Twin-Trunk Hemlock on Slab: Rework

Twin-Trunk Hemlock on Slab: Rework

This Mountain Hemlock was the first tree I put on a nylon slab, back in 2012. We reworked it this week. Before work, January 2023. This composition was put together 11 years ago. After the initial round of work. The right side of this composition has felt foliage-heavy the last few years. The skinny trunks […]

Interview with Enrique Castano

Interview with Enrique Castano

This was a hoot. Enrique and I talk internationality in bonsai, creative directions, and bonsai education in this 40 minute interview.  Please be patient! The first few sentences are in Spanish, the rest is in English. The interview was for the Latin America groups, FELAB 2021, which I repost here with gratitude. If the video doesn’t […]

Windswept Mountain Hemlock: Revisit

Windswept Mountain Hemlock: Revisit

A couple years ago we did an initial design of this lovely hemlock collected by Anton Nijhuis. Today we revisit it after a rewiring.  The tree is still in a box, and is high on the list of those in need of fun presentations this spring. We may revisit it—yet again—soon. First, here’s a trip […]

2022 Blooper Reel

2022 Blooper Reel

Haven’t done this for a while…ending the year with our most embarrassing images. Really, they’re often better than what we were trying to do. So with that encouragement, please watch our montage, below. Because life is short. January 2023 Bulletin Board Seasonal workshop dates for 2023 are up! There’s a waitlist for several sessions, please […]

Coin Toss Forest Design Exercise

Coin Toss Forest Design Exercise

If you’re seeking something bonsai-ish to do while socked in by a snow storm, this might be it. I’d heard of this exercise years ago but had never tried it. While it wasn’t snowing out (it was raining), I did think this was the best thing I could do with my afternoon: take a handful […]

White Pine Rewire—

White Pine Rewire—

A client’s White Pine was in the studio this week for a quick cut back and rewire.  About every three years a nip and tuck with scissors is needed on this tree. We didn’t pick up the concave pruners for this cutback.  Most of the wire sizes were 16-20, with a few branches needing size […]

Van Helmont’s Intriguing Experiment-

Van Helmont’s Intriguing Experiment-

Excerpt from Bonsai Heresy’s Chapter 22 ‘More fertilizer, more better’ The seventeenth-century Flemish scientist Jan Baptist van Helmont did something remarkable. He proved that it wasn’t soil that built plant tissue. Van Helmont designed a simple experiment. He took a large container, filled it with two hundred pounds of drysoil, and planted a five-pound willow […]

Reworking a Taiwan Juniper

Reworking a Taiwan Juniper

A great honor to work on this Taiwan Juniper, owned by a client of Andrew Robson’s, here in the States. It’s not common to see one of this quality traipse through Oregon.  Taiwan Juniper isn’t at its best in northern continental climates. I see them throw out a lot of juvenile growth there. And lose […]

Shore Pine Display at Pacific Bonsai Expo ‘22

Shore Pine Display at Pacific Bonsai Expo ‘22

This one needs some explanation. It was another of my vague ideas that needed reinforcements to execute. In late spring my friend Erich and I took stock of this Shore Pine, which at the time was attached to a metal post. It’d been styled a few years back. “So. I want to make a moveable stand […]

Photo Gallery: Pacific Bonsai Expo ‘22

Photo Gallery: Pacific Bonsai Expo ‘22

I hope, after seeing these 40 photos, that you feel like you were there, with us, in Oakland, California, last weekend. My thanks to Vince Smith for the use of his shots- Three big cheers to Jonas Dupuich, Eric Schrader, and their team for putting on one of the most beautiful bonsai shows I’ve ever […]