The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

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The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:07 pm

After my recent visit to Tony's inspirational garden, I find myself looking at my 'sticks in pots' with an increasing amount of malice aforethought. Thus far, I have resisted the temptation to dump them all on the compost heap, opting instead for the rather more humane 'release them into the wild' option. Who knows, in a few years time one of them may mature into something worth digging up again!
However, after looking at them with fresh eyes, I have realised that several of them have potential as shohin, and I have informed them that they are about to recieve a nice new haircut. I could have sworn that cascade cotoneaster shrank a little when he heard that!

I have also taken another look at the 80-100 year-old privet stumps I recently lifted from my neighbour's garden. Not being in full possession of the facts, I decided at the time that the best way to remove them was to cut them down to knee height, leaving a couple of lower branches on to give the trees at least some help in re-establishing themselves in their new pots (plastic garden centre admittedly, but hey, I was on a time limit here!)
One month on and all three are showing new shoots emerging from just about anywhere you care to look. HA! I'm a genius! I think I'm going to leave them alone until winter, then remove the old branches, cut the stumps down even more, and re-pot them into boxes. (Actually, can you re-pot something into a box, or is that re-boxing?)

I've just been given permission to take as many of the similarly aged privet from some overgrown land across the road from my house. There must be 50-60 of the damn things! Using the info I gleaned at Tony's (thanks again, lads!) a cursory look led me to select around 20 of them as being suitable material. Ye Gods, how do I explain this to the wife? pale

Having fallen in love with the monster hawthorn at Tony's (see the pics in my previous post), I decided that I wanted my own. Guess what? I've only gone and found one! Admittedly, it's nowhere near as impressive as Tony's but at 2 1/2 ft high (cut down last year, apparently) and with a nebari diameter of 8 inches, it's close enough for me. Oh, and it's free, gratis and for nothing. Bonus! The 20 or so new shoots are a good sign as well.

Come November, I'll be going out on 'The Hill' (or t'hill, if you live in these here parts) with a hand-picked team of crack yamadori rustlers, and hopefully, under the guidance of Tony and whoever else appears, I'll go home with at least one more 'chunky' specimen to clutter up my wife's courtyard garden! (It's actually just a wide pathway, but she's always had ideas above her station Very Happy )

Right, I think that's all I wanted to say. Nothing Earth shattering, I know, but it's nice to let others know what you're up to.

I'm off to the questions forum now. *Rifles through the huge sheaf of papers he has collected since Saturday, looking for one without too many queries on it*

Harleyrider
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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:09 pm

Harleyrider wrote: Ye Gods, how do I explain this to the wife?
Ah well, time for your next bonsai lesson. Here's the method I've adopted for a few years now with considerable success: You convince The Other Half (or t'Other 'Alf in your neck of the woods) to take up an equally expensive, time-consuming and pure mad hobby as your own. Then you by stealth get them to make several purchases/carry out swaps/build from scratch, as many of the artefacts of their "chosen" hobby as you can. Then when you want to bring in a new tree you can turn round and "Well, you just spent £stupid on a ..... (insert as appropriate)" I got mine to take up radio controlled model aircraft flying. Now when he's mumping about any new tree I buy, I can smugly utter the line "At least I've never crashed a bonsai tree!". It's sooooo satisfying.

Keep up the twig liberation - I wasted four years with them. They never thank you. Don't forget the British Shohin Association show for those you do turn into teeny trees. See you at Burrs and we'll discuss your entry into the 2010 show.

Cheers

Fiona

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  bonsai monkey on Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:41 am

There must be something in the air as I’ve spent the last couple of days studying some of my “sticks in pots” looking for any potential. I was chatting with Snore Monkey last night at length regarding my next composition at the BSA, yep I’m afraid that you gunna have to put up with another of my Boso Displays (although it’s great entertainment for you guys!), and I think next year might be a push but the show after that is a possibility.

I started my twig liberation a few years ago and it now looks that I might have a couple of good subjects to butcher in the Spring. It’s so easy early doors to collect everything that ain’t nailed down but I’m now finding, thanx to some excellent advice, that less is more.

Keep up the good work harleyrider and see you at Burr’s,

Okk, Okk,
Simon

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  DaveP on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:32 am

The trick to sticks is found in the fabric of space-time. No, not the astrophysics stuff. If you've got the space, set 'em out, and other than watering & feeding, forget about 'em for some time. Once a year (timed appropriately, of course), abuse the crap out of them with various chops, marauding about with heavy boots, etc. Then forget about 'em for another year. Give the roots & branches some space to run - in raised beds if you're feeling benevolent (mainly to yourself - the trees don't much care). Just plenty of space & time ..and abuse. This won't fix *all* of them, but you can be pretty heartless when culling in the spring. If one just doesn't look like it's ever going to be anything, pull it and chuck it.

Of course, if you've got suitable land and ethics for collecting then fuggedaboutit .. more fun to collect a few really nice pieces each year!

Grins,
-d

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Stone Monkey on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:54 am

I was chatting with Snore Monkey

The cheek of it Mad

Regards

Andy

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Tony on Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:56 pm

DaveP wrote:The trick to sticks is found in the fabric of space-time.
-d

Hi Dave

Space and time... ah but to dream.

Has anyone too much space or time in bonsai, how oft have I heard folk tell me that they wished they had started in bonsai when they were younger.

Many visiting my garden wonder why I sell my amazing material... its simple... I do not have the time to develop the all trees to maturity, so I only work with a few trees... but they are ones that I believe WILL make world class bonsai, and achievable in the very short time I have left on this planet. That is not to say that I do not make cuttings or work on 'young' material, I do but... they are the foundations for bonsai that I will never see through to maturity.

This is my philosophy when mentoring students. Why have 50 average/could be great/if I lived to 150 years old it would make a great bonsai when you could have 10 amazing Bonsai. Rolling Eyes

I had a young visitor (27 years old) who visited my garden this week that proclaimed he would NEVER have a tree worthy of exhibiting in a major show (bring on the red rag and Bull). Because he felt that the 'amazing trees' he sees in books are 'unobtainable' This guy is a (Local to me) CLUB MEMBER... is THIS what clubs are instilling into members No

And Space... there is NEVER enough space. Sad

Note: Dan Barton's Cascade Hawthorn in the 'frog' pot, one of Dan's favorite trees because he started early in his bonsai 'career' in his words "not in my lifetime will it be a mature bonsai... but I like it anyway" Dan has worked the tree for over 30 years... more than anything else bonsai is about enjoying your trees, if you aim for the moon and miss you will still be amongst the stars.


Last edited by Tony on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:47 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:01 pm

I've recently reached the other end of this process and agree wholeheartedly with DaveP. I planted out a large number of of a wide variety of trees and eventually took up the whole of my sizeable veg beds and a fair proportion of the garden beds too. Many of these trees were from seed or cuttings. That was 13 years ago. Now I've got a Trident stump with a 15" girth just above the nebari, an oak that I ground layered that is 16" around with nice platy bark and a large number of other trees boxed up.

Winter was spent constructing boxes and drilling any suitable plastic containers. Spring was a mad session of digging, hozing and boxing. I reckon about 50 trees went into training boxes. Out of all these, I lost two Japanese Cedars Cryptomeria japonica. Four or five other crypto's are doing well though. Only problem is I've run out of raised bench space and that is after I built 6 benches 15 feet long!

I hope I'll be able to take some of my "spares" down to Chris's boot sale at the Dragon Bonsai show in South Wales this September (see Announcements). I seriously need to cut down, but I've enjoyed the process, learned lots along the way and ended up with some stock that is better than some Yamadori.

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Rick Moquin on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:11 pm

It happens to all of us at one point, now your well on your way.

(Actually, can you re-pot something into a box, or is that re-boxing?)
... only the day after Christmas, LOL

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  bonsai monkey on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:15 pm

Tony wrote:

I had a young visitor (27 years old) who visited my garden this week that proclaimed he would NEVER have a tree worthy of exhibiting in a major show (bring on the red rag and Bull). Because he felt that the 'amazing trees' he sees in books are 'unobtainable' This guy is a (Local to me) CLUB MEMBER... is THIS what clubs are instilling into members No


It depends on the Club Tony Crying or Very sad
If it hadn't been for Andy I would NEVER have thought about showing a tree but now I'm really begining to take a good hard look at my raw material and weed out the unsuitable stuff. OK, I'm (probably) never gunna be displaying at something like BoBB/Joy of Bonsai and the like but I'm not afraid to have a real good crack at it anyway.

Andy Dean & I did "knock a few heads" at our club about our image and goals and this year we produced probably our 2 best Club displays EVER and they are now looking at ways to try and top that. Sometimes a Club just needs the right amount impetus to move a sometimes OAP's tea drinking Society into something it's members can be proud to be associoated with.

Here endeth the lesson Laughing

Okk, Okk,
Simon


Last edited by bonsai monkey on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Can't spell for toffee!!)

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  DaveP on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:28 pm

Tony hit it, spot-on. "...more than anything else bonsai is about enjoying your trees..."

When I teach, I lean on this point more than any other. I can relay technique and explain style, but above all the tree belongs to the owner and if they are happy with the tree, then all is well with the world. It may not *technically* be a bonsai (however, we'll leave that discussion to the other thread), but it does bring enjoyment, peace, and a sense of connecting back with nature at a reasonable pace into their life.

I've got some nice trees. I've got some trees that I show. This is not the vast majority of my collection by any means. The vast majority are young. These are my teachers. I try various techniques on them. I see how far I can push them. If I want to create a very radical bend, I don't mind if I break a branch on one of these. If I do break a branch, two things happen; a) I try to discover why, and b) I re-evaluate and wonder if that didn't actually improve the overall appearance. Others, I might re-pot out of the ideal cycle. I'll use this to alter the care and positioning (never randomly, of course). If they make it, the tree has taught me a valuable lesson that could be quite useful should the need arise with a more valuable tree. Various cuts can be made to discover how some species react in healing.

There's a plethora of information to be had in texts and from other practitioners. By applying this information to lesser trees, it becomes knowledge. This knowledge can be applied to more valuable trees to increase the enjoyment they bring to you. Most important of all, once you have this knowledge, share it with others so it's added to *their* information base and they may increase their enjoyment of the time they spend with trees. The cycle of life isn't just the biological, it's also what we share of our experiences. Very Happy

So, let the sticks be teachers to you. Try things with them. Listen to what they say. Study how they respond. Above all, enjoy the time you spend with them. Not really so different from having kids. Well, ok, don't trunk chop and/or wire your kids. The authorities frown on that. ;-)

Kindest~
-d

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  DaveP on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:32 pm

::pondering:: sticks are a bit like containers, too. I've got some wonderful containers that may never see a tree in them. I couldn't care less because I like the container for just what it is. If I do find the right tree for one, so much the better. Smile

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:02 pm

Tony wrote: in the very short time I have left on this planet.
You'd better survive to next weekend - I've paid for me workshop in advance!

Tony wrote:Why have 50 average/could be great/if I lived to 150 years old it would make a great bonsai when you could have 10 amazing ones. Rolling Eyes
A lesson we all learn far too late it seems. Someone mentioned a "rite of passage" before. I believe it's up to entities such as this forum to try and help newbies not make this mistake.

Tony wrote:... is THIS what clubs are instilling into members
Oh you know my thoughts on this one. Simon gets it right when he refers in his post to an OAPs tea drinking society. And the irony is .. they never bring a decent biscuit or any home baking. I could have coped better with them that way. In fact, I think I'll embark of some research into whether or not the uselessness of a bonsai society is in direct proportion to the cruddiness of its biscuits.

Tony wrote:...if you aim for the moon and miss you will still be amongst the stars.
OMG I'm near greetin' at this one! Sad How very Now Voyager. (BTW a detour to Babelfish will tell you that "near greetin'" is Glasgow for "nearly crying".)

Anyway, the serious bit: has anyone out there got any Blackthorns they want rid of in this cull of time-restricted trees? It's one tree I've been trying to get hold of for some time now, especially after seeing the results the Dragon boys get. I shall make a point of shifting time and space and all relative dimensions to make a place on the benches for one!


BTW Rick: that's was some turkey of a Christmas joke.

fiona
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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Harleyrider on Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:09 pm

@ fionnghal: My wife already has a very expensive hobby, thankyou very much. It's called shopping.

Oh, and as for competitions, I'm afraid that's not my thing really. I enjoy going to them, but as an observer only. I've owned numerous classic/custom cars and motorbikes in my time, and never once have I entered a competition. I did, however, enter the Manchester Tattoo Show 'Best in Show' this year, but only because my friend had done a tat on me for free at the convention and it was actually him that was entering........if you see what I mean?

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:23 pm

Harleyrider wrote: My wife already has a very expensive hobby ... It's called shopping.
Ah well then. Definitely payback time. Laughing

Harleyrider wrote:Oh, and as for competitions, I'm afraid that's not my thing really
Funnily enough, that's what Simon "Bonsai Monkey" said too! Wink

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  matt addie on Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:42 pm

Hmm, plenty of food for thought here for someone just entering his second year in bonsai.

After going to my first bonsai show this year (Best of British in Birmingham, might as well start with a good 'un!) and having the good fortune of meeting up with Tony a couple of months ago my outlook (and possibly life) has altered radically. I had surfed many websites and collected many books in my first year in bonsai (note to Harleyrider: Just buy stuff anyway, you just get used to the earache in time!), but nothing could prepare me for the beauty and majesty of seeing top quality bonsai for real.

Henceforth, I have been very critical of my own "collection" - you know, the one where you collect one of every bonsai-able species from the garden centre without realising that it won't make good bonsai - and although I have kept a few favourites (I'm stubborn like that), more than a few WILL be going in the ground for a few years. Even then, if I'm lucky, I might get a Shohin or two out of them.

So, yes, I am starting to realise the importance of "good" starting material and I'm slowly learning what constitutes that "goodness".

However, I do agree with DaveP too. For someone like me, all of my "trees" (read sticks!) have taught me something along the (so far short) way and I have enjoyed (and still enjoy) them all in their own way, so I don't think we should be too down on "sticks". I believe they do have their place and serve their own purpose in their own way. For those people who say they wasted their early years on poor quality material/sticks, did those years honestly teach you nothing? At all? IMHO, A journey of a thousand miles has to start with a single step...

Do I want to create good (maybe even great) bonsai? Of course! But my goal is not necessarily to enter/win competitions/exhibitions at this stage, it's to do something I have come to love to the best of my ability. I came to bonsai at a very difficult time in my life and it has already brought me so much peace and happiness - even though I only have sticks to work on! - and I'm sure that improving my skills/technique/artistry/etc will only serve to deepen that peace and happiness. So I have started to put things in place to bring that development about (with some help from others). If competition/exhibition comes along later and it's something I'm comfortable with, then that's fine, but for me it's one step at a time.

As for clubs, I did join one this year and personally it has failed to (and I cannot see presently how it will) give me what I'm looking for in the medium to long term. I have learnt a thing or two but I can already see the plateau of development flattening out before me! However, the regular members seem really quite happy with the status quo and that's fine in my book, each to their own, but I am looking to other avenues to help me develop whatever potential may be latent in me ... somewhere!

Anyway, that's just a view from this particular beginners perspective. Most importantly, I do most heartily agree with Tony and DaveP's sentiment that "...more than anything else bonsai is about enjoying your trees..."

Matt

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:33 pm

mattaddie wrote:... I don't think we should be too down on "sticks". I believe they do have their place and serve their own purpose in their own way. For those people who say they wasted their early years on poor quality material/sticks, did those years honestly teach you nothing? At all? IMHO, A journey of a thousand miles has to start with a single step...

Do I want to create good (maybe even great) bonsai? Of course! But my goal is not necessarily to enter/win competitions/exhibitions at this stage, it's to do something I have come to love to the best of my ability. ... If competition/exhibition comes along later and it's something I'm comfortable with, then that's fine, but for me it's one step at a time.
Some interesting thoughts there, Matt. When I mentioned about the so-called "rite of passage" I have to say that I am ambivalent to an extent about it. I do think there were valuable lessons learned and skills gained in a siutation where getting something wrong was not too costly. Where I went wrong was listening to people who said that it was snobby, elitist and getting "ideas above my station" to want to do more than this. Since I started using better raw material, I have been derided and sneered at and the term "chequebook bonsai-ist" had been levelled at me by people with those opinions and that is something I object to. I will never be a great bonsai artist, but I can be a better one than I currently am. And like yourself, I have put in motion the means by which I will achieve that. I am now developing a confidence in what I do in bonsai and the enjoyment level you mention has soared as a result. For me, getting a tree into a recognised exhibition is a mark of how far I have come. On that note I think it's important to separate out the concept of "exhibition" and "competition" - for me it's not about winning a medal, rosette or plaque, its about knowing your work can sit alongside the truly greats and not look like the poor country cousin's trip to the city. Yes, there may be "prizes" but I suspect for most of us, it actually is the taking part that counts. That now gives me the satisfaction I want in bonsai. (That, and knowing I am able to consume a greater quantity of Ardbeg single malt in one sitting than Mr Tickle can!) You seem to know what your aspirations are and I sincerely hope you get there in a shorter time than it's taken me. You are fortunate in getting to know Tony and his merry men so soon, and there are many others out there who will be just as helpful. That's the truly great thing about our hobby/art form/entire reason for living - delete as appropriate to you. And now, since this is getting very heavy, I shall finish by saying welcome to a great "club" and just be ready for the initiation ceremony that is the ordeal of the green mankini!

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Justin Hervey on Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:23 am

Brings to mind a thread on the old forum called 'The stages of Bonsai' or something to that effect (I'm sure someone will dig it up).

DaveP & Tony talk of having reached the final stage where a compact collection of quality over quantity is preferred and realised. The great regret for almost everyone is the time it took them to get there.

On the 'sticks in pots' issue, I have found that a well developed and ramified tree which will never make a great stand-alone bonsai due to lack of adequate girth or taper, will often be outstanding in a group planting.

The trick is to get the word out that you are prepared to swap certain of your bonsai for quality material, the development of which may be too daunting a prospect for certain people - One mans stick could be another man masterpiece.

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Tony on Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:39 pm

Justin Hervey wrote:
DaveP & Tony talk of having reached the final stage where a compact collection of quality over quantity is preferred and realised. The great regret for almost everyone is the time it took them to get there.

I guess the whole premise of DaveP and my approach is that, so long as 'Beginners' start off on the right path, they will reach their destination quicker and with fewer diversions. In another post I noted that my neighbour and friend David Barlow went from beginner to Ginkgo award winner in 4 years. Its possible and It does not have to cost a fortune. Smile

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‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:35 pm

Tony wrote: my neighbour and friend David Barlow went from beginner to Ginkgo award winner in 4 years. Its possible and It does not have to cost a fortune.
How much of that success was the result of your own input -helping him find the piece of raw material that rose above the numerous pieces he could have wasted time on, and subsequently helping him acquire the skills to produce a great bonsai out of that bit of wood. And how much of it was David himself?

Which brings me to the second piece of the jigsaw: we've talked about good raw material and not wasting time on "sticks". What about the "raw material" that is the bonsai artist? Some are simply born artists who have the knack, others have to work at it to reach beyond the mere technician level, yet more will be accomplished at technician level but not go further. Others still will try hard but just not really get there. It's a bit like the difference between being able to play the piano a bit and being a musician. David B must have had the basic raw talent to do what he did in the time scale. Matt's point about using the sticks as learning curves is valid for those of us who needed time to develop to higher levels. But as you go up those levels you do need to be working on better material. That was why I posted the Hairpin Juniper - not because it was a good tree but because it was a good learning process done on slightly better material than I'd been using and which allowed me to develop new skills.

I've always been of the school of wanting to get to the best level I can in any hobby/subject in which I've had an involvement and that's why I get annoyed (and may occasionally seem like I'm dismissing) at those who believe bonsai to be only for the tea-drinking twig-tweaking brigade. I will never be as good at bonsai as Steve Tolley, I will never be as good even as Tony Tickle. But I will be better than I currently am and that is because of the people out there who have encouraged and who actively assist me in developing the skills rather than telling me that I should settle for a lower level because if I don't 'it'll frighten new members off'. Once I've got those skills, I'll risk a top drawer bit of raw material and be the new David Barlow.

But we do have to recognise that a great piece of raw material will not necessarily make a good bonsai if it is in the wrong hands. My hands aint the right hands just yet.

God, these posts are sooooo cathartic! Laughing

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  DaveP on Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:44 pm

The other bit here is that while you're on the journey, try to increase your ability to recognize which trees will become something wonderful and which have flaws so critical that it will simply be a mountain to overcome. That's not to say critically flawed trees should be heaved 'over the fence'. They can still be good teachers. Try an air or ground layer. Try various types of grafts. It may not help this particular tree, but it'll put skills and techniques into your bag of tricks that could well allow you to vastly improve a bargain purchase in the future... something with a minor flaw that you can now correct.

The differentiator is recognizing where your time is best spent. Spending an hour creating a layer or a graft might pay off in spades down the road, meanwhile the rest of your time can be spent improving otherwise very nice material. If I'm working on honing my carving skills, I'll learn on an unremarkable tree - trying things I'd never want to try on a tree with lots of potential. But if I can learn how a tool behaves, or what to expect when I see a particular curve or branch junction, I can directly translate that into helping me with other material.

Many times I've seen people both new to bonsai and even those with many years under their belt be hesitant about cutting certain branches. Using lesser material to desensitize you to this fear only serves to help improve better material!

Kindest~
-d

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  DaveP on Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:04 pm

fionnghal wrote:I will never be as good at bonsai as Steve Tolley, I will never be as good even as Tony Tickle.

But "as good as" in this case is completely subjective. "As good as" by who's standards? If we're talking artistic talent, how does one say that one artist is "better" than another. I enjoy seeing works by some artists, but not others. This isn't to say that the others aren't talented - I can certainly appreciate the talent they innately have and continue to develop. I merely don't enjoy their works as much as others. That's my issue, not theirs and if someone else finds their work pleasing, I cannot say they're wrong.

This could easily be broken down further into specific trees by a single artist. Some trees do it for me, some don't. That has nothing to do with the artist by themselves and everything to do with the combination of artist and material.

Perhaps a small example. Bonsai is about the tree. I'd hazard to guess that most of us can fairly readily recognize a tree styled by Kimura. I don't think too many people would take issue if I said that Kimura was an exceptionally talented artist. But if bonsai is about the tree and I can reliably recognize a tree styled by Kimura, that's saying I can see his hand in the work which takes away from it being all about the tree. Does this mean he's any less of a bonsai artist? ...not really an opinion or a point for discussion, just one for inward reflection. study

To wrap up an already-too-long post, if you start with promising material and you let the material guide your application of techniques and branch/foliage positioning, then reflect on the work to see where you might be able to improve, then who's to say you won't become "as good as". :-) ...if that makes sense. I think I need more coffee.

Kindest~
-d

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Tony on Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:00 pm

fionnghal wrote: I will never be as good at bonsai as Steve Tolley, I will never be as good even as Tony Tickle.

I am struggling to be the best I can, wow you make it hard for me to live up to expectation pale

Steve and I have endeavored to work with the very best bonsai artists, we have Sat at the feet and washed bonsai Pots of the great and the good... this way you learn. It is NO DIFFERENT for you.... the DIFFERENCE between YOU and many who choose the bonsai path to enlightenment is that you are fast tracking... and YOU have 'seen the light' and YOU have encountered first hand false prophets.

God, these posts are sooooo cathartic! Laughing

_________________
Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  Lee Kennedy on Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:37 pm

My own path to enlightenment began with sticks in pots,some people do 20yrs some there whole lives with sticks in pots,i got fed up after 6 months,i don't think I'd have learnt any more from them,my destination was never going to be a sticks in pots destination,that's just my way,there's no point dipping a toe in the water when you can jump in and surf the waves!
My 1st inspiration came from finding a decent nursery(dai-ishii),books mags proper tools REAL BONSAI,this is what got me hooked,through them i found there would be a local club,found it and couldn't understand why there was only 4 of us who dreamed all the time about tree's,through these i was lucky enough to meet the legend in his own lunchtime,Mr Tickle.The first visit to Tony's was a revaluation,it gets some people down,but it put more fire in my belly i was determined to show at ginkgo,the legendary show.
Another 2 important things then happened i visited Steve Tolleys,and went collecting with Tony,i now knew what real bonsai meant,my first visit to ginkgo followed looking back i was running on fast forward,and so you should be at that time in your bonsai life.
That all took two yrs but I learnt the important things,material with no real character will never be any better than sticks in pots,and most importantly the "i like to work slowly" "get it all done at once" mantra's are totally wrong,work at the speed of the tree.If the trunk is good enough its worth the wait,if it ain't good enough before the branches are grown it never will be(unless you have growing beds,who has the space nowadays?)
For me the 1st 6yrs have blown by,it feels like 2 mins I've achieved all my original aims,which were showing in our national shows and ginkgo,now i only want 15-20 world class bonsai, I'm over half way there,what will i do when i get there?(its all about the stretch targets in new management babble) Sleep
Twist the throttle harleyrider,you might never have gone this fast before lol!

Lee Kennedy
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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  matt addie on Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:54 pm

I think what I'm learning from this thread is that there are many different views about this issue of sticks/garden centre/beginner/low quality material and it will be intersting to me to look back in 5, 10, however many years and reflect on my own current ideas - I'm sure they will be very differfent in the future Wink .

A personal belief of mine is that NO experience in life is ever wasted, be it in bonsai or not, even if the lesson you learn is not to keep doing it and do it differently/better/not at all. That's what I was trying to get across in my first post and probably not doing a good job ... probably still not! I do feel I have been most fortunate in the people I've met over recent months, their generosity, the advice I've recieved and the possibilities that have opened up for me to help me develop and reach the next rung up the Bonsai Ladder. Maybe I will just dive in and enjoy the ride... and maybe never look back!

Fiona - thankyou for your post and clarifications, I found it most helpful and cleared up a few things I may have misunderstood.

Now, onto more serious things ... this "mankini initiation" .... are you serious?! affraid

Matt

matt addie
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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:59 pm

mattaddie wrote:Now, onto more serious things ... this "mankini initiation" .... are you serious?! affraid Matt
Ask Ian Warhurst - he's the expert. Wink But we'll choose a warmer night for you Twisted Evil

fiona
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Re: The cull has begun, or, Run free, my children!

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