Opening a treasure chest

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Lang Bonsai's sixth annual kiln opening festivities. Although I own and have commissioned pots from Ron in the past, I have never been to his (or any other) kiln opening before. 

 A peek inside

A peek inside

Lang Bonsai Containers is Ron Lang and his wife Sharon Russell-Edwards. They specialize in bonsai and kusamono containers, often collaborating to create pieces that draw on each of their creative strengths.

Friday began with an evening wine and cheese reception and presentation on the weekend's events. Ron gave a wonderful description of the creation of many of the pots in the firing as well as a guide to how we'd help unload the kiln the next day. Many commissioned pots were in this firing and the new owners were there to see the pots emerge from the kiln. So exciting. Jim Doyle of Nature's Way Bonsai gave a presentation on copses, isolated islands of trees in larger landscapes. On saturday, he led a workshop creating bonsai euonymus copses on ceramic slabs coming out of the kiln that day. Young Choe then gave a talk on kusamono (grass plantings). Later in the weekend she led a workshop creating wonderful kusamono in Sharon and Ron's containers.

 The door is opened!

The door is opened!

We get a first look at the treasures within. If you visit Bonsai Shinsei New York anytime soon, ask to use that blue mug on the right if you have tea or coffee. :)

 

This is a special container commissioned by an accomplished PA bonsai creator. Ron had detailed the creation of this complex and powerful pot the night before. Now we all got to see it in its finished form.

 You can see how much the pot shrank in firing from the "footprint" of unburned shelf around the feet.

You can see how much the pot shrank in firing from the "footprint" of unburned shelf around the feet.

I was able to purchase some wonderful pots at the opening. Here are a few photos. Call me if you're interested in any of them.

 The haul.

The haul.

 Pots from this firing were dated by Ron - something only done for these special firings.

Pots from this firing were dated by Ron - something only done for these special firings.

 One of the few drum pots that Ron has begun to craft. Had to get one of the two that were in this group. Note the rim suggesting the hammered brass of the first antique drum pots.

One of the few drum pots that Ron has begun to craft. Had to get one of the two that were in this group. Note the rim suggesting the hammered brass of the first antique drum pots.

 A wonderful glazed round pot by Sharon. The finish is different all around the pot. Yum!

A wonderful glazed round pot by Sharon. The finish is different all around the pot. Yum!

 More of these please...

More of these please...

 A large unglazed oval.

A large unglazed oval.

Wish I had time to write more. But I'm off to prepare for this weekend's Shinsei School class sessions and then the final preparations for the 4th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester. You'll all be there, right?