Here you can find some friends and teachers who have stood and stand at my side while I have been finding my way. There are many more people who treat me like a friend and who I therefore consider as a friend.

Kunio Kobayashi

Kobayashi-san plays a very special role in my Bonsai life. The most intensive Bonsai experience I ever had certainly was the months I spent at Shunka-en being his apprentice. I will never forget these precious moments when Kobayashi-san taught me or even worked on a tree together with me. This privilege is truely indescribable but I know how lucky I have been. Of course it would be inadequate to describe Grandmaster Kobayashi as a friend. The best term certainly is "Oyakata". That is Japanese meaning "fatherly teacher" and because I have been his student the correct way for me to address him. Having Oyakata as my teacher had a deep impact on my feelings and my Bonsai styling. Amongst all Bonsai people I got to know he is the person who impressed me the most and whom I owe my deepest respect for his knowledge and brilliance in doing Bonsai.
Christian Przybylski

Christian is one of my best friends and one of the most famous bonsai designers in Germany. We now look back on many years of friendship and I owe a lot of my knowledge to him. To this day we regularly spend a lot of time together and work together on exceptional bonsai. Christian's sense of aesthetics has fascinated me from the outset and is one of the foundations of my feelings in relation to bonsai. His feeling for the “certain something” in a tree in my eyes is something very rare even within the international bonsai scene. I appreciate it very much and am proud to call him a very good friend.
Jean-Paul Polmans

Jean-Paul is my second master and also a very good friend. In 2014 I moved from Germany to Belgium and was allowed to assist in his garden frequently. His work to me is extremely sensitive and based on excellent maintenance. Amongst many others he taught me grafting, relentless refining and especially disciplined care. I really adore his work and his attitude. Therefore I am very proud to have been part of his garden for one year till 2015. In 2015 he also introduced me to the Belgium Bonsai Club Eda Uchi Kai where I became a member. I owe him a lot!
Peter Krebs

Peter and I share a strong interest in rare, high quality and antique pots. His knowledge in this regard is legendary and I am very glad to learn again and again in long conversations or telephone calls from him and to find common viewpoints. Not least because he is one of the foremost potters in Europe in my opinion, I have an extensive and carefully selected collection of individual pots and treasures that come out of his kiln. I'm very happy to have Peter as a friend who always lends me an open ear and is willing to deepen my views on bonsai and bonsai pots.
Werner M. Busch

Werner pointed me the right direction especially at the beginning of my development as I took part in various workshops and seminars in his studio. His very quiet and harmonious way is very admirable and serves as a model which I try to emulate even more. I owe Werner for his many insights concerning Bonsai, Bonsai proceedings and Bonsai personalities. To this day I really hold his interpersonal sensitivity, his enduring designs and his expertise to plant physiological aspects in esteem.

Photo: Bernd Schaller
Reiner Kurps

Reiner is a Bonsai enthusiast with typical Nordic temperament whose helpful manner characterizes him. For instance he went all the way from Hamburg to Essen to assist me in a demonstration for only 2 hours. He is also active in the German Bonsai Club Forum and runs the successful "online school" program. In the photo you can see both of us at his demo in May 2011.
Erwin Grzesinski

Erwin and I both always search for the best possible results. His rise, starting as a hobby potter to becoming a professional is characterized by a lot of diligence and endurance. In recent years I have been allowed to witness the development of his new glazes, shapes and combinations of both at first-hand. It stands to reason that a lot my trees found their rightful place in his pots. Because Erwin and I share many aesthetical and practical ideas he even asked me to design his bonsai pot website. I am always happy for him when he succeeds in new projects and when his pots are shown at major exhibitions. I am pleased to have a reliable friend like Erwin, who shows that hard work pays off.
Kevin Hein

Kevin and I know each other since earliest childhood and thus the longest time of our lifes. We are best friends for many years and shared so many exiting and fantastic experiences that I would not know where to start. Kevin to me is like a brother whom I trust blindly, who so often helped me out in dicey situations and who taught me what a real friend is. Our Yamadori tours for me are days of the year which I always look forward to very much. And although Kevin is not even infected with the Bonsai virus (!), he in my mind is the best companion one could wish for a Yamadori tour.
Manfred Meimberg

Manfred Meimberg died on 05/17/2011. He showed me, for as long as I knew him, that there are also directions in which only a few go. His creativity and his claim that Bonsai is an art and must be treated as such, moves me even today. Because he believed in me, he and his wife strongly supported me on a large physical level. In this respect he really was someone who paved the way for me. He was also an important key figure in the Bonsai Club Germany (former CEO) and in the general world of Bonsai. During his lifetime he was in close contact with Wolf-D. Schudde whose bonsai he collected. Some of them were displayed at his funeral. He was a very good friend to me and I am grateful with all my heart. I am delighted that even to this day I am able to retain a very valuable friendship with his wife Barbara.