Carmen Leskoviansky Begins Apprenticeship

When finishing up the 2-year Seasonal program Carmen pulled me aside and said, ‘I’d like to talk about apprenticeships here.’ I was willing to consider it. In two years no trees had been sawed in half. And during a blowtorch / bending plastic experiment Carmen showed a certain fiery glee. We have a high bar for apprentice hopefuls: Non-destruction and glee. 


Carmen Leskoviansky hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, a smallish city where she failed to bump into my sister and had to be properly introduced. For 12 years she’s been the Collections Specialist of the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, managing a key collection of impressive Satsuki bonsai. The garden’s administration let Carmen skate off to Oregon for three years, with husband Lou and son Gus. They will live in the ‘studio residence’, the house at the bonsai garden. At some point the unassuming small ranch acquired this snooty moniker.

With impish glee (see fiery glee, above) outgoing apprentice John Eads showed me a long list of tasks planned for her first month. 

Here’s a great article and interview with Carmen

Carmen also told all sorts of secrets in the Bonsai Wire podcast episode featuring her

Welcome, Carmen, to Crataegus Bonsai!

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  1. RAY NORRIS says:

    πŸ‘πŸ˜Ž very nice to grow the bonsai world with new apprentices

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Jeffrey Robson says:

    Welcome to Portland Carmen – we are both glad and excited you’re here.

  3. Victrinia Ridgeway says:

    As a woman in bonsai for the last 15 years, who also managed to get the American equivalent of a Japanese apprenticeship, I celebrate the inclusion of more women – at a high level of experience – in this art. That Carmen will be able to contribute to the art as a museum professional is incredibly needed for female representation in this very masculine sport. This is just wonderful!

    Congrats Carmen, welcome to the PNW! I look forward to meeting you someday!

  4. Grant Rauzi says:

    Hopefully Uncle Michael will babysit Gus long enough for you to explore the great bonsai in Washington as well… Welcome Carmen to the Great Northwest!

  5. bwkerbrucew says:

    Big win for you and big win for Carmen!

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