Author Topic: Walter Pall & Jim Doyle - Talking about Mateusz Grobelny pots and traditionalist  (Read 2027 times)


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It's unfortunate but not surprising that Mr. Pall and those who dare enjoy the Mateusz Grobelny pots might be accused of defacing or rebelling against traditional aspects of Bonsai. They're offered as a "flavor" not the end all or else...

I think this might be merely another approach to planting a tree - certainly not the only "right way" nor the only acceptable way but just another way of finding a special pot for a preferred tree. 

I applaud Mr. Walter's philosphy of naturalistic bonsai (another way of styling a specimen which I'm learning more about and leaning toward) and introduction of another choice in pottery. Not for everyone but neither is every selection on the finest four star restaurant menus.  Takes all kinds. 

Thank you gentlemen for taking time to share your thoughts.

And yes, this amateur, likes a few of those amazing looking pots.  For now, I'm back to learning everyday about my own favorite trees and see where the journey takes me over the years to come. 



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Limit was reached on original post but here's the second clip:

Jim Doyle offers some smart opinions on the traditionalists vs. the "lunatics"



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Yeah, yeah yeah. We get it.  ;D I found that discussion over on IBC to be tedious from both sides, pro and con.

To me, those pots look like something the tree excreted after a big burrito meal and the fact that the arteest didn't understand traditional bonsai pots isn't really anything to crow about. Flashy western art is the antithesis of the understated attitude that is the foundation of bonsai. At its worst it shouts "look at me, I'm FABULOUS." Which is fine, I guess. I just wouldn't want the tree and the work that went into it fading into the background in favor of a fantastical pot...Bonsai isn't about the pot...

I think the "new" bonsai attitude sometimes runs dangerously close to the thinking among the elitist crowd in art galleries. It isn't so much about art, as it is about selling stuff at exhorbitant prices. It's mostly runs on hype and fashion. While that may be good for people selling high-priced art, it can diminish bonsai as a whole, if no one offers some resistance.

All that said, there is definitely room for new approaches and new ideas in bonsai. There is also room for more traditional thinking. One side can feed the other. I would hate to see either side "win" because without a range of perspectives, bonsai will become stale and tedious.

My two cents...


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I suppose I should preface this by saying that I'm sure I would be considered a traditionalist.

There was a thread on here regarding Walter and his naturalistic style.  I found it interesting, but unresolved, in my opinion.  I deal with logic (and rules/guidelines, I guess) daily and find the defined "traditional" bonsai more to my liking.  

I find it dangerous to attempt an undefined "style" without understanding.  I have met Walter, watched his demonstrations, find him entertaining, and enjoy most of his work.  I'm not sure I like the latest pot choices, but that's ok.  Walter is very talented and has a wealth of knowledge gained through years of experience.

The danger, in my opinion, is that those new to bonsai see this "naturalistic" style as an easy out, without the benefit of Walter's years of experience and knowledge.  I would personally steer those new to bonsai to learn more about traditional Japanese bonsai before deciding to venture out on their own.  

Interesting conversation.  Thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 01:58 PM by MatsuBonsai »