Invitation extended

Pin-moneypyro

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Hello, i am looking for like minded bonsai enthusiasts, to join a local study group in the Charleston, SC area...this month we will be meeting on the 21st of July, from 1-4pm,at my Summerville home, anyone wishing to participate and share, seasoned enthusiast to curious beginner, can contact me at fullmoonbonsai.com for more information. This community of bonsai enthusiasts (Charleston)used to be active, and well supported, in these times with so many websites and resources, it's nice to face to face and bounce ideas off each other, so please, feel free to come join us.

Sincerely;

William Ferguson
 

bwaynef

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I'm going to send a message to a guy in Florence about your group. (My SC geography's pretty bad South/East of Columbia. Its a bit further away than I was thinking. His decision though.)
 

Pin-moneypyro

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Thank you, Florence is about an hour away, if your ever just in the area please give me a shout...really new to this forum deal, so i thought a few pics of my trees would be okay,
1st is a 40-50 year old citrus
2nd is a Fucien tea
3rd is a bougainvillea

145B459EC-6493-46DB-BC70-B86806B7CD0D.jpeg1818E5C0-F32D-4898-95EF-BD9D1C8B6090.jpeg45B459EC-6493-46DB-BC70-B86806B7CD0D.jpeg1818E5C0-F32D-4898-95EF-BD9D1C8B6090.jpeg45B459EC-6493-46DB-BC70-B86806B7CD0D.jpeg2E1DA54E-9EE0-4392-BB4F-B351623784D3.jpeg
 

Hack Yeah!

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Was going to check out your website, seems not activeScreenshot_20190708-132859_Chrome.jpg
 

bwaynef

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Not to derail your invitation, but did you know Ron Martin? Tokonoma Bonsai (or something like that.)
 

Pin-moneypyro

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Would say we were good friends, actually took his bonsai teachings, classes, he always reminded me of Rooster Cogburn, miss having a place to go, so i built my own, and sending out invites...again not sure if this is how it's suppose to work, we have a mailing address, think i accidentally put out that site was up, soon i hope.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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This is the way to get a study group going. Good work, my best friends these days are my study group.

I need to do more to get the Illinois chapter of the Arbor Arts group going. I have been remiss. @sorce - help maybe we can get something together for August?
 

bwaynef

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Would say we were good friends, actually took his bonsai teachings, classes, he always reminded me of Rooster Cogburn, miss having a place to go, so i built my own, and sending out invites...again not sure if this is how it's suppose to work, we have a mailing address, think i accidentally put out that site was up, soon i hope.
I met him thru bonsaitalk where he was always offering free classes to anyone who'd come. I think he was a bit surprised when I took him up on the offer. He said I was the only person that'd ever taken him up on that offer. It was a good time. He was VERY generous and hospitable, and his wife wouldn't be satisfied until I left with some fresh cookies ...or cake she'd just made.

As for the study group, I'll caution you to make sure to keep standards high. Make sure to expose folks to high quality trees/displays/techniques early on, and set the expectation of those being the standard. Its hard to raise the standard after its already been set.
 

JudyB

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I think the best thing you can do is to find like minded individuals and form study groups. It's been a great thing for me anyway. As long as the work gets done and it's more a work thing than a social thing. I agree with Wayne about keeping standards high, and the best way to do that is to get a teacher to work with, or to have guest teachers rotate thru. I've found that the continuity that having one teacher is super helpful.
 

Pin-moneypyro

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hate to overthink things, yet i'm pretty sure i'm "the teacher" might have to work on raising my standard. never a bad time to brush up...
 
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Hello, i am looking for like minded bonsai enthusiasts, to join a local study group in the Charleston, SC area...this month we will be meeting on the 21st of July, from 1-4pm,at my Summerville home, anyone wishing to participate and share, seasoned enthusiast to curious beginner, can contact me at fullmoonbonsai.com for more information. This community of bonsai enthusiasts (Charleston)used to be active, and well supported, in these times with so many websites and resources, it's nice to face to face and bounce ideas off each other, so please, feel free to come join us.

Sincerely;

William Ferguson

HI,
I would be interested in joining a Charleston Bonsai study group. I was too late signing up for your study group at the Chas. Hort Soc.
Regards,
Pat Jones
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Our study group was by invite only, not because we were trying to be snobbish, but because Milwaukee is a pretty active bonsai scene, and the group would become unmanageable in size very quickly if it were ''open''. We did not want to compete with or replace the function of the Milwaukee Bonsai Society. Similarly, the Milwaukee Bonsai Society has been good about bringing in visiting teachers, artists, and other speakers, so we did not want to compete in that aspect either.

We capped our membership at 12 people, because at any given meeting about 8 show up. The result is a small enough group that we can rotate who hosts, and we have room to set up a chair and work table, to work on the trees we bring.

So our group is ''no dues, no rules, no teacher in charge'', except encourage each other to improve our bonsai. @JudyB is right, it is tempting to view the group as more social than learning, we regularly set projects to keep us on track with working on our bonsai. We don't have a teacher because we could not agree on who would be best. Each teacher has their strengths and weaknesses, and since MBS is good about bringing artists through, we spend our money on the artists the MBS club brings, so we don't compete with the MBS.

Regularly we have a session where we take turns critiquing a tree. We also will pick a species and we all will get one, for example Amelanchier, and then we all work our individual trees, and periodically bring them all together to see how we are progressing.

Then after about 6 hours of bonsai, we kick back and socialize. Order out pizza, or sometime which ever member hosted the group will BBQ, or a pot luck.
 

bwaynef

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So our group is ''no dues, no rules, no teacher in charge'', except encourage each other to improve our bonsai. @JudyB is right, it is tempting to view the group as more social than learning, we regularly set projects to keep us on track with working on our bonsai.
Tell me more about the projects ...and how they're set.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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At least a couple times a year, the group just decides it is time to do a project. 2 members in particular do remember to remind us that the reason we are getting together is to improve our bonsai skills. Then randomly ideas will come from the group. I tend to suggest species of plants to get familiar with. Kev tends to propose public events, another tends to propose technique, like grafting or wiring. All with varying degrees of success.

Our first project was "Art Beat in the Heat", a street art fair, and about 6 of us threw together a tent display, we were allowed to do sales too, so there was some selling going on. It was a City of Milwaukee neighborhood art show, where the street was blocked for a weekend. Music, food trucks, mostly arts and crafts, we were the only ones with living plants. This was 2014, I was still in early recovery from a surgery, two of the participants were less than 1 year into bonsai. One had more years in bonsai than me, and more formal training. It was very informal. But fun.
ArtBeatDisplayAug2014b.jpg

Another project was I went to a nursery, and bought 12 Amelanchier, Serviceberry, all the same cultivar, all the same size - about 5 gallon nursery pots and 5 feet tall. This was autumn of 2014, we still bring the survivors together and compare on occasion. So far they seem much like flowering crab apples, only slower growing and finer twigging. This photo is the last group shot I've got, 2015, I need to find a more recent group shot.

IMG_20150712_150321_252.jpg

In 2016 I found a group of Cryptomeria japonica 'Lobbii' in 3 and 5 gallon pots, for $5 each from a now out of business nursery. That was another group project. Mortality was high, they are not quite winter hardy in Wisconsin.

We all have Ponderosa pines, that we all bought separately, but regularly we discuss Ponderosa, mugo, Japanese Black Pine, and other pines.

Hinoki has been an informal discussion topic lately.

Every year, for the Milwaukee Bonsai Society Annual Exhibit we all discuss what we are showing, sometimes we do a group display. Sometimes a display will be under one person's name and a stand or accent plant will be borrowed from one of the other members.

So it is haphazard, informal but pretty consistently we do dive into projects, a couple a year.
 

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