New Apprentice at Crataegus: Jarryd Bailey

New Apprentice at Crataegus: Jarryd Bailey

In the summer of 2016 a visitor from Tasmania dropped into our studio for a visit. He spent a few hours with us, and asked if by chance there were any openings in classes the next couple weeks. As it happened, there was an unexpected opening and we were able to spend three days in […]

Bobby Curttright Wraps Up Apprenticeship-

Bobby Curttright Wraps Up Apprenticeship-

After three years here at Crataegus Bonsai, Bobby Curttright has finished his apprenticeship and is setting up his bonsai business of Cascadia Bonsai. I am sad to see Bobby go. Bobby weathered his being my first apprentice with his native stoic nature, resilience, and good humor. We did have quite a bit of fun. There […]

Big Juniper Project: ‘The Fish’: Part III: Finis!

Big Juniper Project: ‘The Fish’: Part III: Finis!

This post is the third (and last!) of our three-day adventure with a Rocky Mountain Juniper. I’ve never done a day-to-day string of posts like this. Did you like it? If so I’ll try it again around the bend. Well. Bobby and I don’t smell like rotten eggs today, thankfully. After today’s styling the juniper […]

Big Juniper Project: ‘The Fish’: Part II

This post is the second about our work this week on a Rocky Mountain Juniper. Today both Bobby and I smell like lime sulfur, which, to the uninitiated, smells strongly of rotten eggs. We had splatters of this solution all over us. Thankfully I have no plans tonight. I was worried about getting a good […]

Big Juniper Project: ‘The Fish’: Part I

This post is the first in a series of daily photos of a juniper in progress. It’s about as close as I can come to “real time” blogging. Bobby, my apprentice, and I have been taking our time with this Rocky Mountain Juniper, and enjoying the process of discovering the bonsai within the tree. I […]

Bobby’s Summer Work

Summer is an interesting time in the bonsai calendar. Whether you have much to do or not depends on what you have in your yard. If you only have black pine that you’ve decandled, you can almost hire someone to water and take a two month break. If you’ve only got spruce, it’s almost the […]

The Bonsai Work of Matt Reel

As those of you who know me well are aware, I’ve a tendency to find nicknames for people. I met Matt Reel briefly before he started apprenticing with Shinji Suzuki. At the time he’d just finished high school, and I started to call him ‘Young Reel’. Well, now it’s seven years later and I’m naturally […]

New Long-Term Apprentice at Crataegus Bonsai

Bobby entered the ranks of indentured servitude this week. After certifying he could eat Mexican food indefinitely and showing an aptitude for weeding with tweezers, we made it official. The tradeoff being he teaches me about Pandora and other things useful to know in the 21st Century. Yay! But seriously, I hope to share more […]

Apprentice Jorge Trak—

Thankfully Jorge speaks perfect English, as my Spanish is limited to ‘Si’ and ‘No’ (the second of which is probably the more important word for apprentices). Jorge Trak came from Mexico, although he is originally from Venezuela. He spent 10 days in Portland as a short-term apprentice, and will be back to continue his work.