Acer campestre - multi year demo by Dale Cochoy

Graydon

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This is a thread I hinted about here on the History of Shimpaku instant bonsai.

As I wrote there :
Graydon said:
"...Demos have to last for more than a year, two or three are better. The material needs to be brought back in front of the group and discussed. The progress needs to be measured and discussed and the all important aftercare needs to be done by a qualified person and explained to the group. I know this is not possible with the typical traveling master or convention demos, or at least not how things are set up now. So what are we teaching people in our clubs and at convention sites? As Chris pointed out it's a great 2.5 hours of bonsai theatre as it is set up now. After that some lucky person takes the victim home and either hopes to keep it alive so they can say they have a tree styled by so and so or they are so silly they have no idea it's a goner if too much was done.

So what to do, how to make this system better? Here's what our little society is doing :

Dale Cochoy is our speaker and demo person this Wednesday (6/6/07) - he was very kind and agreed to stop in on his way to the Bonsai Societies of Florida convention. I did some searching for some nice material for Dale's demo and found a great maple at Evergreen Gardenworks. Brent was very helpful and sent us a great tree. Our concept with this demo and with Dale is to get him to stop in for the next three years on his way to the convention and have him work on the tree again and again. Hopefully this will allow the tree to be worked on in a more methodical way by the same person with the same vision where progress is not measured by hours but by transitions over years. Every few months we will bring the tree back in to the society and discuss the progress and recovery. Hopefully in three years the tree will be nearing completion, or at least on a good path and in a bonsai pot (a Dale pot we hope!). Also every member that came to the meetings will have the information and history and progress of this tree. They should be more capable and knowledgeable as to the care of this tree. Once the tree is as done as we can get it we will auction it off at our year end auction and hopefully make the club much more than a one time raffle could net.

So... is this a better way that the standard one off demo?"
Tachigi had a great response among others :
Good concept Graydon, by doing this Dale can aggressively go after the tree with the knowledge that he will be back on the same tree to follow up. This with out pushing the tree to the brink as can be done at times. Who will be the lucky person to do aftercare and be its custodian? That to me would be a large factor in this. If its done wrong then a lynching might be the the topic of the next demo ;).

Next year Shady Side is doing something similar. With the learning center completed we will be hosting a few of the larger names. Each doing a one tree demo over a succession of sessions. The subject tree will be left out for viewing in between these demos. This giving the participants an opportunity to come back at their leisure an observe the progression and comment on aftercare. Also by having it on display it gives a good advertisement for the artist and his ability for people possibly wanting to get instructed by said artist in the future.

I think this is different than a workshop. It focuses on one subject and the artist (DALE) is able to concentrate and teach. Workshops are good and fill a niche when it comes to a personal tree. The difference here is that with the artist bouncing around in a workshop. No matter how good you are, it is almost impossible to switch gears from one tree to the next, with 6 to 10 trees in the mix and give 100% total attention and focus. One is an educational venue and one is an assist venue with assumption that you have some basic to advanced knowledge of what is going on.
I think we are moving in a direction that compliments the standard tree styling demo or bring your own tree workshop, and this must be a good thing for bonsai in general. There are so many issues and flaws with tree styling demos (risk of the tree dying, no follow up with the raffle winner etc.) as well as BYOT workshops (not everyone has great material they can access or afford but still need to learn).

This thread will be an ongoing thread, updated as needed over the next few years. Comments are always welcome as I hope to not only share our experiences but learn form others who have some ideas and input but are unable to attend the tree's various days of work.

Here are a couple of photos of the tree, as I mentioned earlier the tree and the photos are from Brent at Evergreen Gardenworks. I will be posting some more "before" photos as soon as I can, as well as photos from the start of Dale's mission with this tree. Bear with me as I have a lot to do over the next week including a State Bonsai Convention.

Oh - the after care is very important. A person will be appointed to be the steward of the tree. They need to show that have the abilities to care for similar species with great success as well as have the ability to be able to essentially leave the tree alone until next year, or at least follow the outline that the artist (Dale) leaves for the follow up until next year.
 

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Dwight

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Great idea for us beginners as follow up care is a major problem if one laks experience.
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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I am so happy that your club decided on getting such good material for Dale to work on. It saddens me that so often crappy material is provided. I am really looking forward to seeing what Dale does with this tree.
 

Tachigi

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This is great ... Bravo! No pressure Dale, not only is Graydon's club attending but the world is watching...lol. I'm sure the results will be impressive.
 

Graydon

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In the television business we call this a teaser. For now you get a top view.

The evening went well. A very full room with nearly 30 people in attendance. Several new faces and even got a new member for the society. As always there is never enough time to do what is needed but... there is this fall, next year and so on. As Dale liked to say he did the "worst part first". Now on to recovery.

I don't have time to sort thru all of the photos and I didn't get a good after photo as it was dark and raining. I now travel out of town until Monday sometime. More when I return.
 

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wahoo172

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attendance

Hey,

Not to pick nits, but Christy said there were 33 at the meeting
My new tree sure looks good... I mean the clubs tree
 

Jay Wilson

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Hey Graydon, thanks for all your time and efforts in making this project happen.

And Dale, Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your knowledge with us!

I made it to the meeting and though I got there late and had to leave early I managed to see the most of the work that Dale did on the tree. Nice stock by the way!
I look forward to seeing how this progresses over the years.

Here's a pic of Dale as he starts removing some unwanted branches.


Jay
 

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Dale Cochoy

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Hi Guys,
Been off computer a few days. It broke! Checking mails at sons.
I hope I get my computer back in operation by the time Graydon gets some pics loaded so I can comment ( read :"defend" myself).
I got a lot of 'splaining to do Lucy!!

Dale
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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Yeah where are the pictures? Graydon fumbled the ball. Did anyone else take some pics or is Graydon the only one responsible for documenting this project?
 

Graydon

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Yeah where are the pictures? Graydon fumbled the ball. Did anyone else take some pics or is Graydon the only one responsible for documenting this project?
I didn't fumble but thanks for checking. I have them ready to post. I just don't think I will do it here. Between the raging debates on pre bonsai I have gotten an elitist attitude. I was thinking that if we can't have a good discussion on that what the hell do I think can be accomplished from this.
 

Jay Wilson

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Aw Hell Graydon,
Maybe if you post the pics here and get some discussion going on a real tree the raging debates would fade away (To me it dosen't matter what you call it....Just find the best stuff you can, wherever you can and make the best tree you can from it)

I have some pictures of this project but didn't want to post any ahead of you.
Any way, I'd like to hear Dale splain to Lucy.

Jay
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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GRRRRRR....awe c'mon Graydon. Show us the pics.

I understand your frustrations with threads like the prebonsai thread. I glanced at it and realized it was nothng more than egomaniacs mutually masterbating one another's egos and there was absolutely nothing there that would make me a better bonsai-ist.

With that beng said....Seeing Dales work and his vision for the tree I would think would help myself and others in our endevors.
 
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GRRRRRR....awe c'mon Graydon. Show us the pics.

I understand your frustrations with threads like the prebonsai thread. I glanced at it and realized it was nothng more than egomaniacs mutually masterbating one another's egos and there was absolutely nothing there that would make me a better bonsai-ist.

With that beng said....Seeing Dales work and his vision for the tree I would think would help myself and others in our endevors.

Is this a society thing?
 

bretts

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BO at least I wear pants in Chat!:p
 

Graydon

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So here are the pre styling photos. Sorry for the less than optimum angles but I only had a moment to document before the demo.
 

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