Ugly stumps carved into beautiful Bonsai

Hi all,
I have booked a weekend session with Kevin Willson (UK) for carving some of my trees with him. Do you have pictures of any ugly stumps that have been turned into beautiful Bonsai by carving? I am looking for inspiration. The trees i am about to take with me are: Yew, Olive, Hawthorn, Elm, Privet. Any pictures, comments are welcome. Thank you.


Hi, I think Harry Harrington from the UK is doing a lot of carving…
Hope this is helpful,

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Hi, thank u for the reply.
Harry Harrington is great. Kevin Willson is the Carving Master. I know them both personally. You won’t find much about Kevin online; he is a bit old school. Even Ryan (who in my mind is one of the greatest, if not no.1 Bonsai Master in the West) agrees that he is amazing - he said so during one of the live sessions!
I am just looking for inspirational pictures.
Thank you again.

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Whenever I think of ugly stump to amazing bonsai carving I always think of Graham Potter’s youtube videos. Here’s one where he goes to town on a privet stump, but check out his other videos too because he has a number of stump carving videos.


Thank you for the reply. Graham is Kevin Willson’s student :slight_smile: I have visited his garden in the past. great guy, great Bonsai Artist.
Thank you.


Nice! You’re going straight to the source then! Kinda jealous, let us know how the session turns out! I’ve got an ugly apple stump on deck for some work this spring, it’s got amazing basal flare. And I bought a “little terrier” Dremel bit from Graham this past fall, about time to really put it to work.


I spent the last weekend working on several of my trees with Kevin Willson, the Master Deadwood Carver :wink:

Enjoy one of the trees, a Yew…from stump to a very promisng start to become a Bonsai one day!




That’s a wonderful bit of carving. The tree looks great!

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Thank u for your kind words.
I have more pics to upload.


hello, Kevin willson is in my humble opinion one of the best bonsai artists in Britain. He can carve anything, as we all know. But he also knows how to style a tree.

English elm purchased from Graham Potter

Carved and styled by Kevin Willson

Wired by me, I am learning

Kevin and his wife always make you feel welcome he is a legend.



Cannot agree more! He is not just probably the best bonsai wood carver, he is also great with styling, easy going and fun to be with!

Nice tree BTW! Graham has some really nice material and he is also a good carver and a nice guy; Kev’s “disciple”.

thank you for comment on tree, but I wouldn’t have it without the two people mentioned previously. They have forgotten more then what I know about bonsai, but as Ryan would say, as a bonsai mirai student now I can learn, and I’m gonna try.

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I am on the same page here… doing Bonsai since 2003. Since I joined Mirai, I realized how little I know :slight_smile:
Ryan and the knowledge he shares has helped me immensely to understand the science, mechanics and horticulture behind every single step I take.


what Ryan has done is made the knowledge accessible to people like us.

I like being a mirai student, I just wish he was British, because not quite sure about weather difference


Another tree that was worked with Kevin WIllson…An uninteresting chinese Elm with several flaws.
BEFORE … ugly, sad and hopeless

AFTER … there is hope after all :-):grin:


Well I feel really lucky. I started a year ago and I feel his teaching is invaluable saving me from a lot of mistakes.

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Kevin wilson does have a web page of some of the work he has done… with before during and after working.

He is one of the best if not the best bonsai carver.

His work speaks for itself.


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Still alive? let’s see a picture of current state.

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Alive and kicking… pls allow me a few days to find time to take a fresh pic

Ive got a couple of combi c and f thermomiters which is starting to help my brain deal with the euro/ uk temperatures differences discussussed.