Hi, I’m Michael Hagedorn and I’m a professional bonsai artist who also teaches and writes about bonsai. I’ve a MFA from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and I made ceramic bonsai containers for about 10 years in the 1990′s under the business name ‘Crataegus Bonsai Containers’. Following that I went to Japan in 2003 to be an apprentice under bonsai master Shinji Suzuki, where I studied for three years. On returning in 2006 I wrote a book about my apprenticeship, Post-Dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk, that some have called a comic horror story. I’ve felt very lucky to make a career in bonsai maintaining client trees, teaching, and writing. I blog weekly at www.crataegus.com and am nibbling on a couple more books. Since 2012 I’ve been working toward making the Portland Bonsai Village a living, breathing entity—a project that has me waking up with a smile. I love sharing bonsai with others, and teach out of my studio in Portland, Oregon as well as internationally.
Apart from my professional existence I enjoy yoga, dancing (Argentine tango and others), and kayaking.
Interview in Stone Lantern’s blog, Bonsaibark:
Paragraph from interview:
‘…also I would say to students: Bonsai is best when the artist is invisible. This is like a puppet show; we should not be seen. So that whenever we get the impulse to be in front of the curtain rather than behind it, remember to keep technique minimal, and be content with playing a supporting role to a tree. And then, one of the wonderful things about bonsai is that our medium eventually takes over possession of itself once more, and it is no longer a fingerprint of an artist, but is simply a tree again. The evidence of its creation has long since disappeared. That’s magical!’