Author Topic: The spirit of Bonsai  (Read 1967 times)

Anthony

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The spirit of Bonsai
« on: July 05, 2014, 09:15 AM »
Folks,

well, the family has returned to Italy, and are safe at the villa. Yesterday, local friends came over, all Bonsai nuts, of around 35 to 20 years growing experience. We had a great time, tea, biscuits, home-made wine, and lots of talking.
Soon weeding, and discussing designs. Great 4 hours or so of on-going discussions.

You know in the older books, say before 1970, the idea is - health.
Healthy trees, and good basic designs. Simple, effective observations and friendship.

After 1970, an ugly element enters Bonsai, showing off [ not exhibiting ] expecting prizes, leading to reknown and obviously sales. Making money.

Down here we have managed to keep that ugliness out, but the younger heads, with the Internet, are picking up the wrong attitude.

We use simple designs, because, it is unhealthy to keep a tree at exhibition level, additionally, our climate being gentle, trees are more domes, you damage the heartwood and only the durable will survive for x years. The termites, wood borers and rain will take you down.
My brother-in-law uses his skills for drawing to zero in on the best qualities of 10 to 20 trees of a single type.
Then allows the information to mull in his mind, coming out when it wants to.

We also make our pots from sub- stoneware clay and to be frank the only real cost factor is the smal concave pruner.
Handbuilt or mould or direct mould made copies, also added on concrete pots [ which can be used in winter climates.]
Masakuni wrote a book years ago on how to use his tools, saves on the much read about breaking of tools.

It is the health of the tree that is most important, and the friends who gather that keep the growing of trees so very alive.
Good Day
Anthony

* By the way this is how we gained knowledge in the 80's without books.
Asked a Chinese officer at the Chinese Embassy, to talk to known Chinese growers, paid for the telephone calls, sent the growers gifts of silver jewellery for their wives or titanium rings [ hand made ] for the men, and feasted the officer with specialty Chinese food. Brother-in- law's grandfather was a chief on Canton, before he came to Trinidad.

Same for the Japanese, after meeting an officer at a Raku class [ two weeks of fire ] and wrote the Nippon association.

The Chinese even gifted us with older Bonsai books [ in Chinese with captions, not one of us can translate them - ha ha ha.]
The Japanese gifted us with a pack of J.B.pines, it is the oldest J.B.Pine we have.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: The spirit of Bonsai
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2014, 04:33 PM »
There's got to be some kind of balance. I ended up quitting my local club as it's dominated by the old guard who are more interested in their coffee and take pleasure in running off the new faces. Yer after year I watched them spend thousands of dollar at Brussels to replace the thousands of dollars worth of trees they killed the year before.

I've seen the supposed anonymity of the internet cause normally pleasant people say some pretty harsh and nasty things.

I've been part of study groups and intensive sessions where the emphasis was on the utmost quality, and comradere quickly followed.

What's the secret?  How do we maintain health, achieve and attain quality, and build friendships in the process?
 

Judy

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Re: The spirit of Bonsai
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 04:46 PM »
I think the secret is in finding the right set of like minded people.  I think it's a hard match to find, and not going to happen just anywhere.  
Don't think I'll ever get lucky in that regard, which is why forums are important to me.  
 

Anthony

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Re: The spirit of Bonsai
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 09:06 PM »
John,

when my brother-in-law entered the internet in 98, he was warned by his good friend and roommate of 3 years, studied in Florence together, that the internet as was seen on the American side, was over loaded with amateurs wanting things for free. When the communication changed from e-mail lists and went visual, most of the well trained painters [ could actually draw and paint - think Raphael or Titian ] left the internet.

Additionally, he was also warned that the internet was the wrong place to look for friendship.

Humans need eye to eye contact to build relationships.

This is why we go the old way and just chat, face to face.

It is supposed to be that in life all you need is one or two very good friends and the rest will be acquaintances.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: The spirit of Bonsai
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 09:08 PM »
What is the spirit of bonsai?  More importantly, here in the USA, what is its future?

The bnut forum and recent discussions make me wonder.  Obviously, not many people are interested in bonsai, so the people who post on forums are a small percentage of a small percentage.  Is it a true sample?  Or just the vocal minority?  

Some of the discussions, more particularly, the social intercourse, by people who profess to be grounded, cause me to be concerned.
 

Anthony

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Re: The spirit of Bonsai
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2014, 06:27 AM »
Don,

just in case.

 I caused an argument at Bnut a while ago.

I -

[1] Reported on an incident with no back-up proof

[2 ] Upset one of the list's elder gods [ Al ] and later on the second elder responded [ Vance ]

At which point I thought it best for all that I leave the list, since I was causing harm.

For which I was in reality land,

[a] politely chided and scolded for behaving like a rank amateur, starting a discussion with unproven claims.

also warned that such proof would be difficult to show as images can be falsified.

Hopefully, I have learnt my lesson and will not repeat the same here.
Good Morning
Anthony
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: The spirit of Bonsai
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 07:08 AM »
I was not referring to you Anthony, so I apologize if my post suggested that.

The tone and attitude in general is what I meant.