Bonsai teacher's?

the3rdon

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I read a lot of these posts and I see that a lot of you have bonsai teachers and such.. I have been to one meeting with the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society but that was last year.. Would that be my best chance to find out how to find someone to teach me the way of the "Bonsai?" I know some basics like repotting, when and how.. I would really like to step up my game so to speak..
 

rockm

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First off, forget learning the "way of bonsai." There is no such thing. There are ways of doing bonsai, but no mystical "way of bonsai." It's mostly learning a little horticulture and then applying some "art" to it.

There are no shortage of instructors--You can spend thousands on some of them. You can get some for free. You can get as much knowledge from one as from the other.

The best way to find one is to get in contact with the closest bonsai club. There is a club in Morgantown:

WEST VIRGINIA - Morgantown
Mountaineer Bonsai Society. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at 7 PM in the Evansdale Greenhouse Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University. Morgantown, West Virginia 26506 Phone: (304)293-4480 Current President: Tom Simonyi mistermoyogi@yahoo.com

But in Wheeling, you're probably looking to get involved with a Pennsylvania club as it's closer. Got to eh American Bonsai Society page and click on Pennsylvania:

http://www.absbonsai.org/USAClubs.html

Jim Doyle at Nature's Way nursery near Pittsburgh is a great source also and hosts a few bonsai "names" every now and then. He's got the "rock star"of bonsai-- Walter Pall lined up in the next few months. If you've got the cash...:D
 

the3rdon

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Thank's for all the info Rock.. The way of the bonsai was just me being the goofy kid that I am.. I will check into everything that u posted.. The one meeting I went to for the PBS was their summer auction :) so the only thing I learned was you could buy nice stock for pretty good prices.. Well, and maybe save a little JUST for the auction.. Lol! A good nursery would be awesome!! All there is around here as far as that goes is flower and shrub nurseries..
 

mcpesq817

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I'd strongly second what Rockm has said. Find a local club and go to as many lectures and workshops as you can. There's a lot you can learn from books and the internet, but you'll be able to put all that in perspective when you work alongside others. For me, working with Boon during a repotting workshop was invaluable.

Another good thing is to be around people with good trees. Being up close and personal with nice trees will help you a lot with visualizing how to develop canopies and foliage pads, much more so than a 2D photograph.
 

rockm

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If you're in a traveling mood, the biggest shows of the season for the Middle Atlantic are coming up in the next few months.

The Potomac Bonsai Association show and sale is the May 2-4--Jim Doyle is providing trees for some of the talent competitions here:
http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/pbaevents2010.html

The 2nd annyal National Bonsai Exhibition is in June. This event is sponsored by Bill Valavanis and draws some excellent trees and bonsaiists:

http://web.mac.com/williamnvalavanis/NATIONAL_BONSAI_EXHIBITION/NATIONAL_EXHIBITION.html

Jim Doyle's place is probably the closest bonsai nursery to you. Chase Rosade is over near PHilly in New Hope. Further South, there are a few other specialist nurseries that might take a bit more driving, but are also well worth the effort.
 

Bill S

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You can look into some of the "schools" available such as Boon's Intensive, or Colin Lewis at his school, they meet every so often and really concentrate on working with a few good trees, and learn to bring them to potential. - http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102501232...NsJAGvWUcTbQConAAsqC7ADVGfWCbEFrgm3CUivxHqTA=

rockm is it the ABS that has the "tutorial program??
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Also...you'll find no shortage of advice (as you've probably seen). Look at peoples' trees when you're listening to them talk...it will help you gauge how long to stand there:D

Sometimes those who talk the loudest have the least to say...
 

the3rdon

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Also...you'll find no shortage of advice (as you've probably seen). Look at peoples' trees when you're listening to them talk...it will help you gauge how long to stand there:D

Sometimes those who talk the loudest have the least to say...

Well, I'm doing something right cuz I've looked at ur maple progression 5 times already.. I also check out Smoke's Trident a lot to help me out with mine as they are similar in size.. Although mine doesn't have nearly the movement of his.. None-the-less, a great tree with great potential.. I will post pictures of it soon for suggestions..
 

rockm

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Bill, I don't know if ABS still has its mentor program--but it might be worth looking in to. Good idea.

Basically, the American Bonsai Society facilitated email partnerships between more experienced members and newcomers. Newcomers could get one on one advice on anything about bonsai.

I participated in the program for a time, found it a lot of fun.

Colins and Boons classes might be a bit cost-prohibitive for a newcomer :eek:, but you never know...:)
 

the3rdon

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I just reserved my spot for the Woodstock III with Walter Pall and Jim Doyle.. WOW!! It's gonna ROCK!! I have a tree in mind to take with me... ;)
 
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I just reserved my spot for the Woodstock III with Walter Pall and Jim Doyle.. WOW!! It's gonna ROCK!! I have a tree in mind to take with me... ;)

Don, better take some extra wire to hold your jaw shut, because you will not believe the collected material they have.You will have a great time, money well spent.
Mike
 

treebeard55

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There are quite a few resources out there, as you're seeing. All most of us need is to be pointed to them! :)

Some regional bonsai associations, such as MABA -- Mid-America Bonsai Alliance -- have "visiting-artist" lists. Not quite the same, but you can learn something from their visits; just gotta talk your club into inviting them.

And -- if Nut won't ban me for mentioning another forum here ;) -- Bonsai Vault hosts 5 on-line study groups, which meet monthly. I'm involved in 3, and they're the next best thing to formal classes that I've run into yet! (Free, too; but size is limited.)
 

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