Earth & Fire Bonsai Potters Exhibition 2019

What an awesome event! This is the first time I’ve been able to see so many Australian bonsai potters in one place at the same time. I got to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in many years and meet people I have wanted to meet for a long time. Some new friendships were made and some bucket lists were ticket. This was such a unique exhibition that probably won’t happen again for some time.

The event was put together by Boris Lomov who told me about the weeks of work he had put into getting the exhibition together (Thanks Boris!). There were 22 of Australia’s best bonsai ceramic artists work on display and for sale.


Some of the people I got to chat with included Pat Kennedy, Roger Hnatiuk, Matthew Allam, Denise Edgerton, Boris Lomov, Tracey Francis, James Tranter, Ben Ho, Sam Bartolillo, Marg Fenn and Val Garth. Everyone was really lovely to meet and happy to share information about their pottery and all things bonsai. It was also great to get a sense of who’s work I would like to purchase in the future (pretty much everyone’s).

Unfortunately I missed the first day. I heard that a lot of good pots sold early but I still managed to purchased eight pots on day two, all of them are beautiful. I can’t wait to get them into my studio for some photos and update the pots page on this blog.

Some standouts for me on the day were:

Pat Kennedy: It was a real privilege to finally meet Pat. I have admired Pats work for a long time but never had the opportunity to meet him. Pat is a really great person who has done a huge amount for the development of bonsai pots made in Australian. Pat gave me the opportunity to talk about his pots and which ones I would like in my collection. I’ve since been in contact with Pat and hopefully a couple of Pat Kennedy Shohin bonsai pots will soon be in my collection. Fingers crossed.

Roger Hnatiuk: another master potter who pottery speaks for its self. Roger was very generous with his time passing on some great words of wisdom relating to Australian Natives, specifically Leptospermum.

Matthew Allam: Matt’s an all-round nice guy who I could have talked to all day. Matt’s pots are really unique both in the process he uses and the colours he can achieve. Matt was telling me he uses a technique called Kurinuki, a process of carving the pot out of a single block of clay. As far as I’m aware Matt is the only one in Australia using this technique for bonsai pots. I’m so stoked with the pot I purchased from Matt.

Denise Edgerton: an old friend I used to do bonsai classes with many years ago with under Megumi Bennett. It was really lovely to catch up with Denise who is making some really beautiful pots. I purchased two of Denise’s pots at the exhibition but could have bought a lot more.

Tracey Francis: from Murrumbung studio ceramics was lovely. Tracey is a real talent whose work I have been watching for a while. I bought a couple accent pots from Tracey and had a great chat about this blog and her website. Tracey’s work is definitely on my wish list. I think I will soon be ordering a commissioned work.

Boris Lomov: Boris’s work expresses his passion with attention to detail second to none. I love Boris’s work, he hand paints the art. Something he says is extremely difficult because of the porous nature of the clay that sucks up the paint/ink. Boris’s incredible work was not for sale on the day (this was probably a good thing for my wallet).

James Tranter: from Samarkand Pottery, a really nice couple with amazing pottery. I purchase two pots from them. Nice branding and packaging.

Ben Ho: Nice guy to meet who’s work I will definitely be following in the future.

Val Garth: Val had a wide range interesting pots, from large flat pieces to taller pots. Val’s work is definitely on my wish list.

Sam Bartolillo: top guy, not selling his work but really lovely to meet. I love the colours Sam achieves, beautiful greens. I really loved the pot he had presented with a bonsai in it.

Janet Selby: I didn’t get to meet Janet but I did buy one of her pots that I absolutely love.

Marg Fenn: Hachinoki Bonsai, a very experienced potter with interesting and beautiful work.

I could have spent sooo much money if the budget would have allowed it. Some pots to look forward to in the future.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Australian bonsai pot makers are all really nice people. I want to thank all the potters that I met for being so approachable. If any of you see photos in the gallery below that you would like, please drop me a message and I will happily send you the images without watermarks.

Here are some photos from the day.



2 thoughts on “Earth & Fire Bonsai Potters Exhibition 2019

  1. Hello Matt,
    Thank you for the extensive array of photos taken at Earth and Fire, it is the first time I have been able to see all work from the members of the group, as I was unable to come down from Brisbane.
    Boris and helpers put on a great show.
    Cheers Marie Hewartson

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