Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees Now on Amazon

grouper52

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Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees: The Life and Works of Dan Robinson - Bonsai Pioneer, by Will Hiltz, is now available on Amazon. Photography by Will Hiltz and Victrinia Ridgeway. Foreword by Walter Pall.

Unlike a direct order from Elandan Gardens, the books on Amazon will not be signed, nor available for overseas shipping.
 

bonhe

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Hi Will,
It's an excellent bonsai book! It doesn't have any thing about bonsai technique but carries a whole of natural approach to this art. You know what, I already read it twice even with my busy schedule! I wish you could write another book regarding to carving technique of Mr. Dan Robinson and I would be the first one to register :) Once again, thanks for your effort to get us an unbeatable bonsai book!
Bonhe
 

grouper52

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Hi Will,
It's an excellent bonsai book! It doesn't have any thing about bonsai technique but carries a whole of natural approach to this art. You know what, I already read it twice even with my busy schedule! I wish you could write another book regarding to carving technique of Mr. Dan Robinson and I would be the first one to register :) Once again, thanks for your effort to get us an unbeatable bonsai book!
Bonhe

Thanks, Bonhe. I was inspired to capture Dan before he could no longer help with the effort, and it took three years to do so, and I'm always very happy when someone loves the book.

Victrinia Ridgeway, my co-photographer, who has formally studied with Dan, had expressed some interest early on about a book specific to Dan's techniques, but it did not materialize. You might write and encourage her if you like.

I had a bit of an idea for a follow-up book as follows. Dan loves nothing more than teaching people about the stories of his trees' growth by showing the story found in the trunks and roots. My idea was to record Dan doing so for ten or twelve of his most ancient and interesting collected trees, taking photos of the areas he was talking about as he went along. A ten to twenty page spread for the photos and explanations of each tree would make a decent size, handsome book that would be (relatively) easy to do, and would really capture in a fascinating way the collected wisdom of his lifetime studying trees. It would have nothing to do with technique, however.

Dan has expressed the idea of a book devoted to the tops of ancient trees, which - if you've read his book - is a lifelong fascination with him. I'm not as enthusiastic about it, however, and I don't know that many other potential buyers would be either, but that's a possibility as well.

For right now, I'm resting and recovering, with little motivation in writing, photographing or publishing another book. It was my great good fortune and a great honor to have been able to create such a work about such a man, and I am surprised and pleased that something so marvelous came about through me - most unexpected! Most of the time now I think I would simply like this one book be my contribution to the world, and leave it at that. But who knows.
 

Si Nguyen

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I just got this book from Victrinia, from her Omachi Fund donation auction on BonsaiStudyGroup.com. I love reading it! I highly recommend this book. I don't want to tell too much about the book, but let's just say it is not just about bonsai. There's a wonderful and interesting life story in it too. It's a refreshingly different kind of bonsai book. I like it.
Grouper, could I have your autograph for the book sometime? Victrinia and Dan signed it for me. I am just missing yours.

Thanks,
Si
 

grouper52

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I just got this book from Victrinia, from her Omachi Fund donation auction on BonsaiStudyGroup.com. I love reading it! I highly recommend this book. I don't want to tell too much about the book, but let's just say it is not just about bonsai. There's a wonderful and interesting life story in it too. It's a refreshingly different kind of bonsai book. I like it.
Grouper, could I have your autograph for the book sometime? Victrinia and Dan signed it for me. I am just missing yours.

Thanks,
Si

Hi Si,

i'm glad you enjoy the book, and that you appreciate the efforts that went into offering something different to the bonsai community.

I'd be happy to sign it with a personal note for you. Usually the books sent out from Elandan are signed by all three of us - I'm not sure why yours was not: perhaps because it was sent by Vic rather than from Elandan, but I'm not sure why that should have mattered. Send me a PM telling me whether it was sent directly by Vic or from Elandan, and we'll try to sort out the shipping to and from. In any event, we'll get it done.

Will
 

Si Nguyen

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Hi Si,

i'm glad you enjoy the book, and that you appreciate the efforts that went into offering something different to the bonsai community.

I'd be happy to sign it with a personal note for you. Usually the books sent out from Elandan are signed by all three of us - I'm not sure why yours was not: perhaps because it was sent by Vic rather than from Elandan, but I'm not sure why that should have mattered. Send me a PM telling me whether it was sent directly by Vic or from Elandan, and we'll try to sort out the shipping to and from. In any event, we'll get it done.

Will

Hi Will, thanks! I will run into you at some bonsai event eventually, and you could sign it then. No hurry. The book was Vic's donation to the Omachi Fund. She sent it to me directly after I won it at the auction. I didn't know to ask her to have you sign it too.

Dan's bonsai trees have a wild and rustic feel about them. The book's dark and soft photography really brought this out. The occasional black and white close-ups of the trees also contribute to this feeling. The stories and old photographs of his collecting trips set the place and mood for the whole book. All this impart a very distinct feel to his bonsai. An American Pacific Northwest feel about them! It's hard to categorize, but it is very fitting somehow. To put it another way, if his bonsai trees had turned out like Kimura's, I don't think they would look as good. I have many bonsai books, and most of them I would flip through and done with in about 5 minutes. This book, I am actually reading, and enjoying.
Thanks Will.
 

grouper52

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You're very welcome, Si. Vic said she will take care of the shipping, but I may help out as well. We'll get it done.

Thank you for your kind and insightful words about the book. I'm glad you are taking the time to read it, and that you're enjoying it.

Will
 

Attila Soos

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My idea was to record Dan doing so for ten or twelve of his most ancient and interesting collected trees, taking photos of the areas he was talking about as he went along. A ten to twenty page spread for the photos and explanations of each tree would make a decent size, handsome book that would be (relatively) easy to do, and would really capture in a fascinating way the collected wisdom of his lifetime studying trees. It would have nothing to do with technique, however.

Dan has expressed the idea of a book devoted to the tops of ancient trees, which - if you've read his book - is a lifelong fascination with him..

At some point, when rested enough, you could work on smaller projects, such as those mentioned above. These would make smaller "companion books", to the "main" book. Each of these small books would tackle just one subject, may be 30-40 pages-long. Working on smaller books would be much easier on you. I really like the idea of studying the tops of ancient trees, that would be something quite useful for bonsai enthusiasts, since there is little knowledge in this area. And it could introduce some novel ideas in the realm of bonsai design.

(of course, it's easy for me to sit here and tell you what to do...)
 
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