What if you woke up on September 25th and realized that you’re not at the Artisans Cup? 6/7/15


You know there has to be a living vein somewhere, but it must be hidden behind all that impressive deadwood. The crown belongs to a  Shimpaku juniper that was grafted onto a collected Rocky Mountain juniper. The tree belongs to Michael Hagedorn (an Artisans Cup prime mover), as do all the trees (and boots) shown here.

What if you woke up on September 25th and realized that you’re not at the Artisans Cup and it’s too late to get there? Your friends are there and some of the best bonsai in North America are there, but not you. Sadly, you’ll just have to wait for the photos (now matter how good the photos are, they’ll always be a shadow of the real thing).

Fortunately, there’s time to avoid this trauma. Time to sign up and go. If you’ve seen masterpiece bonsai in real time you know what you’re in for and you’ll want to go. If you haven’t, then you need to go so you can see what all the fuss is about.

All of the photos shown here are borrowed from Crataegus Bonsai Portfolio. Two of the three show bonsai that are North American varieties (well, there’s also the non-native Shimpaku that’s grafted onto the Rocky Mountain juniper, but  all that deadwood, the hidden living vein and the roots of course, are are undeniably American).

Not that the Artisans Cup won’t have varieties from elsewhere, just that you will most likely experience the most exciting and varied range of North American natives ever seen on this continent (taking nothing away from the four U.S. National Exhibitions that have happened so far*).



Chojubai quince flowering in the spring. Not a North American native, but there's plenty of room for immigrants.



A 100% Native North American. It's an Engelmann Spruce that's growing on nylon slab. Like the other bonsai shown here, it belongs to Michael Hagedorn.

bootMichael’s boot. I wonder if he’ll bring it to the Cup. Here’s his caption: “And this one is not really an accent although I have it out there between the bonsai along with the other accents. I could tell some story like ‘Well, the boot never did fit.’ But actually I bought it at an estate sale.”

*Eastern North America simply isn’t blessed with the same range of collectable natives as is the west, and transporting trees from the west coast to Rochester NY is a limiting factor. For this reason there are fewer native varieties, with a large share of the U.S. National Exhibition featuring non-native trees (not to give the wrong impression; there are quite a few excellent natives, including some from the west mixed in).


Roshi Stainless Bonsai Tools in a Suede Leather tool roll*

You don’t need tools to go to the Artisans Cup, but you will need them while you work on your 2017 entry. Turns out, in addition to blogging almost everyday, we sell tools (other stuff too) and right now our Roshi Bonsai tools and our Bonsai Aesthetics tools are 25% off. This and FREE Shipping on U.S. of 40.00 or more at Stone Lantern.

*The suede rolls we have now are black