So now your spending 300.00 a year for Ryan, how much you spending for material?

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#1
Education is fine but if you are spending 50.00 for a piece of material your wasting a lot of money on education and cheaping out on the material. I kind of have a phobia about bonsai education. I am very selective about who I take on as a student. I ask lots of questions about how they buy material and how much they want to spend. I always ask to have them bring their most expensive piece of material with them to the first meeting before I even commit to helping them.

Why?

First most people will be eager to tell others about who they are learning from. Their work is a reflection of me. Just like Ryan's students are a reflection of him. Boon, Kenji, Kathy, Bojrn, etc., etc. Most professionals will try and steer you to the stock they have, not always, but if a teacher is really good and honest they will tell you up front you are wasting your time. There a couple teachers out there that never say anything about what people bring to a workshop or teacher student relationship. Ted Matson is one of those guys. He is the nicest and most professional guy I know. I have known him for over three decades and I have never heard him say boo to a student. On the other hand I have heard Kenji Miyata say "take the crap home, don't bring that here no more" I remember one time, who remembers "Ripsgreentree", Glenn VanWinkle. Kenji told him to clean it up. When Kenji came back he told Glenn, "you cut off all what good. Now we have nothing, you take tree and sit in corner"

but....I have watched him work on trees for decades in a club, going on 40 years for me...and the tree never gets better. At what point do you cut the cord and just let it go and get better material. For some, never. They don't know any different. They are happy with the piece of crap and proud of it. Get a couple hundred of those kind of guys together and it's what kept Ted going when the advertising game vanished in 2007 and he started doing bonsai teaching full time.

If you wish to make trees like this:
23826039_624551461088293_5380576017916844603_o.jpg 24172970_627258294150943_8296097638037939169_o.jpg 24254853_627257910817648_1459045944897471594_o.jpg 24959131_631030390440400_5919293757104981067_o.jpg 26169527_638659429677496_4907189803130420246_n.jpg
 

just.wing.it

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#6
I guess, as a non subscriber, I can't comment ...
Good topic though Mr Nanner!
....but I'll comment anyway....😜

I think there are a couple angles that need to be mentioned here...
I generally would say that $50 is a high price for the material that I buy....I go lower.
Great bonsai can be made from landscape nursery stock, but IT TAKES MORE TIME...more time to find the piece, more time to cultivate the piece into a bonsai.

So I think a major determining factor is, how long do you plan to be alive, doing bonsai?

If I was twice my age, I wouldn't say what I just said, nor would I buy Home Depot material for future bonsai....I would agree with the OP fully.

But as a relative youngster in the world of bonsai, I will have greater pride in my trees many years from now, when they are very nice bonsai and I'll have a greater sense of personal satisfaction from creating something beautiful from a $25 garden plant from the Depot....
As opposed to spending more money on better material now, just to have a great tree sooner....I'm in no rush.

Hope that makes sense.
 

0soyoung

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#7
Ryan (and/or his wife) has come up with a way to generate a ($300 /person X 100s of persons =) $300,000-ish annual cash flow into his business (if it is thousands of people ... !!).

You sponsored his apprenticeship with Kimura in one way or another.

Why are you attacking his revenue stream?
 

just.wing.it

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#8
Ryan (and/or his wife) has come up with a way to generate a ($300 /person X 100s of persons =) $300,000-ish annual cash flow into his business (if it is thousands of people ... !!).

You sponsored his apprenticeship with Kimura in one way or another.

Why are you attacking his revenue stream?
I don't think that's the goal, do you?
 
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#9
I think there are a couple angles that need to be mentioned here...

The other angle is what the goals are. Ryan wanted to study in Japan to become a master and make it his lifes work. My lifes work is 40 hours a week in law enforcement. I have no desire to become a master. I'm just here for the fun of things. And if I learn a little, it's the cherry on top.
 

coh

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#10
Ryan (and/or his wife) has come up with a way to generate a ($300 /person X 100s of persons =) $300,000-ish annual cash flow into his business (if it is thousands of people ... !!).

You sponsored his apprenticeship with Kimura in one way or another.

Why are you attacking his revenue stream?
Envy. He said it himself in a recent post. Someone else is getting more attention than Al Keppler...can't have that!
 

just.wing.it

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#11
The other angle is what the goals are. Ryan wanted to study in Japan to become a master and make it his lifes work. My lifes work is 40 hours a week in law enforcement. I have no desire to become a master. I'm just here for the fun of things. And if I learn a little, it's the cherry on top.
Well, I replied operating under the assumption that what we want is what the OP said, "if you want trees like this..."

All I'm saying is that if one has enough time, you don't need to spend a ton on "good material"....and it'll be more rewarding in the end.
 
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#13
I wish I could find the video/interview with Ryan where he told a story that related to this topic. I will do my best to paraphrase what he said:

"One day a customer brought Mr. Kimura a piece of nursery stock (most likely low end). Mr. Kimura gave this tree to Ryan Neil to work on, to which he laughed and thought it was a joke. Mr. Kimura replied saying "why can't we work on a piece of material like this? A paying customer wants our expert skill. We are skilled artists, who can move this material forward better than anyone else. We are proficient in design, air layering, pruning, wiring, carving, etc."

I heard this when I first started bonsai and it has stuck with me. Should HD trees be displayed in exhibitions, probably not. Can they be enjoyed in someone's backyard, of course!
 

just.wing.it

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#14
Well when you only make $15/hr... you can't afford good material so you enjoy what you have.
There ya go....just life making some decisions for you, that's all!
Like when I can't decide which branches to keep on my Mugo Pine, so I wire them all....then 40% of them die....tree making decisions for me...😎
 

just.wing.it

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#15
I wish I could find the video/interview with Ryan where he told a story that related to this topic. I will do my best to paraphrase what he said:

"One day a customer brought Mr. Kimura a piece of nursery stock (most likely low end). Mr. Kimura gave this tree to Ryan Neil to work on, to which he laughed and thought it was a joke. Mr. Kimura replied saying "why can't we work on a piece of material like this? A paying customer wants our expert skill. We are skilled artists, who can move this material forward better than anyone else. We are proficient in design, air layering, pruning, wiring, carving, etc."

I heard this when I first started bonsai and it has stuck with me. Should HD trees be displayed in exhibitions, probably not. Can they be enjoyed in someone's backyard, of course!
Would it matter in 50 years, if you couldn't tell?
 
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#16
"One day a customer brought Mr. Kimura a piece of nursery stock (most likely low end). Mr. Kimura gave this tree to Ryan Neil to work on, to which he laughed and thought it was a joke. Mr. Kimura replied saying "why can't we work on a piece of material like this? A paying customer wants our expert skill. We are skilled artists, who can move this material forward better than anyone else. We are proficient in design, air layering, pruning, wiring, carving, etc."

That's the same video where he talks about washing rags for hours on end. I've seen the video you are referring to. It's either the washing rags video, or one of the live streams where he's working on a disregarded nursery juniper.
 

coh

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#17
Bottom line - no one should be made to feel less because of the type of material they purchase or how they've developed their trees. If it takes someone 10 years to accomplish what "bananaman" could in 5, who cares? If someone's tree looks the same after 40 years...again, who cares? If that person has enjoyed working on that material over that time period, that's all that matters.

Similarly, if a beginner chooses to spend $300 for a year of Mirai, instead of spending that money on material - who cares? In the long run, the information he learns might make that a better investment than spending $300 on a tree that he'll probably kill or set back years or decades because he doesn't know what he's doing. And I can tell you one thing - that information from Ryan comes with a lot less attitude than you see around here, particularly from Smoke or Bananaman or whatever he's calling himself today.
 

just.wing.it

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#19
If that person has enjoyed working on that material over that time period, that's all that matters.
Absolutely true!
Of course.

But he said "if you want trees like this"...."then you must buy this"....

So that's the frame of the context of this thread....

Hence what I'm trying to say.

Time....time....its got more to do with time than anything.
 
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#20
No one comes out of the chute with top level equipment in ANY hobby.

-Photographers start with "point and shoot" cameras that cost only a few hundred, not nearly the "flaship" model professional cameras costing $4000 or more.
-Fashion designers start with the $75 red light special sewing machine from walmart and a few yards of cheap fabric.
-Race car drivers start by tuning their daily driver cars.
-Potters start by doing slabwork before they buy a $1000 potters wheel.
 

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