Chances are the spindly one-gallon juniper you found cheap at the grocery store “nursery” isn’t why you were drawn to bonsai. Perhaps you are the nurturing type, but not everyone wants to wait 30 years for a seedling to mature into the kind of tree that inspired you to create and collect bonsai. Larry Jackel is here to help. His story isn’t so different from yours. He discovered bonsai at a show in 1972. He didn’t start his collection as a bonsai professional. He acquired knowledge by risking, participating and learning from others.
The Puget Sound Bonsai Association was formed in 1973 and is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the education of its members and the general public in the art and culture of bonsai. Club members have bonsai experience that ranges from beginner to recognized experts in the art. The PSBA holds regularly scheduled club meetings featuring demonstrations and educational programs by national and international bonsai artists. The club also stages public shows and participates in community events where members' trees are showcased.
Known as the father of American Bonsai, Dan Robinson gave American bonsai a face and a voice some time ago. He has defined the relationship between bonsai and the natural world. At the October PSBA meeting, Dan worked on a giant, weeping red pine on which he had already carved the dead wood. His demonstration focused on wiring and foliage design around the 7-inch-diameter trunk. While the carving on the trunk provides the focal point, designing and wiring the foliage makes it a bonsai, not just a beautiful tree in a pot. Dan showed how he creates dramatic effects with foliage and shared his unique view of the art of bonsai.
Two new member workshops, headed by Elsa Durham, were held on October 12 & 19 at Bonsai Northwest. New members developed a design with guidance from Elsa and pruned, wired and took home their new tree. As usual, all materials were included in the workshop. Next spring, new members who participated in these workshops will have the opportunity to attend a workshop to repot their new tree. Details will be publicized as the date approaches.
Ted Matson, a master of shohin bonsai (trees no taller than 10-11 inches), returned to visit PSBA to conduct a shohin workshop on Sunday, Sept. 21. At our regular meeting on Monday Sept. 22, he also demonstrated his method for developing a bonsai based on the principles of design that he uses for all his trees. Mr. Matson created a beautiful semi-cascade juniper with techniques both bold and delicate. A real inspiration for us all. About Ted Matson: BONSAI AS FINE ART
Summary of Aki Matsuri: We had another successful weekend at the Aki Matsuri festival. People were backed up waiting to get into the display when it opened on Saturday morning and it was busy both days. We had 9 students in the workshop and made over $1,000 between the workshop and bonsai sales. We also signed up several new members. The backdrops on loan from the Pacific Bonsai Museum (fomerly Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection) and the new navy blue tablecloths made the bonsai trees look their best. Thanks to the setup and and take down teams, members who loaned their trees, stones and companion plants, the docents, Elsa, Howard and Sally who ran the workshop and especially to Lynn who did a fantastic job organizing the event.