Author Topic: juicy debate part II,  (Read 7349 times)

Chrisl

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 897
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 09:40 AM »
Al, no respect from this bunch of whipper snappers. Us White Haired guys have got to stick together. Let's sart adding a second thing that we leave out of key descriptions of getting special techniques done.....

I agree, man Elliot, please try at least to be  a little courteous to others.  Al's always had advice to give to others, whether you agree or disagree.  And I don't have white hair either lol
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 10:59 AM »
Crazy glue, it goes with the profile. And since my sense of humor has been misinterpreted here, I absolutely, resolutely and completely say this with All of the seriousness intended, no sausages or SoBs intended. ::)
 

Elliott

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 11:12 AM »
Well Chrisl, according to ur pal AL, if you did not know how to determine what raw stock is gonna be good material, and what won't, than u don't have " a modicum of intelligence", and since nobody is born with that skill ( if u have it, ur not new), and we all started out new to bonsai at some point, then he is basically saying we are all idiot's, and THAT'S disrespectfull!
 Maybe we can get back to the topic, so we can maybe learn something that would make us better at creating trees or teaching others how to.

 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2012, 11:26 AM »
... And since my sense of humor has been misinterpreted here...

I enjoy your sense of humor, when I understand what it is you're talking about.  :)
 

Peter Tea

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2012, 04:10 AM »
Another good question Elliot!

I believe a good Bonsai instructor needs to tell his or her student that a tree isn't suitable for Bonsai.  That's what the student is paying them for.  Isn't the point of taking classes and workshops to improve our skills?  I think the tricky part is explaining it to people so that their feelings don't get hurt.  It's not just the bonsai we're working with, but the people as well.  At least that how I feel about it.  Personally I always let a student know if a piece of material is not good because then they can then refine their eye and find better material in the future.  It's a win win really.  Instructor is helping a student with better material and the student is learning.  I can always fall back on the, "we can use this tree as practice," but the realities are, there are better trees to practice on that can become great, and perhaps the material is so bad, there's no real meaningful skills to gain from it.

Of course, having said that, bad material to one instructor could be great material to another, and that's where the skill and experience of the instructor comes in.

I remember when I first started Bonsai and had my share of bad trees that I thought was terrific at the time!  That was just my inexperience and ignorance of Bonsai.  An instructor set me straight, I felt sad, but I got over it and started working on my skill and experience, to the point to where I'm now in Japan studying it.  :P

 

Zach Smith

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2012, 06:22 AM »
This is an interesting topic.  When I was younger I had all the youthful zeal about bonsai, and was more prone to tell students or club members that their "children" were less than beautiful since I knew it all.  As time went on I got a little wiser and tried to fit the observations/advice to what I perceived to be the person's ultimate goals in bonsai and what skill level they wanted to attain, if any.  Many people enjoy bonsai who have no intention of ever becoming a bonsai artist, so why burden them with my opinion about a tree I don't have to look at each day.  I'll repot it and offer a few diplomatic suggestions, and that's as far as it needs to go.  Now, if a student really wants to learn the art then it's worthwhile to point out the challenges with less than stellar material.  Objectively, there's material that pretty much every last skilled bonsai artist would agree is horrible.  Then you move on to material that most wouldn't touch, and eventually you get to material that most everyone would love to work on.  I've seen a lot of butt-ugly material turned into very nice bonsai, given time and skill, so I try not to pre-judge a lot of the questionable trees that show up at the nursery or club meetings.

For what it's worth.

Zach
 

Elliott

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2012, 07:00 AM »
Exactly guys! And Peter, thanks for the vote of confidence. I post these topics for debate so we can think about how we teach bonsai to others. Since we can't all go to Japan to study, its almost a see one, do one, teach one mentality and alot of wrong information gets passed along.
 I have seen newbies go to there first club meeting and get told that their malsai ficus or elm should be tossed away and then try to sell them what appears to the newbie to be just a stump in a tray.
 On the other hand, I have seen that newbie happen to join the club one month before the annual club show, and that awful little home depot special ends up in the show because nobody had the heart to tell them that glued on aquarium gravel and w old Asian dude fishing mini figurine is not classic bonsai art.
 A teacher should be as honest as possible wittout turning someone away from doing trees. If you have been in it a while already, yoor teacher should be able to come over to see yur collection and honestly critique whats there. If you choose to continue to water the rejects or get a second opinion, that's the persons prerogative.
 The general level of bonsai in any given nation will not improve without higher discipline levels by the instructors.
 
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2012, 08:58 AM »
I jokingly mentioned I'm just no good at gently saying "your tree sucks", but really, I'm no good at. I've butted heads with more than a few of our "elder" members.

We've got some old guys that have been in the club since 1972. They are the definition of "1 year of experience repeated 40 times."  One such gentleman whom I have a particular history with professes to hate wiring, states that repotting trees kills them, and whole heartidly believes in potting soil as a bonsai potting medium. When Bjorn was here he brought a newly purchased $5 juniper from Home Depot to the workshop!

I try to be respectful of those that aren't as enthusiastic (my wife pronounces that obsessed) as I am. What irritates me mist is when these old farts contradict me and heckle me at club meetings. On two separate occasions at repotting workshops I have had "senior" members exclaim that I just killed my tree!

Anyone have similar experiences?  Advice for the easily annoyed?
 

Adair M

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 622
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2012, 10:07 AM »
Wow,Matsu, just, "wow".

How long have you been a member?  I could understand if you were a newbie.  (But, I don't think you are.)

As for the "you just killed your tree", offer to place a bet, and you return the tree next year.  (Or maybe to the next meeting!)



 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2012, 10:11 AM »
Since 2004. President for 2 years as well, but that's a whole other horror story.

I have brought the trees back often.  I've since given up on the club in favor of focusing on my study group. Much better environment filled with only those individuals interested in improving their trees and their skills.
 

Chrisl

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 897
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2012, 10:29 AM »
I also say "Wow"   I've also found rather feelings in some of our older members in the club too.  That's why I don't attend regularly anymore.  I'm trying to find people to maybe start a study group.  Though Chicago is so big, it's hard to find people who don't have to drive hours for a few hours of studying.  And I totally understand.  But I too would think it'd be a much better learning environment!
 

Zach Smith

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2012, 10:43 AM »
I jokingly mentioned I'm just no good at gently saying "your tree sucks", but really, I'm no good at. I've butted heads with more than a few of our "elder" members.

We've got some old guys that have been in the club since 1972. They are the definition of "1 year of experience repeated 40 times."  One such gentleman whom I have a particular history with professes to hate wiring, states that repotting trees kills them, and whole heartidly believes in potting soil as a bonsai potting medium. When Bjorn was here he brought a newly purchased $5 juniper from Home Depot to the workshop!

I try to be respectful of those that aren't as enthusiastic (my wife pronounces that obsessed) as I am. What irritates me mist is when these old farts contradict me and heckle me at club meetings. On two separate occasions at repotting workshops I have had "senior" members exclaim that I just killed my tree!

Anyone have similar experiences?  Advice for the easily annoyed?
You win the prize!  The only conclusion I can draw is that you've been blessed with the ignorant hecklers to help you grow as a person  ;)

That said, your best bet would be to start a private study group and provide less ammunition for your fans at the club meetings.  It was one of the Blue Collar comics (can't remember which one) who said you can't fix stupid.

Zach
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2012, 10:52 AM »
That was the conclusion I arrived at as well. Tis ashame, as they're the ambassadors of bonsai locally. Two of my study groupers have taken over as president and vice president. Hopefully they'll have the patience to wait out "stupid" and continue to work to improve the club. Maybe then I'll feel welcome in my own club. :)

As to Chicago, Cat Nelson(?) is working hard to improve things there. You should get in touch with her and see how you can help.
 

Chrisl

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 897
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2012, 11:02 AM »
Cat's great John!  We've had conversations about this and she acknowledged the problems.  I give her great credit for at least trying and being able to put up with the politics of it all.   I just don't see any change as these members have been there, some for over 30yrs., and nothing is going to change their opinions.  Very discouraging to newer members.
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: juicy debate part II,
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2012, 11:08 AM »
They can't live forever. ;)