemlocks are a personal favourite tree of mine. I think they are not seen enough as bonsai, and often under represented at shows. They make a graceful tree image, and are a joy to work with. 

Following the demonstration, workshop participants worked on the same material, with several bonsai for the future created under Bill's guidance in the afternoon.

While the workshop was going on I kept myself and the rest of the crowds occupied by doing a demonstration on a Scots Pine. Originally this tree was collected and taken elsewhere on a workshop a few years back, it was now time to advance the design further. Heres a couple of photos of it before and after (1.5 hours work)

Corin Tomlinson selecting trees for Specimen Bonsai Exhibit from his private collection.

We had great weather, and great support from our customers, with many people travelling for hours to come and attend this event. Including coach trips from local bonsai societies.

Many people enjoyed the Specimen bonsai exhibit in our newly refurbished bonsai teaching studio. Comprising over 15 specimen bonsai from Corin's private bonsai collection. Left to right - Seigen Maple in Walsall pot, Seiryu Maple in Petra pot, and English Oak in Aspinall pot.

On the Bank Holiday Monday we were especially pleased to welcome another special guest. Dorothy Koreshoff. Dorothy is the godmother of Bonsai in Australia. Dorothy's nursery was famous throughout the world. She is now living in Wales, and made the trip to Nottingham to visit our event and surprise Bill !  I don't think he expected to see Dorothy (who he thought was in Australia) arrive to watch his demonstration !

Bill did a great job on monday of giving a presentation on group plantings, after explaining his methods of creating groups, he set to work creating his next masterpiece. A group of Japanese Maples, planted into a Bryan Albright hand made pot.


Our second event for this Anniversary year will be held on 14-16th September, featuring Sean Smith from USA. Sean will once again be visiting the Greenwood to conduct workshops on bonsai stand carving, suiseki demonstrations, and bonsai workshops.


About the Author

Comments on Bill Valavanis weekend - review and photos

The cookie settings on this website are adjusted to allow all cookies so that you have the very best experience. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website. However, if you would like to, you can change your settings at any time using the Change cookie settings link in the Special menu.