Kevin Wilson at Bonsai Culture Group-Malta

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Kevin Wilson at Bonsai Culture Group-Malta

Post  cosmos on Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:15 pm

Kevin Willson, master in driftwood techniques from the UK, was invited over to Malta during BCG celebrations of its official opening of its clubhouse in 'Notre Dame' street, Floriana. One of the trees that he worked on was a wild olive (an olivaster) that was bought from Modica, Sicily in 2010. The olivaster's main trunk was cut and reduced to a stump, leaving just one branch. Kevin started working on the stump to remove the 'cut out look' and then create a 'sabamiki' (a hollowed trunk) style. He used a makita to make the 'bulk carving' and then a dremel to make some 'fine detail carving'. He then drew a sketch of his futuristic vision for this particular tree. Note the type of pot that compliments the tree. The owner was told to wire the branch upwards and bend it as it goes upwards. Subsequently, he was expected to grow branches from it to create the green canopy for the tree. In the drawing Kevin only pencilled the main branches and ramifications.


Kevin Willson works on an Olive tree bought from Sicily in 2009. Some initial work to 'discipline' the branches have already been done by the first Maltese owner, Mr. Paul Debono. In June 2012, it passed to its present owner, Mr. Charles Gauci, who brought the Olive for Kevin to add his magic touch of deadwood features.

In April 2012, BCG-Malta celebrated the official opening of its clubhouse in Notre Dame street, Floriana. As part of the celebrations the BCG invited a highly regarded Master in the art of bonsai, Kevin Willson, from the UK.

Kevin held workshops in the garden adjacent to the BCG’s clubhouse on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th of June. Kevin arrived in Malta on Sunday the 17th of June. Members were invited to attend these two workshops and brought trees on which Kevin worked.

A bonsai needs to appear old as the impression of old age of a tree intrigues the mind. Old age lends more the sense of magic and mystique of the bonsai tree. Driftwood techniques can enhance this ‘great age illusion’. Indeed, these may entail making elaborate carved driftwood effects and incorporating hollowed trunks. The effects will then tell a story of the tree’s journey through time. Bringing Kevin Willson to show us these techniques was another logical step in the BCG’s journey through time.

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