2006 Michigan All State Show

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Last year I had the honor of being invited to participate in a Three-of-a-kind demo at the Michigan All State show with Vance Wood and John Stevens. I enjoyed the experience very much and had the opportunity to meet with Jack Douthitt and Jack Wikle. What a fantastic educational experience!

For those of you not familiar with this type of demo, all three participants start with the same stock, well as near to the same as can be and then they all style it according to what they see.

Below are some pictures from the demo.

1) The three pieces of stock before the demo started.
2) A close up of the stock I would be working with.
3) During the demo. From left to right, myself, Vance Wood, and John Steven
4) Another shot during the demo.
 

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1) Another during picture that shows just a hint of the remarkable size of the area.
2) The three results in the same order as we were sitting, Mine, Vance's, John's.
3) My result.
4) Vance's result
5) John's result.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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A really fun and interesting idea. I like the "duelling bonsai" concept - though to be frank I'm not sure I'd be fast enough. What time constraints were you working under?
 

BonsaiWes

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Vances tree turned out great. The large jin branch near the foliage isn't doing anything for me though, but no biggie eh;) .
 
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A really fun and interesting idea. I like the "duelling bonsai" concept - though to be frank I'm not sure I'd be fast enough. What time constraints were you working under?
None really, but for the sake of the audience, we kept the pace moving. I think it lasted a little over an hour, Vance can confirm this. We were wearing mics and the jokes were flying fater than the cutters. I cut off at least a third of the tree on my first cut and said, "oops" lol, you actually heard people gasp that were watching.


Will
 

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Nice job Will and Vance,
You guys looked like you enjoyed yourself by the smiles. Which I think is great taking into account that you are under a time limit of sorts and with watchful eyes all about. My personal preference is your tree Will. Not that Vances isn't fantastic. I see a naturalistic style in your tree, in fact it oozes it. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Thanks for the kind words, they are appreciated.

Needless to say, we kept the future of the tree in mind when doing this and were careful not to remove too much foliage. Both need to be pruned more and detailed, but there is only so much one can do in a single setting.

Strangely, the trees were "loaned" to the show by a local nursery who would not allow them to be sold or raffled, even though there were good offers at the show. After the show the trees went back to the nursery where they quickly received for sale signs on them with slightly outrageous prices.


Will
 

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Strangely, the trees were "loaned" to the show by a local nursery who would not allow them to be sold or raffled, even though there were good offers at the show. After the show the trees went back to the nursery where they quickly received for sale signs on them with slightly outrageous prices.
I have seen some eBay trees being sold with the "styled by a bonsai master" tag stuck on them. They even went so far as to mention who styled them. I always thought it was a little tacky - who would go to a show, let an instructor style their tree, and then sell it on eBay immediately thereafter. Perhaps now I know :)

Out of the three I prefer Vance's. I know, personal taste. I think this is a cool idea regardless of the outcome. BTW - did you take turns giving commentary or was it more of a quiet demo?
 

Graydon

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Strangely, the trees were "loaned" to the show by a local nursery who would not allow them to be sold or raffled, even though there were good offers at the show. After the show the trees went back to the nursery where they quickly received for sale signs on them with slightly outrageous prices.
You answered my question before I had a chance to ask - I would to have liked to see a shot of all three one year after.
 

agraham

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I'm curious as to what the "outrageous" prices were.And,ofcourse,I'm curious as to whether or not the trees sold.I would think the increase in price would be very flattering.

I assume the arrangement with the nursery was known beforehand?Why didn't the sponsoring club just buy the stock?This seems odd to me.

andy
 
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BTW - did you take turns giving commentary or was it more of a quiet demo?
John was quite during the demo, Vance and I just couldn't keep quite, it got quite a few chuckles. A serious discussion of designing all sides of the tree and not just one took place with some help from the audience.


Will
 
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I'm curious as to what the "outrageous" prices were.And,ofcourse,I'm curious as to whether or not the trees sold.I would think the increase in price would be very flattering.
Last I heard a tag of 180 was placed on mine, but that is from a second hand source, i don't do business with that nursery. As to if they sold, one can only hope so. ;)

I assume the arrangement with the nursery was known beforehand?Why didn't the sponsoring club just buy the stock?This seems odd to me.
It was odd and took both Vance and myself by surprise. From what I understood, this was dropped on the club at the last minute. Meijers Gardens does not allow raffles so the club went this route instead. I have been assured they won't again in the future.


Will
 
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There is no way I would consider doing a demonstration under those circumstances. I am not a big fan of demos the way they are typically done anyway, although this looks a little better for the trees. But to style material that someone else is going to make a profit from? Never.

By the way, I see a couple of legs in the photo. Do you have a wider shot that shows the audience?
 

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I wish you guys would exchange emails or phone numbers and then you could argue all you want. But for the remainder of the universe, it is getting tiresome. I'm not sure why you think we all give a damn. Check your egos at the door when you visit and if you can't act with a little discipline and self-control you chose the wrong hobby.

- BonsaiNut
 
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By the way, I see a couple of legs in the photo. Do you have a wider shot that shows the audience?
No, sorry, they were only viewers and not an actual part of the demo, may I ask why the interest in the audience?

...I'm not sure why you think we all give a damn....Check your egos at the door when you visit and if you can't act with a little discipline and self-control you chose the wrong hobby.
With all due respect, I think this was a little uncalled for.


Will
 
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Vance Wood

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There is no way I would consider doing a demonstration under those circumstances. I am not a big fan of demos the way they are typically done anyway, although this looks a little better for the trees. But to style material that someone else is going to make a profit from? Never.?
It happens all of the time. Most of the time it is the club that either sells or raffles the tree. In this case a local nursery offered the material with the understanding that they would get it back once we were finished with it. This was not known to us before we got there. If you are not a fan of demos done this way that's your choice and preference, I don't think this point should be made an issue of. You don't just show up to do something like this and then bail out because you don't like something. You do the best you can with what you have to work with and the circumstances surrounding it. It's as simple as that. You can take a "Moral High Ground" type of attitude and screw over (in their eyes) a local club or you can do what you can do and move on.

By the way, I see a couple of legs in the photo. Do you have a wider shot that shows the audience?
What???? The demonstration took about two, maybe two and a half hours. People came and went but most of the time there was a constant audience of about thirty-five people on average. This may not be as many people as you have at one of your demos but everybody seemed to enjoy it and a lot of questions were asked. Not to mention that the results were pretty good.
 

Vance Wood

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I'm curious as to what the "outrageous" prices were.And,ofcourse,I'm curious as to whether or not the trees sold.I would think the increase in price would be very flattering.

I assume the arrangement with the nursery was known beforehand?Why didn't the sponsoring club just buy the stock?This seems odd to me.

andy
The sponsering club was under the understanding that the trees were a gift. At the last minute the terms changed and the club did not have the finances to offer an alternitive after all the other expenses. On top of that there was no gurantee they would be able to recoup their expense because Meijer gardens does not allow raffles.
 

Vance Wood

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A really fun and interesting idea. I like the "duelling bonsai" concept - though to be frank I'm not sure I'd be fast enough. What time constraints were you working under?
If I remember right we had almost three hours to do the work, more or less.
 

agraham

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Vance,

It's a shame it worked out like that.But it sounds like y'all had fun anyway.Good show.

andy
 

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