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Post  c Sun May 09, 2010 7:13 pm

"Sean Smith’s creations are well documented. Media outlets, including this newspaper and the Associated Press, have documented the Marysville resident’s daiza work. Daiza are polished, hand carved bases for displaying decorative stones called suiseki. Daiza carving has provided Smith, 46, with a comfortable living as owner of Custom Oriental Woodcraft. In 2001, Arishige Matsuura, president of the Japanese Suiseki Association, proclaimed Smith as the number one daiza carver outside of Japan, not a small honor.
Next month, Smith will travel to Rochester, N.Y., for the second U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, where he is a sponsor and exhibitor.
He’s won various awards, studied with masters in Japan, and made display tables for renowned bonsai and suiseki enthusiasts all over the world. Despite these accomplishments and his travels, Smith eventually returns home to Perry County, where his back yard is a slice of paradise, prominently displaying bonsai. It’s a love that dates back over 20 years. Smith served in the Air Force and was stationed in Berlin in 1986 when he came across a bonsai exhibition. “I said, ‘Would you look at this stuff? It’s unbelievable. This is so cool.’”
After leaving the Air Force in 1988, Smith ventured into bonsai. He taught himself, reading up on the art in magazine articles. In 1994, a friend took a look at a tree, but was more interested in the small display table the tree sat atop.
“He picked up the wooden table and asked me if I made it. I said, ‘Yeah, I made it.’ “He said, ‘You know, I can probably sell these for you.’”
In 1996, Smith decided to make bonsai and suiseki a full-time profession, and it just “snowballed from there.”
By 2000, the Marysville resident had learned all he could in the United States, and decided to travel to Japan. He has traveled to Japan annually since then to study under bonsai and suiseki master Shiji Morimae.
The bonsai are undoubtedly beautiful. From the care, to the way they are displayed, everything is carefully thought out. Still, the work is a tad more than just watering. It involves constant care, every day of the year."
read more at: Bonsai master creates a slice of paradise in Marysville, By Thom Casey

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