Sight of the Blind Mind: Part II

When I was in graduate school learning ceramics, a friend of mine asked our sculpture teacher when he was demonstrating assembling a work with clay slabs, sticks, and coils, ‘When you’re making those decisions, what are you thinking?’ The teacher paused and replied simply, ‘I’m not thinking at all.’ And he looked at us and […]

The Hook To Hang Our Hat On: Part I

If you like wearing hats, like me, you’ll know that just about anything can be a hat support. Anything, really: A chair, a hook, a doorknob. A rack in the oven. Hats, if you’re a hat person, are everything. You live for hats. You don’t live for the hook. Oddly enough, we can get everything […]

Revisiting a Unique Rocky Mountain Juniper—Seasonal work

This is an intriguing tree. I could look at it all day. It was styled last year with the other side as the front. Then the lower branch died, which is a hard thing to prevent in a juniper if it’s got that idea going. About that time I was strongly considering this new front, […]

Documentary Film of Bonsai Apprenticeship—

In early 2004, when my apprenticeship with Shinji Suzuki was only four months gone, a TV crew came to make a documentary on apprenticing in bonsai. They focused on the gaijin, me, and after a couple days of filming came up with this eight minute piece that ran on a local channel. Afterwards, quite a […]

New Flowering Companion Plants…

The words ‘companion’ and ‘accent’ are used interchangeably to indicate a plant or object used in bonsai display. Last year I made a post of several in my backyard… …and here are a few more. I have been heavily focused on Northwest native perennials since moving to Portland, Oregon. Part of the reason is […]

Japan trip to Shinji Suzuki’s nursery!

Well, I finally got back there… and I brought quite a few photos back with me. So over the next couple of days I’ll run several posts about the week and a half spent at my teacher’s studio: the people, the nursery, the trees I worked on, even the monkeys. Stay tuned for more posts! […]

Japanese Maple, once again–

Japanese Maple, once again–

Some of you may have been following the development of this Japanese Maple. I just took the brilliant red leaves off yesterday; we’ve had a lot of sun here in Portland and they did not last longer than 1 1/2 weeks. But it was a beautiful fall. In any event, the small trunk to the […]