To start our new series of reviewing Bonsai clubs, we visit Friends of Bonsai in Northern Ireland.
Known affectionately as the “Saturday Morning Club”, the membership of ‘Friends of Bonsai’ in Northern Ireland has grown rapidly since it’s foundation in 1995.
Cliff Farley, co-founder strongly believes that this is due to the “Down to Earth” and “Practical” way in which the art is being expressed. All teaching is carried out by involving its members through a hands on approach. This coupled with the friendly rapport and Craic (Irish good humour) within its membership.
A totally different approach has been taken in the setting up of the club. With no fees for membership, or no committee etc we have, in effect, done away with usual rules and regulations which tend to dominate any club or society, thus leaving people free to concentrate on what is really important ‘BONSAI’. As we have a non-fee paying membership all our funds come from voluntary donations, sponsorships and fund raising.
Friends of Bonsai was formed to provide the means to deal with the overwhelming demand for knowledge in the Art of Bonsai. From the very basics like pruning, watering, repotting to the more advanced styling techniques required to convert nursery stock and collected material into fabulous Bonsai. Its founder members Cliff Farley and Louis Hook brought with them a vast pool of knowledge with a combined 30 years experience between them training under some of Europe’s top masters which they enthusiastically passed on to its members.
In the past we have been privileged to have had Kevin Wilson,(England) Chi Tan, (Holland) Salvatore Liporace,(Italy) Hotsumi Terakawa, (Holland /Japan) Marco invernizzi,(Italy) David Prescott,(England) Steve Tolley (England) and Marc Noelanders (Belgium). Marc joins us every September to conduct a Bonsai school. (Places are strictly limited).
Check out the clubs Gallery on Flickr .
Location: George Green Hall, Rathgill Parade, Balloo, Bangor.
Time: First Saturday of every month from 10 am to 1pm.