Deep in the Redwoods: Jim Gremel

We’d been planning it for years, this visit to Jim Gremel’s place. It finally happened after a few presentations in California last week. Here’s a few photos of my couple of days at Jim’s in beautiful Northern California, USA:


Lots going on in Jim’s backyard—trees on posts, azaleas in the ground near them, bamboo in the back, redwoods in the distance-


Jim is famous for getting the molecules in wire very excited, and then bringing them down into a disappointed state again. His annealed copper is softer than anything I’ve used in Japan. When Matt Reel was working in my studio last month he started laughing, saying ‘This stuff is like aluminum!’


A few of Jim’s well-known and well-designed junipers—Kishu and Itoigawa—that he has trained since young whips.


Although I was looking forward to long sleeps and nothing but ironic bonsai chatter for a day, Jim ended that daydream with this small juniper…


This is the little guy after I fiddled with it for half a day. I think it was about 14″ tall- Grown by Jim for 17 years.


Jim at the beach, during a ridiculously windy day that exhausted us after a few short minutes. Happily we had already absconded with some succulents and ferns on a rocky outcrop on the way there, so the day was not lost.


James Bonsai Bond reclining with some soup-


Jim’s massive studio being swallowed by luxurious foliage-


The benches of trees recede into the distance…


Wonderful bonsai prospects on the ground— large Sierra junipers waiting to be grafted-


Jim’s well-regarded Green Atlas cedar that appeared in the National Show some years ago-


Greenhouse full of recently repotted and grafted trees-


Valentine, ‘Bali’, a highly skilled bonsai worker that I  tried several times to lure away from Jim, with no success.


Latest firing in the studio kiln, many non-bons-


I did catch a glimpse of a cloud on leaving, actually it looks like 1 1/2 clouds. Studio to the right. Redwoods, left. Thanks Jim! Great visit. Still upset I could not steal Bali, but I’ll recover eventually.

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  1. Steve Ristau says:

    Living the dream!

  2. backcountrydan says:

    Beautiful place. And great work on that juni… did you get to take it with you?

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