How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

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How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Robert J. Baran on Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:38 am

A new page for your perusal and assistance: http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/BigPicture/Census.html .

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How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:36 am

Hello Robert. Speaking for the UK, I'm not sure how accurate those numbers are. There are plenty of clubs with no affiliation with the Federation of British Bonsai Societies and on the map of the UK, I can think of a further 3 in East Anglia alone.

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:38 am

Trinidad's Bonsai Society had about 200 registered members, active ?
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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  MikeG on Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:13 pm

There are for sure more clubs then that here in Canada. I know of 10 alone just in Ontario. The east coast dosn't have many organized clubs except Quebec, but there is a huge bonsai community in the west. British Columbia has 9 different clubs, not to mention Alberta.

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  fiona on Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:25 pm

I have to chip in and agree with Will that FoBBS does not fully represent UK bonsai - or, I would surmise based on my personal knowledge, even come close to it. For example, the map does not include the 175 or so members of the Scottish Bonsai Association because it is not affiliated to FoBBBS. Nor does it include the additional "independents" like myself, and I would imagine there are easily 50 of us.

Although I know you say the aim is not to provide an exact figure (despite its tag as a census rather than a snapshot or overview) I was thinking that maybe the good people of this forum could assist in getting more accurate figures for you - certainly for the UK. Might not still be even close to 100% accurate but it would give a valuable indication of not just how many practitioners there are world-wide, but also of what the breakdown of club to non-club members there were. Could be quite revealing actually.

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:06 pm

Are we not part of the data? though I am an independent myself and never been part of any club there are I think a sizable number of Filipinos doing bonsai.

regards,
jun bounce

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:27 pm

Jun . . . there seem to be a few of you on the IBC, but unless they're organized in some way and have a web presence, Robert has no way to know. Is there a national bonsai organization there?

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:51 pm

JimLewis wrote:Jun . . . there seem to be a few of you on the IBC, but unless they're organized in some way and have a web presence, Robert has no way to know. Is there a national bonsai organization there?

Yes Jim, now there are two I think.

but still relatively quiet in terms of international exposure.

...like you said before on me being "talkative", I think it might help someday to show people from other continents that we exists.

regards,
jun
bounce

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How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Robert J. Baran on Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:23 pm

Wonderful! This is what I was looking for. Thank-you.

I definitely know my sparse researches so far have not scratched the moss off the surface roots. I do not mean to slight or undercount anyone. I did the initial notes from an idea for that page about four months ago. For starters, I know I have not tracked down all Internet or newsletter estimates. Before Paul Gilbert's RMBS newsletter article that in China alone "There are over 5 million people who do bonsai" I was estimating that worldwide there might be some 10 million of us. In associated and unassociated clubs, informal workshop/study groups, unaligned independent growers and family enthusiasts. Practitioners of one form or another of magical miniature landscapes, plant or mineral or both.

In the next few days to coming weeks your, hopefully, many responses will be added to the "census" page. Let me know of other referenced estimates I haven't seen yet. "Post up and be counted!"

Most cordially,

Robert




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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Neil Jaeger on Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:54 pm

I know New York has ALOT of people that live in New York City, but here in Buffalo we have about 100 members. I know Rochester has alot of members in their great club. Hope this is what you wanted for a reply.

Neil

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  flor1 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:43 pm

Interesting see that Atlanta bonsai society not listed. One of the bigger clubs in the U.S. Lots of people doing Bonsai without belonging to a club.

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  ogie on Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:23 am

JimLewis wrote:Jun . . . there seem to be a few of you on the IBC, but unless they're organized in some way and have a web presence, Robert has no way to know. Is there a national bonsai organization there?

Yes Jim there is,,its called Philippine Bonsai Society Inc...Which has accreditation among asian club and i think Bonsai int'l...Some of our IBC member are part of it also

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:40 pm

Interesting project Robert. In addition to the difficulty of reaching everyone, there is also the problem of the degree that one does bonsai.

Many people have mentioned that they are independents and don't belong to a club. I suppose it depends on the individual circumstance and the club, but joining a bonsai club is a great way to accelerate your learning and it can also provide a social network that can help source tree material, supplies and access to instruction. And as the current President of BCI, I would highly recommend that everyone consider joining BCI, the only truly global bonsai club. BCI is making a push to gain individual members so that we can expand our offerings and help promote bonsai and stone appreciation around the world. In addition to our magazine we offer other programs - for instance an annual convention, competitions, and next year, a BCI Member tour of Japan for the ASPAC and Taikanten shows all in a one week period. If you haven't considered joining BCI now would be the time to become an individual member. Thanks.

http://bonsai-bci.com/

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:13 pm

Thanks Rob. I didn't realise you could join BCI as an individual.

I have always agreed that clubs are a great way to get started in bonsai and there will always be excellent club members who are willing to share knowledge and information (and sources), and who keep an open mind as to that thing we loosely refer to as progress. As has been seen on many occasions, I would always recommend to new IBC members (meaning by that those new to bonsai) that they seek out a club.

However, sometimes clubs can also stifle, especially if the administrator(s) of the club are particularly set in his/their ways. We got a flavour of that in the post Iris put up re Definition of a Bonsai? Sadly, my experience has been along similar lines of being considered snotty as Iris puts it because I want to do bonsai better and work with better material. That is why I myself choose to remain largely independent and work on my own or with a small but dedicated and like-minded group of bonsai friends. I say "largely independent" because while not affiliated to the maistream organisation in Scotland, I do maintain a membership of two very forward looking UK-wide groups - the Wirral Bonsai Society and the British Shohin Association.

If BCI is as progressive in outlook as they are, then I would be very tempted to join.

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:16 pm

But I would have to ask why is it nearly double the membership fee for a non-USA/Canadian resident if it carries the tag Bonsai Clubs International?

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:35 pm

fiona wrote:Thanks Rob. I didn't realise you could join BCI as an individual.

I have always agreed that clubs are a great way to get started in bonsai and there will always be excellent club members who are willing to share knowledge and information (and sources), and who keep an open mind as to that thing we loosely refer to as progress. As has been seen on many occasions, I would always recommend to new IBC members (meaning by that those new to bonsai) that they seek out a club.

However, sometimes clubs can also stifle, especially if the administrator(s) of the club are particularly set in his/their ways. We got a flavour of that in the post Iris put up re Definition of a Bonsai? Sadly, my experience has been along similar lines of being considered snotty as Iris puts it because I want to do bonsai better and work with better material. That is why I myself choose to remain largely independent and work on my own or with a small but dedicated and like-minded group of bonsai friends. I say "largely independent" because while not affiliated to the maistream organisation in Scotland, I do maintain a membership of two very forward looking UK-wide groups - the Wirral Bonsai Society and the British Shohin Association.

If BCI is as progressive in outlook as they are, then I would be very tempted to join.



Same problem everywhere.

that I cannot comprehend. I sent same query to Rob via PM. Since you ask it here Fiona, will somebody be kind enough to explain the other perks of joining a club? other than meeting some new friends in the beginning and acquiring more foes later on... sorry if I'm being ignorant. no offense meant to any body.

regards,
jun

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:00 pm

First up, we need to avoid the obvious danger of tarring everyone with the same brush, Jun. My own experiences of one aspect of a society have been bad, but I still retain a very healthy respect for a great many of the individual members of that same group. Indeed there are some within the group that I am somewhat in awe of in terms of their bonsai knowledge and skill.

It seems to me that the great conundrum of the bonsai society is that while it can educate, inspire and develop, at the same time certain elements from within it can stifle and, in extreme cases destroy. Hopefully there are not so many of the latter in existence.

The only other thing I will say is that I should imagine that many people have their "cut-off point" where they feel that their own personal development in their hobby, sport, art form or whatever has to be achieved outwith the local club. That is the point I reached and the second major reason why I prefer to take the independent path. I have been accused of being selfish for this - no doubt along the lines of (with apologies to JFK) not thinking what can I do for my club rather than what can it do for me. The reason for that is simple: I do not consider myself to be an "expert", not would I have the arrogance to tell anyone else how to "do bonsai". As the saying goes: to the novice I may appear a master, but to the master I remain very much a novice. If I am asked to do a talk, I will do it as long as it is within my experience range. I would never do a demo as I do not believe I have the skill or experience.

I will continue to advocate joining a club to those new to bonsai, even if it is only in the early stages. I will also steer UK newcomers in the direction of the nearest bonsai "personality" - be they a master or just a good exponent of the art form. It remains my own personal choice (arrived at through experience) that nowadays I get far more from half a day with Steve Tolley than a year in a club.

Heck - I even get more from a day with Tony Tickle than a year in a club. And Carolyn's biscuit choice is always much superior. Wink

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:21 pm

fiona wrote:But I would have to ask why is it nearly double the membership fee for a non-USA/Canadian resident if it carries the tag Bonsai Clubs International?

Thanks for the interest Fiona. The difference is due to the cost of postage. Being a US based entity we have to pay large postage expense to get the magazines to areas outside the USA. However we are in the process of revising our offerings and hopefully will offer a few services that will get around the expensive postage option. I don't want to say what they are yet as they are still in work but I believe our members will appreciate the new products.

We have a new editor and I have seen proofs of our next magazine. It will place BCI's "BONSAI and Stone Appreciation" magazine as one of the best bonsai magazines available. With annual conventions, award and competitions, great value bonsai tours, artrists programs, and more, BCI is really in a ideal position to help promote bonsai around the globe. If we can increase our individual membership it gives BCI the wherewithall to offer more progressive and bonsai improving ideas. So I urge everyone to join up. Thanks.



Last edited by Rob Kempinski on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:29 pm

fiona wrote:Thanks Rob. I didn't realise you could join BCI as an individual.

In my advancing stages of CRS ... actively progressing to CRAFT... I cannot recall, but I do get a really nice periodical on Bonsai that I believe is for BCI. I think it came from my individual membership. I'll have to check. However, I also belong to the "local" bonsai club (40 miles from the house.)

Jay

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:38 pm

Yes Fiona. Like I said I meant no offense to anybody or any club or any club member for that matter. I think I'm not the only one who has the same dilemma, but I think the only one fool enough to ask this question so openly. I am also advocating "new" to bonsai people to join a club if they find it difficult not to be.
I am relatively new to this "art" compared to most people, but for me (again this is just my personal view---"don't do this at home") not being a member of any club ever since I started my first ever elm twig tree, I tried to read and acquired more reading materials and observed as many trees live in shows, in the internet and even in the oldest magazine I could find, acquired many tree species as I can to gain knowledge,go outdoors and see more of nature more often than I should have, and of course pray a lot that my trees will turn out well at least for me. and I think if I did joined a club in the beginning may resolve won't be the same since I'll be relying more to other people, and probably copy their design work as I often see with a teacher and student working together (not just in bonsai)...again this is not an attack to any person doing bonsai, I'm just sharing my experience....and only the future can tell if I did the right decision.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:58 pm

jun wrote:Yes Fiona. Like I said I meant no offense to anybody or any club or any club member for that matter. I think I'm not the only one who has the same dilemma, but I think the only one fool enough to ask this question so openly. I am also advocating "new" to bonsai people to join a club if they find it difficult not to be.
I am relatively new to this "art" compared to most people, but for me (again this is just my personal view---"don't do this at home") not being a member of any club ever since I started my first ever elm twig tree, I tried to read and acquired more reading materials and observed as many trees live in shows, in the internet and even in the oldest magazine I could find, acquired many tree species as I can to gain knowledge,go outdoors and see more of nature more often than I should have, and of course pray a lot that my trees will turn out well at least for me. and I think if I did joined a club in the beginning may resolve won't be the same since I'll be relying more to other people, and probably copy their design work as I often see with a teacher and student working together (not just in bonsai)...again this is not an attack to any person doing bonsai, I'm just sharing my experience....and only the future can tell if I did the right decision.

regards,
jun Smile

In addition to the learning and pooling of resources to get materials and access to visiting artists, clubs offer one other important aspect - socialization. I felt this was important enough of a topic that I included a whole chapter on it in my book, "Introduction to Bonsai". Bonsai can be lonely and socializing among like minded individuals can add to the pleasure of the art. Anytime humans get together there will be interactions favorable and unfavorable - sometimes called politics. Clubs if managed properly can help promote the art. For example BCI, which I view as a global club, is working with organizations around the world to have show/conventions, offer competitions, publish information, get the word out about artists willing to travel and teach etc. This is value and like any club what you put into it is what you get out of it.

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:03 pm

fiona wrote:Heck - I even get more from a day with Tony Tickle than a year in a club. Wink

Fiona, you have left yourself wide open with this one! For example, "hopefully nothing penicillin can't cure!!!!" Very Happy Smile Sad Embarassed Mad Smile Laughing Cool Mad Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:14 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote: It will place BCI's "BONSAI and Sone Appreciation" magazine as one of the best bonsai magazines available.

I'm so tempted to amend this as "Scone Appreciation". Now if that were the case, I'd sign up instantly. And I'd feel I had something to offer back to the organisation as my scones rank among the best in Scotland.

Just like my buns. flutter eyelashes flutter eyelashes

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:
fiona wrote:Heck - I even get more from a day with Tony Tickle than a year in a club. Wink

Fiona, you have left yourself wide open with this one! For example, "hopefully nothing penicillin can't cure!!!!" Very Happy Smile Sad Embarassed Mad Smile Laughing Cool Mad Very Happy Very Happy

I wish I have an access with Mr. tickle. Smile



Ahh! socialization and politics, I miss those points Rob! That's a good start. I'm still treating bonsai purely as an art, but there's so much more I guess.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: How Many Enthusiasts Are There?

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:28 pm

fiona wrote:
Rob Kempinski wrote: It will place BCI's "BONSAI and Sone Appreciation" magazine as one of the best bonsai magazines available.

I'm so tempted to amend this as "Scone Appreciation". Now if that were the case, I'd sign up instantly. And I'd feel I had something to offer back to the organisation as my scones rank among the best in Scotland.

Just like my buns. flutter eyelashes flutter eyelashes


Count me in!
we got the best buns in asia! better than the chinese buns...If we can't beat them in bonsai, we can easily outclass them with our "always fresh, always hot buns".


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