Less is More?

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 | No Comments
Less is More?

There is a whole school of thought in bonsai that less is more. The idea is that if you eliminate something from a tree you sometimes end up with a result that is more interesting and a better bonsai. On the other hand, it’s also possible that if you go cutting branches off willy nilly […]

John Boyce’s Bunjin

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 | No Comments
John Boyce’s Bunjin

John Boyce is one of the founding members of the Bonsai Society of San Francisco (BSSF.org), which started in 1960. I’m not sure how old John was when the society started, but he’s got to be in his early eighties these days. When I was a beginner in the club, John was one of the […]

Bernard’s Forest

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 | No Comments
Bernard’s Forest

While I first started a batch of black pine seedlings in March of 2006, I also started a second batch in March of 2009. It was somewhat bad timing given that I had to move all my trees to SoCal soon after; and the result was that I ditched the vast majority of the seedlings, […]

Matt Reel – BSSF Workshop

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 | No Comments
Matt Reel – BSSF Workshop

The original idea that I had to hire Matt was for a group workshop for the Bonsai Society of San Francisco. I’m the incoming president and have been the show chair for the last couple years; so, I have a personal interest in seeing the group further the quality of its show material. And in […]

Matt Reel – Spruce

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 | No Comments
Matt Reel – Spruce

While Matt and I were walking around my yard, I was trying to let him chose trees that he might want to work on because I’ve always felt that when an artist sees a tree that they like, they’re immediately excited to work on it. I know when I look around at trees in my […]

Matt Reel – Part 2

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 | No Comments
Matt Reel – Part 2

At the same time that BSSF scheduled Matt for a demonstration for the Thursday general meeting, the club also scheduled him to do a group workshop on Saturday for six participants. That left Matt with nothing to do for Friday stuck in San Francisco. So, after the meeting was over on Thursday I asked him […]

Matt Reel – Part 1

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 | One Comment
Matt Reel – Part 1

After meeting Matt Reel for the first time in February of 2011 in Obuse, at the nursery of his teacher Shinji Suzuki, I was most struck by the environment that he was studying in. The nursery was immaculate and the trees that were housed there were equally impressive. Here are a few photos of trees […]

Neagari – A quick wiring

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 | No Comments
Neagari – A quick wiring

This little exposed-root Japanese Black pine belongs to a friend. Actually, it was a seedling that I started, but the credit for the current state of the tree goes to a friend. He’s no longer doing bonsai and had the forethought to sell his collection before it deteriorated. This little tree was mine, then his, […]

Patience for Progress

Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 | 3 Comments
Patience for Progress

Bonsai can be a slow, sometimes frustrating hobby. But sometimes both delight and frustration can come from the same source. One of the first trees I ever bought was this small exposed-root Japanese Black Pine, I obtained it in the fall of 2003. It’s a slant, or semi-cascade, depending on how you look at it. […]

Slant Black Pine

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 | 3 Comments
Slant Black Pine

This is one of my original black pine batch, from 2006. In this case I don’t think I put enough movement into the tree when it was younger. The current result is a tree that has a very nice base, but no curves or twists. I had been planning all along to remove the sacrifice […]