Author Topic: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai  (Read 1567 times)

JDNeessen

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Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« on: January 13, 2012, 02:13 PM »
I have been taking individual Bonsai classes here and there for just over 5 years and really enjoy this hobby, but I would like to do more with it.  I've been taking workshops at a local bonsai nursery in Massachusetts which have been fun and informative, but I'd like to do either some more reading or a series of courses that gets into more horticultural information. I feel like that is my next step to make sure my current trees are thriving and growing so I can get into styling later when they are more developed.   Or maybe I should just invest in better stock instead of cheaper trees that probably need another 5 years in a greenhouse to do anything interesting with.  =)

The nursery I go to does have a series of courses, but they are offered on Friday nights right after work and I just can't get there in time because I work over an hour away.  I currently have mostly tropical trees as I live in an apartment in Boston (They do make it out to my porch over the spring, summer, and early fall).  I have read Jerry Meislik's book "Ficus: The Exotic Bonsai" and some others on history of bonsai, indoor bonsai, etc. 
Does anyone have any suggestions on reading I could do? 

Also, has anyone participated in any apprentice programs here in the US?  Would seasonal programs be appropriate for someone who is not as advanced or a professional, but would like more horticulture knowledge and experience?  These classes are an investment, but definitely sound interesting. 
 

Yenling83

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2012, 02:36 PM »
I would highly suggest saving up your money and attending intensives or whatever they call it from either Boon, Michael H or Ryan Neil.  I think it’s currently the fastest and most efficient way of learning besides directly apprenticing in Japan.  You will develop 20 times faster then if you try and study from books, DVD’s or possibly anything else.  The cost was difficult for me to swallow at first, but if your really serious, think of it as an investment and realize that you really could do it if you really wanted to.  Good luck!!!   

Also- the sooner you enter a program like this the better IMO.  Bad habits can be difficult to break.  Being a newcomer to a program like the one's mentioned will be challenging, but it's just part of the learning process-everyone goes through it in the beginning. 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 02:41 PM by Yenling83 »
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 02:40 PM »
I'll be going back to Boon's for my 11th intensive next month.  I can't say enough good things.  He (and others) would likely tell you the best one to start with is Winter/Repotting, which I promptly ignored and started in June.

How I Found a Bonsai Teacher
 

John Kirby

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 04:16 PM »
Being an SOB the past 61/2 years or so, I too can't speak highly enough of the Intense model of training. You can work with Boon, Michael (who stated with Boon and then went to Shinji Suzuki's for an apprenticeship), Ryan Neil who spent 6 years with Kimura and is very gifted and a great communicator. Just pick one and stick with it.

My favorite example is Peter Tea, google Peter Tea and look at blog on apprenticing at Aichien with Junichiro Tanaka. I was in many intensives with Peter, he went from being a newbie to excellent in less than 5 years and is now on track to be one of the fine young talents when he returns from Japan in 4 or so years. Pick one and go, John
 

JDNeessen

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 04:55 PM »
Thank you all very much for the advice.  I will definitely research each of them more and start saving up some money.  It is definitely something I would like to do and I appreciate your help.  Any other suggestions I can work on in the meantime would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

John Kirby

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 05:05 PM »
Watch the blogs, take some classes with John Romano. The best thing to remember, if you learn it right, you don't have to unlearn it to be good. John
 

Yenling83

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 05:43 PM »
Watch the blogs, take some classes with John Romano. The best thing to remember, if you learn it right, you don't have to unlearn it to be good. John

great advice, I might also suggest Boon's DVD's
 

John Kirby

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 06:58 PM »
Talk to Jeremiah, he posted similar question/concerns not too many years ago.
 

leila

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Re: Looking to take a bigger step into bonsai
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 01:14 PM »
The New England Bonsai Gardens have something called Kaikou School of Bonsai.  http://kaikouschoolofbonsai.com/  It's in Bellingham Mass.  I know someone said something about John Romano, and I know he's involved.