More about us

We are a unique business offering you beautiful indoor and outdoor bonsai trees and high quality tools and accessories. 

We also offer workshops and a bespoke art service.

Darren Mackay - Bonsai Artist

I got my first Bonsai at age 18 and in common with a lot of people, it died! At this point a lot of people give up and assume the hobby is too difficult, this is not the case and I believe with the right instruction the mystery can fall away and you will be hooked by this fascinating and ever developing art form.  It is my opinion that a great deal of what is taught in Bonsai is good practice but also it should be questioned and when styling trees you should explore every avenue (even the unconventional) to try and release the Bonsai that is in every piece of raw material.

Over the years I have been lucky enough to have had instruction from some fantastically gifted and knowledgeable bonsai artists (Marco Invernezzi and Peter Adams for example) and I owe a debt of gratitude to all of them but especially Kevin Willson who opened my eyes to carving and delicate styling which allows you to style the most unappealing of raw material

I have shown trees at the Ginkgo show in Belgium and have trees featured in the Bonsai in Europe publication and I have done many workshops for local Bonsai and horticultural clubs as well as demonstrating at national shows including the Joy of Bonsai in Bath. 

I will endeavour to impart my knowledge and experience to all who attend Bonsai By Design workshops and that you will leave satisfied and with more knowledge and ideas and of course confidence to continue, lets not leave out the fun!! Our Workshops are accessible to everyone whatever level you are at.

Cat Mackay - Artist

Cat Mackay describes herself as a bit whacky, passionate, emotional and full of love. She loves to create and to inspire creativity.  Her art has always been an integral part of of her life and has been a passion since her young childhood,

Cat’s commissions include numerous private collections, local authority ,NHS in addition Cat has designed interiors of restaurants and hotels. She also holds a number of qualifications  that have been influential in her development and love of art and music. 

Cat’s husband, Darren Mackay, her best friend and her inspiration is also an artist but of the living form, the beautiful art of Bonsai, Cat would watch him as he skilfully designed each tree, bending and carving until his creation was complete. Watching Darren gave Cat a focus, as she watched him work she found herself  picturing the trees as they grew and formed the shapes. with this she began to draw, looking at each intricate detail, the knots and twists of the bark the life force within the trees as they grew.  

Over the years cat has crafted in ironwork and wood but she remains faithful to the pencil charcoal and the faithful paintbrush