What defines a True Bonsai Master?

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What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:10 pm

A little over thirteen years ago I began to study and practice the art of Bonsai. During that time and especially the first couple years I thought anyone with more experience than I must be a master. (I was wrong) Laughing However, over the past few years I have met a few Bonsai Artists that are extremely talented and some have been willing to not only teach me a great deal, but also voluntarily invited me to work with them on their very own Bonsai. I have learned more over these past few years working with these individuals than in reading books, attending workshops, club meetings, etc.
I have also met a few talented artist that want nothing to do with anyone interested in Bonsai unless they are willing to be pay an astronomical amount of money for a short workshop. So, I ask the IBC members, is a Bonsai master an individual who has displaed much talent and is willing to help and teach others at every opportunity? or is a Bonsai Master one who has displayed much talent, but is unwilling to teach without a monetary reward?
In my opinion one can only reach the status of a Bonsai Master if they as an individual are always willing to meet with Bonsai enthusiast of all background and are willing to teach the art to others, being that passing on this knowledge is a reward in itself.

Thank for your thoughts,
Abe

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Orion on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:31 pm

Eastern Bonsai wrote: In my opinion one can only reach the status of a Bonsai Master if they as an individual are always willing to meet with Bonsai enthusiast of all background and are willing to teach the art to others, being that passing on this knowledge is a reward in itself.

Thank for your thoughts,
Abe

You pretty much just answered your question and it's a damn good way of defining what a true master means to you...I'd stick with that.



Last edited by Orion on Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:34 pm




Sweet Baby Jesus, is it time to beat this dead horse again already?

Check this out for the last time this was brought up...

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7458-modern-masters-bonsai-in-the-21st-century


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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:20 am

Well, Russell, it's almost been a year since this dead horse was last killed. <g>

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:51 am

Russell Coker wrote:


Sweet Baby Jesus, is it time to beat this dead horse again already?

Check this out for the last time this was brought up...

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7458-modern-masters-bonsai-in-the-21st-century


Thats my point.
This a Bonsai forum dedicted to Bonsai? Forgive me Master for attempting to converse on this Bonsai forum. I will refrain from posting any other comments on this site with out first getting approval. However, Im sure just about every topic on Bonsai has been discussed at least twice on this forum. There was also a post previous that discussed ethics on this forum.

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:56 am


Hey y'all guess what - I'm now a master! Time to print up some new business cards.

Abe, nothing personal.

I often suggest people use the SEARCH bar....

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Guest on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:05 am

Hi Abe,

I think one way of doing this is to post on the previous thread, in that way we can have more continuity on the subject and more of the previous posts and ideas of the non active members that participated in that discussion can be heard again. and those who are new here can share new thoughts on the matter.

I am saying this because it seems you are well aware of the issues of double (or more) topics discussed in IBC.


...Don't mind Russell post much, Wink It is not against you. He just an "animal lover" and hates over killing a dead animal. Razz --just kidding, lighten up.


regards,
jun Smile

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  drgonzo on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:13 am

jun wrote:
I am saying this because it seems you are well aware of the issues of double (or more) topics discussed in IBC.

Hey, I still jump in each time we beat the "whats the best fertilizer for Bonsai" dead horse...I love that one!
-jay

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:17 am

Thanks, nothing personal Russell just wanted to lure you in to this discussion.
The overall point of my post was to establish a basis for my example. I often see new members at my local Bonsai Club come in with a half dead stick in a pot and here the peanut gallery laughing away unwilling to help. I just feel like this is a disservice to us artists. This is not true for everyone, I just feel that those with more experience should be willing to teach and give encouragement to these newbie’s. Even if they need to explain repotting all the time. I guess in my eyes this is what really sets an artist apart from the road to mastery.

I now think this horse is dead Laughing

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who is a bonsai master

Post  kora on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:19 am

I was tempted to read the old thread mentioned by Russell Coker, then I decided to give my opinion(for what its worth) without prejudice.
Please be aware, that for some people, bonsai is their lively hood. Would you ask a lawyer, a doctor or any other professional to consult with you without renumeration?
In a club setting, I believe, that it is legitimate to ask as much ? during the formal club meeting.
Always filter the answers you get from any bonsai enthusiast or professional. there are so many variables, as for instance climate, specialty, location of person, availability of supplies etc. Get 3 bonsai masters together and you might get 5 answers to the same ?
If you want to rise to the level of professional bonsai -ist, take classes and pay for them, after you choose your sensei wisely!
The art and science of bonsai is always evolving-keep up with the changes.
kora

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:08 pm

Eastern Bonsai wrote:Thanks, nothing personal Russell just wanted to lure you in to this discussion.


Hey Abe!

Thanks, but as they say "been there, done that", and have the Jerry Springer Show T-shirt and scars to prove it!

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  marcus watts on Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:39 pm

i'd love a techy to inform us how many new members have arrived in the last year........and for all of us a new thread is far better than rehashing an old thread contributed to by dinosaurs who have long since given up. A thread becomes interesting when the writers can respond to comments0, so all this 'use the search bar and dont bother posting' is a load of rubbish - just because 3 readers have read it before Sleep !

If you want species tips i agree - use the search bar because the answers will always be much the same, if you want a new and interesting discussion start a thread and avoid the search bar....soil, fertiliser etc, yes jay like you I think they are great - and both have new products, ideas, & theories all the time so a new thread is totally valid - who knows the new breed of ibc'ers may have things far more interesting to say than the last crop did.....if you all let the threads develop rather than quashing new peoples efforts by saying "use the search" everyone may learn something new.

Bonsai master........if someone needs to call themself one, introduce them self as one or worse still trade as one then they aren't...if you ask the very few western artists who are truely gifted they will probably all say they have much still to learn - these individuals may be masters in the eyes of their peers though. Bonsai as an art is evolving at great speed - methods, asthetics, techniques are constantly changing - I see a growing division between the older original professionals and the new generation who have made far greater efforts to learn properly. Many of the former are clinging on to outdated self taught ways while calling themselves 'masters', many of the later are pushing personal and technical boundaries while moving on one stage from 'apprentice'.

Money...........a local club may be lucky to have an above average or proffesional member - to expect all their time and wisdom every single time for free is wrong - a club meeting is for everyone to relax and socialise is it not?. (A professional still needs to pay the mortgage and bills like everyone else so a balance must be struck). Personally i weigh up who the artist is, what their track record and personal tree collection are like, how they come across on their blog etc and then you must decide if the tree you intend working with can justify the cost of the day, along with what you hope to learn and take away at the end of the session. We do club workshops with 14-15 members and a guest artist to offer advice etc - the cost is low (£25.00 pp with lunch) because time spent with the artist is short due to the number attending - but it is a popular inexpensive day. The other end of the scale is an upcoming 2 days with a very exciting and gifted current artist and a group of just 5 or 6 people - but this will cost £150 per day. Without doubt value will be added to all the trees, but the ability to learn and absorb will be priceless.

best wishes Marcus

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  marcus watts on Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:46 pm

Russell Coker wrote:
Thanks, but as they say "been there, done that", and have the Jerry Springer Show T-shirt and scars to prove it!

then I guess you have nothing valid to offer new members to the forum on the subject? shame, it must be lonely at the top Razz

strangely though Russell if the subject is a year old I'd have thought everyone would have some evolving views and new revelations to share - peoples views can change as they mature, or mellow Very Happy

cheers Marcus

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:16 am


Who's at the top? Not me for sure. Y'all can start as many new threads as you please. But if there's already one here, why not read through all those pages first? And comments like yours, Marcus, are exactly where threads like this seem to go. So y'all have at it!

Hey,the search bar IS a wonderful thing!

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:06 am

The definition of a Master [ in anything ] is supposed to be - someone everyone wants to EMULATE.

Emulate - try to equal or excel;imitate. [ Pocket Oxford 1984 edition.]

Sit back and drink in how many penjing/bonsai look like Mr.X's or Mr.Y's and so on.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Loke Emil on Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:The definition of a Master [ in anything ] is supposed to be - someone everyone wants to EMULATE.

Emulate - try to equal or excel;imitate. [ Pocket Oxford 1984 edition.]

Sit back and drink in how many penjing/bonsai look like Mr.X's or Mr.Y's and so on.
Later.
Khaimraj

Hey Khaimraj...and the rest of us

wouldn't it be interesting to reverse the topic and have a good look at what defines a true apprentice! Twisted Evil

I would suspect any true master would refuse to teach an apprentice, if the apprentice were not ready to accept the apprenticeship and what follows... Then, what constitutes a true apprentice/truely ready student?

...plunching in and trying things out!? - trial and error seems to work well with most masters (even as recognised true masters).

Any aknowledged master was once ready to learn by trial and error, listening, experimenting, not questioning others knowledge, but using the available knowledge as a guideline to finding his own way of doing things. If a true master chooses to become a teacher as well, then passing this self reliance on to his students would be his/hers greatest achivement, above anything else.

Then, I suspect any true apprentice is someone who has truely made an efford in achieving something on his/her own. This include the ability to and efford invested in asking informed questions, above anything else...because this allows the master to guide/ease the student away from obvious mistakes, rather than pointing at wrong ends.

...besides being a bit off topic, I hope you will forgive my digression...and perhabs chime in on this, if you find this relevant/interesting/humoristic?

cheers
/Loke Emil


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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:36 am

Morning to All,
Loke,

as I understand it, an apprentice either seeks on his own or is placed in the care of a recognized master.In doing so, the idea then becomes one of listening well, trying to understand and asking when needed.

The problem with Bonsai, is simply --- no real tradition exists in countries other than where the Japanese and Chinese live and they [ Chinese / Japanese ] have to have a long history of practicing the garden craft in that area.
So for example in Europe or the Americas, everyone is looking for a guide. Plus, there are so many new trees/shrubs to test, the standardised forms from the Orient, have to be re-worked to match nature as she exists elsewhere.

Hence the long debates about blindly following standards from another country/countries, instead of realising that Bonsai / Penjing was somewhat based on rules seen in paintings, looking at nature and one's own individual taste [ poor or refined.]

Until someone can sustain a tree or landscape indefinitely in a given prune job [ take a photo or 3d image ] I am not accepting any suggestions regarding, it is an ART.

And so throwing in the spanner, I leave with the words ------- it is as the Chinese put it --- a Garden Craft.
Art additionally requires much more to be seen as such.
Khaimraj [ Loki ] Laughing Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Guest on Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:59 pm

Bonsai master?---A person who is EXTREMELY I mean really EXTREMELY GOOD in creating bonsai!!! No other Bull@&%t involve,,,,, just extremely good. He may be a kind person or a bad ass person (as we often see Twisted Evil ) but as always extremely good in creating bonsai. Nothing else!...at least for me.

...No matter how many demo he work on or how many conventions he is invited to, or lived half his life in Japan or lived in some "masters" yard,,,but if he is not extremely good in creating bonsai, he won't be a master, I think!

Wink

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  fiona on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:20 pm

Oh lawks I swore I wouldn't take part in this having been the perpetrator of the last lot. But...

... ya know what, Jun? the more I think about it all, the more I think your simple, no BS definition is the right one. If we look back at "masters" in whatever art, craft, skill, profession, martial art, sport or whatever, we will find some that teach and some that don't; some that are nice people and some that are anything but; heck we'll even find some that are the epitomé of sanity and some that are madder than a box of frogs. But the one thing the all have in common is that they rise way above the rest in terms of their skill at their craft.

Those who are knowledgeable about the subject but not skilled in it are critics.


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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:30 pm

Hey,
L.L.B,

too much emotion. EMULATE - remember.

Plus, when you get into the subtle aspects of anything, it will be seen, that there are qualities, only masters can appreciate, and the work admired, can actually be ugly, or confusing or other to the uneducated eye.
Thus a humble stick by granny x, in a tin can bring a tear to the eye, if it is able to hit a memory in a master's mind and would be considered by him to be Bonsai.

Those who can do, those who can't teach.
Stay Well.
Loki [ K ] Rolling Eyes affraid

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:36 pm

KILL ME...... KILL ME NOW!

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  fiona on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:36 pm

Please note in that last post I am using the term "critic" to mean someone who puts forward value judgements based on knowledge. I raise the matter partly to deflect from the "what is a master" horse (which is certainly limping if not already at the glue factory), towards an issue which irks me at times on forums - namely when someone says "What right has he/she got to criticise my trees when his/hers aren't particularly good?" That to me is spurious reasoning. I cannot draw or paint or turn a pot to save myself but I can recognise good work in others. I can also recognise better than good work (i.e. masterpieces?) and I make these calls on the basis of knowledge and understanding of what it's all about rather than being able to "do". Similarly in music I can define why we consider Kathryn Jenkins to be a good (some would say great) singer and Florence Foster-Jenkins a bad one.

So we can say that so-and-so on here isn't a "master" because his/her trees are not way beyond good. But don't say that their "amateur/not expert" status means they haven't the right to make informed comment on anyone else's.

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:41 pm

fiona wrote:Please note in that last post I am using the term "critic" to mean someone who puts forward value judgements based on knowledge.
.....
So we can say that so-and-so on here isn't a "master" because his/her trees are not way beyond good. But don't say that their "amateur/not expert" status means they haven't the right to make informed comment on anyone else's.
thumbs up

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Guest on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:57 pm

...Bottom line__________________________________________BONSAI ____________________VERY WELL CRAFTED__________BONSAI____No BS!


study


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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:14 pm

For me a bonsai master is also loosely defined as...
1. one who have artistic vision and see far ahead... and
2. have the knowledge, skill, and talent to deliver.

I am sure, my bench marks will be more stringent as I mature in this hobby but I don't think it will be changing much definition wise to me.

I agree with Jun but finished product is not my sole means of measurement. A master to me can take on anything...not just fine yamadori specimens but also a lowly nursery stock (if he have to) and make the most out of it.

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Re: What defines a True Bonsai Master?

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