Author Topic: Your club experience  (Read 4123 times)

MatsuBonsai

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Your club experience
« on: December 19, 2012, 11:59 AM »
While reading the results of Tony Tickles' latest poll, I wondered what the experience of others here has been.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 12:23 PM »
I went with choice one Matsu.  Our meetings are dominated by older folks who are stingy and set in their ways.  Try to make even a modest change is met with opposition.  Not worth it in the end.
 

Jay

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 03:04 PM »
I voted for I'm a member. Thought it would have been nice to have another choice.... I belong, My club is good but could use improvement.
At present I belong to Green Mountain Bonsai Society (disclamer....I am co-chairperson). It is the only active club in Vermont. We have a mix a both old and young members. Our meetings are good, not great but they sure are helpful. Plus it is fun to get together with others with like interests.
In the past I was a member of Great Swamp Bonsai in NJ, enjoy my time there and learned alot from the group.

Jay
 

JRob

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 06:10 PM »
Please see my post right before this one.

JRob
 

Anthony

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 08:14 AM »
I guess what should be asked, is after you see how to wire, transplant, prune and explore some design of trees in nature / imagination, what more do you expect from the club?

If it were Art, the next stage would some sort of Art School or Master painter, and if the desire were strong enough so many years of study, before you had the confidence to go it alone.

You guys are lucky, you have Mr.Boon.

So perhaps it is not a case of tea / beer / biscuits and potato chips, but maybe the expectations from a club just went the wrong way.
If you are planning to get to be any good in Bonsai, an excellent teacher for so many years is very necessary.
Good Morning.
Anthony
 

augustine

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 09:48 AM »
John,

I'm a relative newbie to bonsai and have just joined a club several months ago. The club has its share of older people which is a phenonoma I think is understandable in our electronic, instant gratification society.

Any club is a cross section of all kinds of people, close minded, self centered, positive, negative, helpers, users, kind, unkind etc. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link is a cliche that comes to mind.

However, one must participate in the club in an effective manner. I've been lucky enough to "fall in" with several members that are experienced, energetic and committed to pursuing the art. They also have great trees.

These folks have been kind, answered my questions and requests for design assistance and basically taken me in. These guys are also enthusiastic collectors and have included me. I also help in ways that I can, setting up, cleaning up and helping with any "heavy lifting."

I've met stingy people also and I say the heck with them. If I need to step out on my own to attend other events, no problem. I also reach out to experienced people outside the club.

In conclusion, I believe it's possible to get an education in the art if you look around, help when you can, spend money with various vendors and work at it. I also understand the disapointment of those that have run clubs for years with frustrating results.

Bottom line is that your education is your own responsibility. Step out of your paradigm if it doesn't work.

Thanks,

Augustine
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 03:25 AM »
 I am pretty new to Bonsai a beginner at best, I have been to two meetings so far. I joined at the first meeting ,maybe that was a mistake, the jury is still out on that. There are some good people there but mostly I would never know because the only ones I have talked to are the ones I approached. It makes you feel pretty out of place when you are not recognized. I know I have to be more assertive but I as a new be  am just trying to fit in and get some guidance on my new found hobby. Their web site is really lacking, few pictures and no information on any up coming meetings or other events. It would be nice to be able to log on and see what if anything will be going on at the next meeting. And that brings up the worst part so far and that is there is no structure to the meetings at all that I have seen. Tonights meeting was just every one setting around working on their own trees. No start to the meeting no speaker of any find so I just wondered around a bit trying to get to know some of the folks there. I tried watching some of them work but did not know what they were actually doing to the tree, remember I'm a beginner. I finally over heard something about a library. So, I was taken out side to a cabinet and allowed to look at the books.  It was mostly Bonsai Today magazines so I grabbed a couple of them and a beginners guide to Bonsai. Grabbed my little pathetic tree and went home.  I have not given up on them yet and I'll go to the next meeting to see if any thing is different or better. If not then I will just go there to check out the magazines. The Bonsai Today magazines are great. If the club would put a small percentage of that kind of effort into the club, that is put into that magazine it would be a great experience. No sour grapes and no new knowledge about Bonsai. I enjoyed the other replies.
 

Anthony

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 07:24 AM »
iamdunn4,

often new to bonsai, burn very brightly for a short time [ say 6 months to a year ] and then just give up on the hobby. Perhaps the older heads are just using the above experience to protect themselves and waiting to see if you last?

If you need to read try - Deborah Koreshoff and Amy Liang - authors of helpful books, library or Amazon.
You may find the Bonsai Today 1 to 35 or so very useful, but after that the Japanese articles may become repetitive.

Allow for 3 to 5 years to master the Horticultural aspect, unless you have experience growing healthy houseplants or other. The learning curve will be shorter if you have experience.
Also see if you can locate, The Classic Bonsai of Japan - Kodansha and Penjing - Hu Yunhua - this will give you a choice.
Hang in there.
Good Morning.
Anthony
 

John Kirby

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 07:53 AM »
Hey Done4,

You live in the land of American Bonsai, no disrespect to Portland. John Thompson is in San Jose, Johnny Uchida is in Hayward, Boon is in Hayward.  And many, many, others. Try the  BIB club show in Oakland next month, I will be there, Yenling will be there, we can introduce you to folks. You need to find a club that does what you want. I am in two clubs, BIB which is all about bonsai and the development of trees for exhibition and the Hartford Connecticut club where there are many interesting presentations, but the dominant activity seems to be raffles and auctions. Different strategies that produce different results but meet the needs of the members.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 02:53 PM »
Hello Anthony
Thank you for the information. I do have a lot of plant experience as gardening has been my hobby and joy for most of my adult life. I  was into Orchids for several years and still have a couple of dozen.  I had about 500 hundred at one point but since I lost my green house I am limited to what I can grow out side.
 I guess one of the reasons I am disappointed with the Bonsai Club is that I served as the vise President for the orchid club for one year and saw how a well organized club can draw and keep it's new members.
I'll  check into those books and I  will look next time for books 1-35 of Bonsai Today. I wish I owned them so I could go back and reference them at any time I like. I looked on line and you pay at least cover price plus about $10.00 shipping. For a retiring old fart that is a little more than I am willing to pay. Maybe I will scan some of the articles into my computer.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 03:13 PM »
John
I figured there  must be a lot of Bonsai people in the Bay Area with such a history of Asian influence. I am a little surprised that there are so few if any places that sell pots or other Bonsai material. We used to have a Bonsai Nursery not far from my house but several years ago it went out of business and now is a Trader Joes. We have Yamagamis Nursery but they just don't have much. That show in Oakland sounds interesting, I'll try to look it up for times and location. I will check out these other Clubs web sites and see what they are like. Driving as you know in the evening is getting to be such a head ache so location comes into play. You guys have been very helpful I appreciate that a lot.
Oh yeah, my name is Don and my last name is Dunn so I used my standby unanimous site name. That does not work to good for this site. Maybe I can go back and change it to just Don.
 

Dan W.

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 03:23 PM »
I'm glad to say that my club experience has been much better than some others. Though, our club is very new and many of these problems seem to be related to clubs who have existed for a long time, possibly without many of the opportunities we have available these days.

Our members have traveled from WY out to Brussels for their big get together, to Denver for the ABS/BCI show, and sometimes to the RMBS for events where experienced members or outside teachers are brought in.

Our members are also excited about me bringing in some teachers from around the country!

We do plenty of the tea and biscuits, but I don't see anything wrong with that. :)
 

Adair M

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 03:56 PM »
Don Dunn,

I live in Georgia, and go to Hayward CA to attend Boon's intensives.  Don't tell me that a little traffic is going to prevent you from learning from one of the best teachers of bonsai!

I have just re-joined the Atlanta Bonsai Society.  Previously, I was a member back in the 1980's.  Vice-President in 1984.  They do bring in the big names for workshops, etc.  I'm joining up so I can attend them.
 

nathanbs

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 05:13 PM »
Hello Anthony
Thank you for the information. I do have a lot of plant experience as gardening has been my hobby and joy for most of my adult life. I  was into Orchids for several years and still have a couple of dozen.  I had about 500 hundred at one point but since I lost my green house I am limited to what I can grow out side.
 I guess one of the reasons I am disappointed with the Bonsai Club is that I served as the vise President for the orchid club for one year and saw how a well organized club can draw and keep it's new members.
I'll  check into those books and I  will look next time for books 1-35 of Bonsai Today. I wish I owned them so I could go back and reference them at any time I like. I looked on line and you pay at least cover price plus about $10.00 shipping. For a retiring old fart that is a little more than I am willing to pay. Maybe I will scan some of the articles into my computer.

Wait patiently on ebay for other opportunities to buy the issues of Bonsai today. They are all worth getting not just 1-35. Stone lantern has some back issues at 75% off currently. Any relation to Nipa Dunn or Arin Dunn in Eagle Rock, CA?
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Your club experience
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 07:44 PM »
Adair
 I get your point and am interested in Boon's programs. I am just retiring and am not to sure of my budget yet,  the other thing is I am very big on my family and they come first in my life. The amount of time I spend away is important to me, am I whopped ,Maybe. Am I very married and in love for 37 years most definitely. I am trying to be practical about what I am doing, two trips a month say 15 miles verses 45 miles is a lot of time I could be spending reading about or working on my Bonsai. more money for tools and plants. Our gas prices here are about the highest in the nation and I am not a computer multimillionaire like so many others here , just a blue collar worker. If I can justify my actions I would go where the best help would be. I do want to learn as fast and from as knowledgeable people as I can. I have a lot to do just to keep op with my garden at home, Koi pond,cactus, Orchids and Bromeliads. I also want to give this club more of a chance I don't know who these people are yet maybe there are some Boons or Ryan Niels here. If I'm not getting the help I need then I will go some where else. I do plan on getting to as many events as I can and what I can afford. Thank you Adair for your help and  encouragement. I am impressed with all the help I get from this site.