Intensives

Agriff

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I would love to take part in a 3 or 4 day, multi-year-long, intensive program some day. For those who have not yet, who are you considering and why? And for those who are dedicated students, how did you choose who to study under?

Some people I'm considering (understanding that the wait list on these might make them unfeasible):
- Boon Manakitivipart
- Ryan Neil
- Bjorn Bjorholm
- Michael Hagedorn

Is there anyone else worth considering? Right now I think Bjorn is at the top of my list, mostly because Nashville is the closest of the 4 locations to MN and it makes the idea of driving with a tree seem more do-able.
 

MrWunderful

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Jonas from bonsai tonight is who I have do mine with.
Peter Tea might offer it as well (both studied under Boon- along with Michael Hagedorn) so it might be similar study.
 

Adair M

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Generally speaking, you don’t take your own trees to an Intensive. You work with the instructors trees.

They teach to a planned lesson. Which depends upon season. Your tree might not be ready for the work they want to teach.
 

PA_Penjing

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Out of Laziness I chose who was close to me, BUT as a benefit, I'm only working with species that grow well in my climate. For example, I wouldn't hesitate to study under Ryan Neil but a lot of species he uses don't thrive in my climate. There's still plenty to be learned (in this hypothetical situation, where I can afford to hang with Ryan) but it's not as functional as it would be if he lived in the mid atlantic.
 

Adair M

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Out of Laziness I chose who was close to me, BUT as a benefit, I'm only working with species that grow well in my climate. For example, I wouldn't hesitate to study under Ryan Neil but a lot of species he uses don't thrive in my climate. There's still plenty to be learned (in this hypothetical situation, where I can afford to hang with Ryan) but it's not as functional as it would be if he lived in the mid atlantic.
I chose to study with Boon, because JBP are his speciality, and that’s what I wanted to grow.

I considered Ryan, but it appeared that he was concentrating on the Pacific Northwest trees, which are not compatinle to my climate here in the Southeast.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I chose to study with Bjorn because I like his style, temperament, and approach to bonsai. He’s an all-around good guy. It’s a plus that he settled so close, although before that I could get him to come here and work on trees for a couple days a year.😜. I look forward to his nursery reopening.
 

River's Edge

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I would love to take part in a 3 or 4 day, multi-year-long, intensive program some day. For those who have not yet, who are you considering and why? And for those who are dedicated students, how did you choose who to study under?

Some people I'm considering (understanding that the wait list on these might make them unfeasible):
- Boon Manakitivipart
- Ryan Neil
- Bjorn Bjorholm
- Michael Hagedorn

Is there anyone else worth considering? Right now I think Bjorn is at the top of my list, mostly because Nashville is the closest of the 4 locations to MN and it makes the idea of driving with a tree seem more do-able.
Teaching style and program structure are also important characteristics to consider. I agree that access is important and to a certain extent the manner in which you would prefer to learn. Having said that, I chose to travel extensively rather than select one of the professionals nearer. With experience taking intensives from several I feel the knowledge, experience and teaching style of the chosen professional is the most important aspect. How do they relate with the student and the group?
Working with the instructors tree's is an important aspect, they have a range of development as well as a level of quality that your own trees cannot match. The skills and techniques learned are transferable to other species so I do not feel staying in one's locale is that important.
I do think the economics should be considered if choosing one would limit the amount of training you could afford to take part in.
Top professionals may not necessarily be the best teachers so talk personally with those who have actually worked with the individuals you are considering. Be prepared to adjust your expectations regardless of who you choose.

I would not assume that because a professional at one time worked with or studied with another professional that there approach, techniques and style will mirror the other! Most professionals learn and grow every day with interactions spanning a wide range of other professionals in their field of specialty as well as others.

I believe there are many others in North America that are worth considering at this point in time! names on my list to spend time with when the opportunity presents itself include but not limited to; Jonas Dupuich, Peter Tea, David De Groot, Tyler Sherrad, Bjorn Bjorholm.
I have taken intensives with Michael Hagedorn and can recommend him. A unique feature with Michael is the small group strategy that he prefers. Fewer students in a group.
I have completed the intensive program with Boon Manakitivipart, and will return to continue working with him in the near future. Boon's location was a 16 1/2 hour drive ( one way). If I wished to sum up the strength of Boon's program I would describe it this way. Where else can one find yourself in the middle of Bonsai professionals who have chosen to attend the same classes from the teacher you chose? It was, and is, not uncommon to have several visiting professionals join in on the intensives or show preparation along with Boon's regular students. I think that speaks volumes. others can share their experiences as many of his students and graduates contribute to this forum.
 

Adam D

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I reached out to Bjorn in like January of this year to express interest in his intensive classes. I want to study with Bjorn because of the same reasons that Brian mentioned. I like his style and aesthetic with bonsai, especially with deciduous trees. But most importantly it’s evident to me that he has the heart of a teacher and he enjoys to teach the art of bonsai and pass on the knowledge that he learned and the experience that he has.

I also have interest in taking classes with Boon as he is a master of Pine bonsai, which I would consider my favorite variety. Which brings up another question. Has anyone participated in intensive classes from 2 professionals or more?
 

River's Edge

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I reached out to Bjorn in like January of this year to express interest in his intensive classes. I want to study with Bjorn because of the same reasons that Brian mentioned. I like his style and aesthetic with bonsai, especially with deciduous trees. But most importantly it’s evident to me that he has the heart of a teacher and he enjoys to teach the art of bonsai and pass on the knowledge that he learned and the experience that he has.

I also have interest in taking classes with Boon as he is a master of Pine bonsai, which I would consider my favorite variety. Which brings up another question. Has anyone participated in intensive classes from 2 professionals or more?
I know several, including myself, who have participated in intensive programs with more than one professional. The art of bonsai benefits from diverse perspectives and collaboration. Within our small study group ( 6) there are three individuals who have studied with two or more professionals in their intensive programs. All members of the study group have participated in the intensive program of one professional. It is not uncommon for Bonsai enthusiasts to search out a variety of teachers and or invite a range of professionals to conduct intensives for their study groups in addition to taking part in the structured intensive programs.
 

Adam D

Mame
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I
I know several, including myself, who have participated in intensive programs with more than one professional. The art of bonsai benefits from diverse perspectives and collaboration. Within our small study group ( 6) there are three individuals who have studied with two or more professionals in their intensive programs. All members of the study group have participated in the intensive program of one professional. It is not uncommon for Bonsai enthusiasts to search out a variety of teachers and or invite a range of professionals to conduct intensives for their study groups in addition to taking part in the structured intensive programs.
I think that is great and I agree with what you said about bonsai benefiting from diverse perspectives and collaboration. I would love to learn from as much as I can from as many bonsai masters as I can and hopefully one day pass the knowledge on.
 

MrWunderful

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I chose to study here in Bnut....cuz I'm broke as hell.
Forums like this online are one of the best things about the cesspool that is the actual internet.


Nothing wrong with studying on the internet and books. This site is an outstanding resource, and there is tons of free material everywhere on the internet. I studied books and online for 10 years before I worked up the nerve to do an intensive


But…..

We cant go to an intensive 30 minutes before bed after the kids go to sleep, or on the way to work in the morning. so “other sources” will always be my go to method.

I will say, an intensive is a different type of learning. There is something additional and special there with bouncing ideas off people on a defined subject, and working for 24 hours together on multiple trees for 3 days (or whatever duration). Bonus points for dinner and drinks after.

Kind of like jamming and being in tune with a group of folks if you are a musician (same but different?)
 

MrWunderful

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Generally speaking, you don’t take your own trees to an Intensive. You work with the instructors trees.

They teach to a planned lesson. Which depends upon season. Your tree might not be ready for the work they want to teach.
This is an important point to make. The few that ive attended have been structured basically like a school day, which I wasnt actually expecting.

My first day we grafted pines, which I was 100% not ready for, Brought me out of my comfort zone.

it went

Grafting pines
Trident maple repot
slide show about pot choice discussion
Shohin chinese quince repot/ pot discussion


A lot of valuable information and instruction.
 
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I'm starting Michael Hagedorn's intensive next month. I like his approach, and his abilities with all types of material are second to none in my opinion, although there are others in North America who are certainly equal. I don't think I could justify the expense of an intensive if I had to travel for it, but since he lives near me that's not an issue.
 

Agriff

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Generally speaking, you don’t take your own trees to an Intensive. You work with the instructors trees.

They teach to a planned lesson. Which depends upon season. Your tree might not be ready for the work they want to teach.
Oh! I thought these high level instructors typically also offer pre-bonsai to be sold if you prefer to work on those instead of the instructors trees. Bjorn, for example, has those two options and will allow you to bring your own material if he sees pictures and pre-approves it.
 

Agriff

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Out of Laziness I chose who was close to me, BUT as a benefit, I'm only working with species that grow well in my climate. For example, I wouldn't hesitate to study under Ryan Neil but a lot of species he uses don't thrive in my climate. There's still plenty to be learned (in this hypothetical situation, where I can afford to hang with Ryan) but it's not as functional as it would be if he lived in the mid atlantic.
Who teaches out in the Mid-Atlantic?
 

Agriff

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What is an intensive?
Essentially a bonsai course taught by a professional. Typically they're spread out, with each intensive being 3-4 days long, and the instructor will want you to come back at least twice a year for several years. Boon, for example, does 3 day intensives and wants you to complete 10 of them total.
 

Agriff

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Grafting pines
Trident maple repot
slide show about pot choice discussion
Shohin chinese quince repot/ pot discussion
If I'm understanding you correctly this was all the first day? Who was that with?
 

Adair M

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Oh! I thought these high level instructors typically also offer pre-bonsai to be sold if you prefer to work on those instead of the instructors trees. Bjorn, for example, has those two options and will allow you to bring your own material if he sees pictures and pre-approves it.
Well, they might. I mean, they usually have better trees to work on than what the students generally have at home.
 
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