Sean Smith workshop

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Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun May 15, 2011 6:49 am

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a Ficus Retusa Workshop headed by Sean Smith this weekend. The material was really nice, easy to style. We started by defoliating, then Sean came around to each individual and asked what we saw. He then proceeded to illustrate what he saw and gave us the illustration as a guide. I gained a new understanding of what goes into creating these masterpieces, as well as a greater appreciation of Bonsai and Suiseki. This weekend, our club hosted the 2011 Lone Star Bonsai Federation's convention "Gateway to Bonsai" and I've almost learned too much to take it all in. This is my first year practicing Bonsai, and to help with the convention has been an honor and an incredible learning experience. I met Sean before the workshop and watched his critique of the exhibit (which included some of my teacher's trees) and also viewed his workshop on daiza carving. It wasn't till I got home and did a bit of reading on Sean that I realized how much recognition he's attained. Never once did he make me or any of the other attendees feel "stupid", nor did he give the impression that he was above any of us. Had I read up on him before hand, I may have been kinda nervous... He's a great teacher and if you ever have a chance I highly suggest you attend anything he's a part of, you'll learn a lot. Sorry to ramble, I just want to encourage other beginners to join a club and experience all the bonsai community has to offer. I'm used to dealing with rappers so egos kinda come with the territory, didn't see any big egos at this weekend. I'm one of the youngest, if not the youngest members of our club and yet I fit right in with all the geezers Very Happy maybe it's my old soul??? Anyway, here's the tree... I may have strayed from Sean's illustration, but that's the idea. He seemed pleased with the end result and that's pretty important given all he's seen and done!!! By no means is it a masterpiece but I think it's a very good start.



I need to shorten branches here and there of course, just want things to thicken up a bit first. With the temps we get down here and our long growing season, things should look nice by next year Laughing Then I'll start work on ramification and begin looking for a pot. The three branches coming forward and sweeping to the right will either be removed or re-positioned, just moved them there to fill in that big gap (they come from the left, across the trunk). Maybe they'll stay, I've never been known to follow rules Twisted Evil
Sorry for the cell phone pics, my camera battery needs to be charged.

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun May 15, 2011 6:51 am

I'll post more pics after we break down the convention tomorrow. I'll also post some of the exhibit on a different thread so keep an eye out if you're interested...

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Loke Emil on Sun May 15, 2011 9:32 am

Hi GentlemanG

Spoken like a true gentleman and a genuine bonsai enthusiast. And I definately can relate to the 'being the youngest old soul' in relation to a bonsai community. I am by no means a bonsai expert myself, but as a fellow bonsaiist, I commend what you have 'seen' in this tree and how the styling was done.

regards from Loke Emil

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun May 15, 2011 11:46 am

GentlemanG, you did a fine job with your tree. You have a good feel for styling. Now let it grow and you will be amazed at the results. Establishing the "bones of the tree" (i.e. main branch placement, angle of trunk and exposing the root flare) of the tree is the most important step in the first styling- you did well! Please keep us posted of its progress.
Best,
Todd

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun May 15, 2011 6:23 pm

Thanks, guys! I plan on posting more pictures of a better quality at some point this evening. This tree has great potential and is by far the best looking tree I have. And to think I got a "reject" specimen as I showed up to the workshop a few minutes late. I will definitely keep everybody posted of this tree's development and look forward to y'alls input... now I just have to keep my eyes peeled for that pesky pot, it's out there somewhere Very Happy

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Guest on Mon May 16, 2011 1:16 am

G-

I have enjoyed watching your various postings since I joined this forum, with this tree you have taken a quantum leap and its very obvious! Very well done!

Bonsai needs a LOT more young blood in it to give it new direction and fresh thinking. In my opinion the art itself has stagnated into cages of acceptable forms and only certain acceptable species. Stay fresh!


Last edited by man on the mountain on Mon May 16, 2011 1:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Mon May 16, 2011 3:12 am

MOTM, I too have enjoyed your postings so, thank you. I've been trying to get more young people involved and they seem to be interested. I was hesitant to go to a club meeting at first because I thought I wouldn't be "good" enough, that's not the case. In fact, everyone has been very welcoming and encouraging. Most everybody I've met has been willing to share information and past experiences. Another factor is, I think, some young people may feel "dorky" hangin out talkin Bonsai and choose to go it alone. I hope to be able to get more young people to expand their knowledge of what Bonsai is and at least attend one meeting. Books and magazines are great, and the internet has become a great source of info, especially IBC and similar sites. However, after six months of reading something Bonsai related almost every day, I've learned a great deal more getting hands on experience at club meetings and workshops. I've learned how to better spot workable material, been invited to club members houses to see their trees, and have been offered everything from tools to pots even soil and wire (haven't taken anything unless I feel I've earned it though). Point being, newbies shouldn't be afraid to ask people for their input and most bonsaists are more than willing to help. I wouldn't have made the "quantum leap" MOTM speaks of without the help of fellow IBC members and my local club members. This Father's Day will mark one year since I started practicing Bonsai and I look forward to hitting the ground running in year two! Thanks again to everybody for their guidance on what has thus far been a wonderful journey.

G

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Mon May 16, 2011 3:49 am

Here are some more pictures of different angles...

The front




The back




The right side (looks like a dancer with her leg extended???)




The left side




Roots front


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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Mon May 16, 2011 3:55 am

More roots




More roots




More roots




And last but not least... the headless chicken lol! He just wants a hug




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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Mon May 16, 2011 4:00 am

Now we wait see what pops out... I'd like a branch on the lower right where I've brought those left branches across the trunk, I've got a few options but I'm really hoping something'll pop out there Question Sean suggested a glazed rectangle pot, any suggestions here???? I've got an idea of what I'd like to see it in, just curious what others think...

G

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Guest on Mon May 16, 2011 4:28 am

the resemblance between that lower trunk section and a headless chicken really is profound. Definitely style the headless chicken to the rear of the tree, I cant believe I just wrote that.

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

Post  Gentleman G. on Mon May 16, 2011 4:58 am

Oh yeah, he's goin in the back alright... That's part of the reason for choosing the front we did. I can't wait for it to push out some new growth! With the weather we've been having down here it shouldn't be much more than a couple of weeks Cool I'll post updated pics under a new thread and link back to this one.

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Re: Sean Smith workshop

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