If It Ain’t Fun, It Ain’t Bonsai

This Black Hill Spruce belongs to Andy Smith. As you may have guessed the tree was collected in the Black Hills of South Dakota. By Andy. He estimates that it’s 150-175 years old. The stone was also belongs to Andy. You can find this image and all but one of the other images in this post on Andy’s Golden Arrow Bonsai website. Golden Arrow Bonsai is Andrew Smith (aka Andy), though he no doubt enjoys some help from friends and family. Andrew is a bonsai artist and professional woodsman who specializes in collecting trees from nature. If you would like … Continue reading If It Ain’t Fun, It Ain’t Bonsai

Bonsai Conspiracies

This strange and wonderful monster resides at Ryan Neil’s International Bonsai Mirai, but the photo is from Aarin Packard’s Capital Bonsai blog. Most of Aarin’s posts are from the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, but this one is from a recent visit to Bonsai Mirai. Conspiracies? I probably should have titled this ‘what happens when bonsai artists visit each other’ but my guess is Bonsai Conspiracies got your attention. No matter, it was inspired by four notable bonsai artist/bloggers getting together (in two sets of two). Artisans Cup postponed until 2015. There’s another theme at play here; two of artists … Continue reading Bonsai Conspiracies

Artisans Cup Postponed

This Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) belongs to Ryan Neil. The photo is from Ryan’s International Bonsai Mirai website. A guest’s guest post. The following is from Michael Hagedorns Crataegus Bonsai blog. Artisans Cup postponed until September¬†2015 This is a guest post by Ryan Neil. I am in full support of his words here: Over the past fourteen months of research and planning the potential of the Artisans Cup has been a driving force in our bonsai community to grow and improve the level of our trees. The enthusiastic response of the entire Western bonsai world fueled our ambition and … Continue reading Artisans Cup Postponed

Spring Versus Fall: A Grafting Lesson

A few stills captured from Capital Bonsai’s video on grafting that features Ryan Neil. Capital Bonsai (the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum‘s excellent blog) is at it again. This time it’s an outstanding video on grafting featuring Ryan Neil of International Bonsai Mirai. Fall versus spring grafting. Here’s what Ryan has to say about fall versus spring grafting (loosely paraphrased): Grafting in the fall is more successful than in the spring if you can provide winter protection from freezing. If you graft in spring you have to protect from sun and wind. In the fall you have to protect from … Continue reading Spring Versus Fall: A Grafting Lesson

Delightful Points of Color & More…

There’s much to say about this magnificent tree: First the gem-like male pine cones that cover much of the tree add delightful points of color; and they go perfectly with the well-chosen (and beautifully cleaned up) pot. Then there’s the way the undulating twin trunks harmonize so well; one slanting style and one semi-cascading style. You might also notice that there isn’t much in the way of counter-balancing branching, yet the whole planting seems stable. I think this is mostly due to the weight of the pot and mounded soil, and also to the anchoring effect of the gnarly nebari … Continue reading Delightful Points of Color & More…

Time for Some Serious Bonsai Training

Tamarisk (Tamarix) from Ryan Neil’s International Bonsai Mirai gallery. Aside from the fact that this is an exceptional bonsai, there is much that can be said and learned about Tamarix; as an invasive foreigner and a worthy subject for bonsai. The excellent description on Bonsai Mirai is well worth a look, as is what Wikipedia has to say about this intriguing plant. Go west middle aged man (woman) and anyone else While we’re on the subject, check out Ryan’s Defining Concept Courses. If you’re the ambitious type and you can create the time, you could head out to Portland and … Continue reading Time for Some Serious Bonsai Training

Weeky Wire: World Bonsai Day, Free Bonsai Wire, Kokufu, Boon’s Tips & Much More

Who could ask for more? It wasn’t too long ago we led off a Weekly Wire with a Gedemerta Bonsaibali tree. Now, we’ve gone and done it again. I’m guessing you can see why. Aside from the wildly expressive deadwood, the well-aged textured beauty of the bark, the trunk’s powerful base and perfect taper, the tree’s radiant health, the near perfect play between balance and movement; the photo is also very well done. Who could ask for more?   FREE! FREE WIRE, SCISSORS, TOOL CLEANING BLOCKS & CUT PASTE WHEN YOU ORDER FROM STONE LANTERN… …but only if you enter … Continue reading Weeky Wire: World Bonsai Day, Free Bonsai Wire, Kokufu, Boon’s Tips & Much More

Rocky Mountain Juniper High

Dazzling deadwood. I think I see a live vein on the left edge of the trunk. Otherwise, this spectacular old specimen is a study in deadwood (with a little rebar thrown into the mix). It’s a Rocky Mountain juniper. The artist and owner is Ryan Neil, International Bonsai Mirai. The tree was originally collected by Andy Smith of Golden Arrow Bonsai (Stone Lantern offers Andy’s excellent DVD on collecting bonsai). Intenational Bonsai Mirai has a great little back story on this intriguing old tree. More daring high quality bonsai Every time I visit Ryan Neil’s International Bonsai Mirai website something … Continue reading Rocky Mountain Juniper High

Elevating the Art of Bonsai in the West

Mesmerizing bonsai perfection. I think this tree has something to say about just how far American bonsai has come. It’s a Japanese white pine by Ryan Neil. From his International Bonsai Mirai website. Ryan Neil and International Bonsai Mirai I think these photos of Ryan Neil’s bonsai speak for themselves. Loud and clear. But just in case you’d like to read a few words to flesh things out a bit, here’s what Ryan’s site has to say about itself: International Bonsai Mirai is a reference point where serious individuals can come to see bonsai pursued at a higher level with … Continue reading Elevating the Art of Bonsai in the West

American Bonsai Heaven

Still a work in progress, but an exceptional work at that. Douglas fir, styled by Ryan Neil. Collected by Randy Knight. Full tilt bonsai Is it just me, or has Oregon quietly become bonsai heaven? Think about it; Michael Hagedorn (Crataegus Bonsai) has been hunkering down in Portland every since he returned from his apprenticeship with Shinji Suzuki in Japan. Now Ryan Neil (International Bonsai Mirai), still somewhat fresh from his six year apprenticeship with Masahiko Kimura (if you’ve heard of anybody, you’ve heard of him) has settled in the Portland area too. Both Michael and Ryan are going full … Continue reading American Bonsai Heaven