Im sat in the airport on my way home from a very interesting trip which included an apperance at the 6th International Stone Show in Hershey PA. It is my third time speaking there and it seems people are yet to get sick of me and think I still have something to talk about regarding suiseki, so it was nice to be part of it.
Mr. Morimae of S-Cube fame came over and did presentations on various topics but the focus was the use of suiseki with bonsai, a topic which many people find difficult to come to terms with. One common theme throughout the three conventions I have been to has been the desire from the majority of the udience to have hard and fast rules and regulations. “You can’t do this, you can’t do that…” It is appropriate to think in these terms very much at the starting point but this idea must be moved away from, rather than think negatively, it is always better to think “It is better to do this…” or “we must do the best with the tools at our disposal”.
I learnt a lot and even became interested in a slightly more modern interpretation of stone appreciation. Now, this is in no way trying to be suiseki but it is trying to be, and succeeds incredibly, a wonderful work of art. One of the vendors at the show was Tony Ankowicz, an artist/craftsman/stone hunter from Wisconsin and he had this creation on his booth. I immediately fell in love and after a few hours of consideration and then talking to Tony, I pulled the trigger and purchased it.
He had some other stones with him with even more fantastic bases but the lines and curves of both the stand and the stone were outstanding. The craftsmanship on the base was incredible and I couldn’t resist the challenge of finding a use for it as a display item. Discussion with Mr. Morimae and Wil Lautenschlager confirmed my thoughts that this represents an exciting development in the worldwide appreciation of stones, bringing it in to a modern era but retaining the essential characterisitcs of an art form which has origins dating back two thousand years. We were all excited about his work and saw great vision and craftsmanship. It was refreshing to see some thing new and definitely western as opposed to the rigid copying of Oriental practice.
I have to now find a way of displaying it alongside a bonsai. I have a sabina that looks as though it will may be possible to display with, but it is still very immature. Still, the rock can wait…
Speaking of display, the Noelanders trophy will soon be upon us. Mr. Snart and myself will be offering the same service for UK enthusiasts who want trees taking over and bringing back, so please contact us for details. We should have a good showing again, so I look forward to organising that again.
Feeling sleepy…so until I get home…