About Me

I’m a bonsai practitioner working mainly in Israel and Europe. I have been doing bonsai for about a decade, but my professional training began in 2008, when I started studying under Italian master artisan Enrico Savini, and his Progetto Futuro bonsai school.

Since 2010, I have been working in close collaboration with the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens to promote and develop bonsai in Israel. In 2011, we established the Botanical Gardens Bonsai Award and Conference – an annual event serving as Israel’s national bonsai exhibition.  The event promotes excellence among local artists, and offers them a chance not only to showcase their trees to the general public, but to receive international recognition through the visiting judges and the general interest the event generates abroad.

In 2012, I was asked to curate the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens’ bonsai collection, re-invent it, and develop it into a modern, sculptural collection. In 2013, I was recognized as an official partner in Progetto Futuro’s management, an important milestone in my efforts to train and cultivate a new generation of practitioners by providing lessons and workshops to both complete beginners and those seeking to further their skills.

Today, alongside my ongoing bonsai work, I am constantly striving to push the limits of our medium, and to take bonsai to new artistic heights both locally, and internationally.

Whether it’s the fascinatingly complex work on the JBG collection, training a new generation of artists, or traveling to Italy to continue my own bonsai education, I invite you to join me here on my blog and share in my bonsai adventures!

International Exhibitions:

  • Headline artist in Bonsai Europa, one of the largest and most important exhibitions in Europe (England, 2015).
  • Assistant demonstrator to one of the world’s premier bonsai artists, at the most prestigious bonsai exhibition in Europe, the Noelanders’ Trophy (Belgium, 2013).
  • Demonstrator and exhibitor in Progetto Futuro’s annual exhibitions (Italy, 2009, 2010, 2012).
  • Styling and design for private collections in Europe, the US and Israel, with works exhibited in some of the top exhibitions and events around the world (since 2009).

Exhibitions in Israel:

  • Israeli Landscapes – Exhibition of bonsai created from trees salvaged from development projects in Israel. First Station Gallery, Jerusalem (2015).
  • Botanical Gardens Bonsai Award and Conference – Establishing, producing and running Israel’s national bonsai exhibition, held annually in Jerusalem (since 2011).
  • Demonstration and exhibition as part of the Japanese Embassy’s Japanese Culture Week, in Jerusalem (2014).
  • Demonstrations and exhibitions in various events across the country (since 2011).

Lectures:

  • Introduction to Bonsai – Talk for the Jewish community in Manchester (UK, 2015)
  • The Italian Bonsai Renaissance – Talk at the Italian Aperi-Kucha event in Tel Aviv (Israel, 2015).
  • Ripples and Waves – On the Unexpected Outcomes of International Collaboration. Talk at the American Public Gardens Association annual conference’s International Session (USA, 2015).
  • Bonsai – From Ancient Tradition to Modern Art. Talk for an arts-focused NGO event (USA, 2015).
  • Talk at the 200Below arts and culture event (Israel, 2014).
  • Special guest speaker at the Japanese Embassy in Israel’s Friday lecture series (Israel, 2014).
  • Guest speaker at the prestigious Pecha Kucha cutting-edge arts event in Tel Aviv (Israel, 2012).

Publications:

  • Regular contributor to Bonsai Focus, the leading bonsai publication outside Japan.
  • Guest article in Bonsai, the leading bonsai publication in Eastern Europe.

8 comments on “About Me

  1. hi ofer please contact me by email if you are happy to share some insights with a bonsai beginner. i live in beit shemesh

  2. Hey Ofer,

    Good work on those olive stumps man! I had a couple questions for you related to olive bonsai. Could I get your email? Or could you just shoot me an email on the one listed and we could get a conversation going?

    Thanks

  3. Hi Ofer –
    I saw an article posted about the Van Meer method on the “of Bonsai Magazine” website, and have a question about a particular bulge on the trunk of a recently collected redwood of mine that I hope to eventually drill out and mend if possible to eradicate the reverse taper it is causing. Can you help me determine whether I can apply the Van Meer method to this issue? Thank you!

    • Hi Cecilia,

      In general, the Van Meer method can definitely be used to drill out bulges and correct inverse taper. Hans (van Meer) has used it on hawthorns, I’ve done it on olive, and I know it works on bougainvillea and pine. I don’t think anyone’s tried it out on redwood yet, but no reason it shouldn’t work. Plus, you get the added thrill of being the first person in the world to do it! 🙂

  4. Hi,
    I live in Brooklyn and am familiar with Julian and have had him at my group, the NY Indoor Gardening Society to speak. I am currently looking for someone to speak about indoor bonsai – tropical or temperate zone plants that can do well in an apartment on a sunny window or perhaps even under lights. If you know an individual who specializes in such plants in the NY area please let me know or tell me where to inquire. Thanks.

  5. Hi Ofer –
    I work at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in the US National Arboretum, Washington DC. You have an excellent blog – great pictures and a very effective writing style! Could I use some of your images to illustrate an exhibit I am putting together on bonsai care? You have some really good ones that show issues with compacted soil. I would, of course, credit you and list your blog address.
    Thanks,
    Kathleen

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