Message from Bob Fields in Akron: Feb 15h 2010
During the past several years the Akron Canton Bonsai
Society has hosted Craig twice. Each time was a very special event that
brought in many folks from the area and some of them have become members.
Craig is everything we hope for in a bonsai demonstrator. He is highly
experienced, extremely knowledgeable, gives a very entertaining
This past October he worked a large garden juniper
into an excellent full cascade (kengai) style bonsai. During the demo he
explained clearly what he was doing and accomplished in a 2 hour span an
excellent result. He worked the tree and potted it all in the same
demonstration. (Note: As it was going into a
cascade pot hardly any root was cut or greatly disturbed in this
The following day Craig worked with my collection. It needed
it. My trees are in different degrees of "completion" - some are
relatively recently styled, others have been in training for a few years.
I've been in training for many years and still have much I want to learn.
I first learned bonsai techniques in Southern
California in the mid-sixties from some of the great artists out there
(Khan Komai, Frank Nagata, Jim Barrett, Dixie Shaner, and Johnnie Naka).
I was a Caltech at the time but later I took a job in Ohio (at Kent State
as a biology prof) and lost touch with my teachers and the world of
bonsai. I wished I had absorbed more of what my teachers had taught. In
the past ten years I have rekindled my interest in bonsai and look at
myself as a "re-beginner" in search of someone who is an knowledgeable as
my former teachers were.
Finally I found Craig. One-on-one he is excellent.
He is respectful of his student's interests, abilities, and needs. We
worked all day on my collection and it really looked better for it. Craig
helped me see both the strengths and weaknesses of each tree. Some trees
we re-styled, others we set a plan for the future. Craig has his own
approaches, and working with him for the day I can honestly say that I
learned his approach by applying it to a tree that really had me baffled
(frankly, it was a mess of a tree that a friend had discarded and I took
as a challenge). When I was finished, the tree actually looked pretty
good - well, at least it looked like a tree.
During the day we covered everything, from styling, pruning, and
wiring (Craig has his own unique approach to this) to potting,
fertilizing, and over-wintering. He also gave me a carving lesson.
EXCELLENT. I would definitely recommend Craig to anyone, from beginner
Yes, it was a bit pricey, but (as we say in the education field:
if you think the cost of education is expensive, try costing out
ignorance). I felt that it was money well spent. I would do it again.
I hope this helps you to encourage your members to take full advantage of
Craig Coussins' visit. I know the ACBS is looking forward to having him
return one day soon.
Akron Canton Bonsai Society
Critique; Craig Coussins fifth book,
The most important aspect of a Bonsai Novice is having the enthusiasm and
confidence to begin engaging in this "art style." This is what Craig
Coussins does for anyone applying the information in his books. You will
find that his approach is well thought-out and easy to apply. His attitude
is generous and philosophy is to share without concern of monetary return.
One does have to earn a living, however, and he does this with style and
His new book "Bonsai Master Class" is an art in itself. His photography
and concern for detail related to horticultural requirements is essential
for any level of advancement. If you style a tree and are ignorant of
requirements your endeavour is futile.
Any "art style" requires basic guidelines and requirements for success.
Craig covers all aspects of general care and takes it one step further.
Everything you need to know for basics and advancement is in this book.
I especially enjoy the information related to "indoor cultivation." This
is an area that I have found sorely lacking...up to now. Because most
Bonsai enthusiasts cultivate outdoor species it is difficult to find an
authority on the less popular "indoor or tropical" species. The
instruction on cultivation, styling and refinement will not disappoint.
My personal request is for a book devoted to just this subject..."Indoor
Craig's book covers a variety of styles and approaches to this true "art
Because of this you will have an instruction book that you will use over
and over again.
This is not a table top book...it is meant to be used.
Once again, thank you for the hard work and generosity in producing one of
the most beautifully illustrated and informative instruction books on
Karen Zaller RRT
Dear Craig, Please accept a collective thank you from all who attended the
recent Mid Atlantic Bonsai Societies Spring Festival
Everyone from whom we have heard expressed deep
appreciation for your thoughtful, artistic, and learned but un-pedantic
presentations during the weekend. Your deep knowledge of bonsai and
horticulture, teaching skills and delightful sense of humour brought
special dimensions to the weekend.
We hope that it will not be too long before you
return to Mid Atlantic and again share your love of bonsai with us.
Jim Brant, President
have known Craig Coussins for nearly twenty years and watched him
demonstrate in England and the United States. Craig freely shares his vast
knowledge and technical skills when presenting his educational programs.
Unlike many demonstrators, takes the necessary time to actually prepare
their material before hand and to make sure the completed bonsai looks
good, while teaching as he goes. This attention to detail is also evident
in his many books and articles.
During his presentations
Craig maintains an active dialog with his audience and involves them with
the thought process for creating and shaping a bonsai as he continues to
work on the plant.
Craig Coussins would make a
most worthwhile instructor to any bonsai organization seeking a skilled,
artistic and enjoyable demonstrator. (Besides, he is a nice guy and speaks
William N. Valavanis
International Bonsai Arboretum
North America: Mr. Craig Coussins is a charismatic, energetic,
dynamic speaker who maintains a captive audience through preparation,
extensive knowledge base, wit, and charm. He would be welcome anytime at
our convention, our club or in our home.
Howard and Sylvia Smith
Vice President and President of the Bonsai Society of Dallas
Craig Coussins builds a Juniper forest on a slab with
the help of Bob Specian
Added on 07/06/07 Views: 344
North America: The longer you stay involved in bonsai the more
you look for teachers that " Know what they teach and teach what they
know." Craig Coussins is that type of teacher. Craig is as eager to learn
from his time with bonsai groups as he is to teach what he knows to each
group. This artist to artist relationship could be the key to building a
solid base of bonsai artist for the future.
Joe B. Day
Bonsai Master, Alabama
Wales: Our Society was pleased that Craig was available to visit
The Vale Of Clwyd Bonsai Society in the wilds of Wales. The members were
enthralled by Craig's presentation. He captivated the group from the
outset and drew the observers into his talk with panache. Catering for all
levels with a mix of clear instruction for the novices and detailed
reasoning for the experienced is a difficult task, but he managed it well.
We are hoping to have him back to visit us soon."
International Suiseki Association, VoCBS Wales.
North America: I am more than happy to recommend your talents to
any bonsai organization. Our experience with you at our
here in Ft Lauderdale was not only a great success, but with your help it
was one of the most enjoyable conventions for all who attended. Many
didn't know what to expect since we had never hosted a European master,
but you left here with many friends! Your demos and workshops were very
informative, and the "singing bowls" session was the most attended event
of the week-end. I hope we have you back soon!
Bonsai Societies of Florida organiser
South Africa: I have been growing bonsai for the last thirty
years. During this time I have served as Secretary of the South African
Bonsai Association, then as President for four years and as vice-President
of the African Bonsai Association. I was Secretary first and also Chairman
of the Durban Bonsai Society for a number of years until I left Natal (now
KwaZulu Natal) to stay in Johannesburg. Since being in Johannesburg I have
become the Secretary of the Eastern Bonsai Society and the Secretary for
Bonsai 2002, which is the organisation running our 2002 Bonsai Convention
in Pretoria. I am responsible for the first Suiseki Exhibition to be held
in South Africa which will be on at the same time as Bonsai 2002.
I mention all this to give a bit more weight to my opinion of Craig's
ability to give lectures and to pass on knowledge on the subject of
bonsai. I have attended a number of your lectures both in Johannesburg and
in Durban when he has visited us there. I was impressed with his
techniques and can recommend him to anyone looking for a colourful,
interesting and knowledgeable lecturer/demonstrator - who is also an
expert on suiseki.
A mutual friend in Louisiana, (Gary
Marchal) introduced me to
Craig. At the time I was the program chairman for the Midori bonsai Club
board of directors. I contacted Craig by email and made an inquiry. Craig
responded and agreed to be a part of our clubs’ “Masters Series“. We
worked together to make arrangements for him to come to California and
teach us at an all-day workshop. It did not take long for us to recognize
that Craig had an easy way with people and a decisive yet gentle approach
to working on the trees.
Craig has a very naturalistic aspect to his styling suggestions, which
allows the tree to show off a beauty that might have otherwise been
hidden. He takes the time to discuss the tree with the workshop
participant, learning about the tree and the student. In the end it
becomes a collaborative effort when a decision is made on the trees future
style and form. The trees owner now has a clear and concise path of
direction to follow, not just for this workshop but for the future as
well. It has been the pleasure of our club to have Craig share his
knowledge and experience, I’m sure you or your club will benefit equally
from Craig’s influence.
Midori Bonsai Club
San Jose, CA, Midori Bonsai Club members gathered in Fremont, CA
for a workshop with Craig Coussins, a renowned UK bonsai master, teacher
There was plenty to do and see in the day-long workshop
Craig assists a member with some details
New Zealand: Valued by students in all countries he has taught
in for his creative work, Craig is a true teacher of Bonsai. He has an
in-depth understanding of bonsai artistry by creating fine and outstanding
Bonsai. As some material can bring out the challenges, Craig will discover
the best possible solution for the tree. Craig's refinement and redesign
of bonsai is a Master at work.
Dunedin, New Zealand.
North America: Craig,
I just want you to know how much we are looking forward to your return. I
enjoyed your last visit here and especially the workshop where you raised
your eyebrow at my wiring and how proud you were of me that I was willing
to remove it completely and start over! I would like to think that
everyone who finds themselves in your workshops or attends your
demonstrations would benefit as greatly as I from them. And your kindness
in staying in touch, not only following up on our progress but keeping us
informed about so many interesting things, has been extra icing on the
cake! I wish that many more clubs and individuals could have the
experience of working with you. Thank you for sharing so generously of
Atlanta Bonsai Club
Columbus Bonsai Society Website:
Tree of the Month - September 2005: Wiring Like Craig
Submitted by cbs_admin on Sun, 2005-09-11 01:26.
Zack Clayton, Ken Schoenfeld and I were all lucky enough to take a
BYOT workshop from Craig Coussins at Dawes the first week of June this
year. For me, it was my second opportunity. Linda and I took a
workshop from him up at Wildwood Gardens four years ago. In both
situations, Craig used a wiring method like one I'd never seen, nor
have I seen anyone else teach. Craig has been practicing the art of
Bonsai for a number of years, he is credited for founding the Bonsai
Society of Scotland.
Here's the trick he'll say. I needed to find a
way to save time while wiring when I did demonstrations, so I count
the number of branches that I need to wire and then take a length of
wire long enough to reach the tip (and he means to the very tip) of
the longest branch to be wired. Then he folds lengths of wire into a
multi wired bundle enough to wire the number of branches that you want
to wire. I've discovered that there's more to this than counting, and
length, but it takes practice just to look good - like a lot of sports
do. Think about which branches need a certain guage of wire. Also,
think about anchoring the ends in the pot if you are not wiring in
balanced branch pairs.
One of the beauties of this method is that because you are creating
a bundle you won't cross wires (as often). However, as I mentioned,
don't over do it. I tried 12 branches and it gets awkward. I planned
for 6 and 6 wire bundles and actually needed 7 and 5.
One of Craig's instructions is wire all the branches to their tip.
And he means all the branches. Then and only then does he start
bending the branches. He says that bending them only once minimizes
the damage to the cambium. Also, this technique allows a number of
extreme bends to be made to bring branch tips into a plane creating a
foliage pad where none existed before. It is only then that Craig
begins to remove excess branches. As he reaches the end of a branch he
takes the tip and points it upward. He says that if you leave them
pointing outward then the tree thinks that you want that branch to
elongate. Tipping it up, causes back budding according to Craig.
Of course we were working with stock that had been previously
styled as bonsai, so I can only suspect that it is OK when using raw
stock to remove some of the branches to allow yourself enough room to
do all the wiring that you will be doing.
I will try to remember to bring one of my Coussins styled wired
trees to the picnic.
Article Submitted by cbs_admin on Sun, 2005-09-11 01:26.
We have known Craig for a number of years and had
the pleasure of working with him. We like the styling of his trees and the
technique of his wiring was very much an innovation for us . The trees in
his collection appear to have benefited greatly by this method. In
addition, we also found the Craig Coussins Bonsai Collection (United
Kingdom) to be outstanding. He practices what he preaches. Craig is easy
to get along with and works well with all levels of Bonsai teaching.
We can very much recommend Craig Coussins to any Bonsai Club who wish to
experience his techniques.
Robert (Bob) Langholm
Bonsai Master (NZ)
full time student of Sensei Langholm
Robert Langholm is New Zealand leading Bonsai Master and one of the
leading Masters in the Southern Hemisphere. His superb collection is
regularly visited by groups from all over the world.
New Zealand is situated down under which is probably why not too
many bonsai artists wish to venture yonder. Our bonsai long for
experienced teachers to help their owners develop their merits.
Fortunately Craig is an adventurous type and it didn't take much to
convince him to come down and entertain us all. It was a wonderful
experience to have a talent like Craig helping us expand our bonsai and
horticultural knowledge. He is always fun and full of life and I'm sure
underneath that Scottish skin lies the making of a true Kiwi. We long to
have him return. All of us here, sitting on the underbelly of the world,
can only encourage you all to venture into Craig's world and be
entertained as well as educated in bonsai and other lighter things in
Dianne Miller and Noel Plowman
Hamilton, New Zealand
England: Craig Coussins, lecturer, artist and teacher, is
probably one of the foremost experts of Bonsai in the UK and very highly
respected throughout the rest of the world. The times I have spent in
Craig's knowledgeable company have been the most enjoyable experiences in
my development as a Bonsai artist. I would strongly recommend anybody to
go, see or work with Craig. It is an experience not to be forgotten.
Rob Atkinson, Bonsai Teacher*.
Aka Matsu school of Bonsai, Tyneside, England.
(*winner of United Kingdom National Bonsai Styling Competition, ’New
Talent ', Federation of British Bonsai Societies, F.O.B.B.S.-2000)
Belgium: I met Craig
and his lovely wife Svieta for the first time in Bruges, Belgium at the
occasion of the European Bonsai Association Congress, where Craig was
invited to give a demonstration at this prestigious European event.
In my humble opinion, I found Craig, together with Salvatore Liporace one
of the highlights of this congress.
A few days after this congress, when we were having dinner at my house,
many Bonsai enthusiasts from Russia, Scotland and Belgium were gathered
around the table, talking and laughing. That special moment in time had,
for me personally, everything to do with the saying : "World Peace through
Bonsai". An evening that I will always remember.
I am looking forward to meet Craig again in Mechelen in Belgium where,
once again, he been invited to give a demonstration for our tenth
anniversary in 2004.
Organisational committee member for The European Bonsai Association
Congress in Bruges. Secretary administrator for Mechelin Bonsai Club,
New Zealand: In the
world of bonsai, there are those that can teach, and there are those that
can entertain. Craig Coussins does both equally well with great
generosity, an enjoyable sense of humour and a deep knowledge of his
subject. If bonsai is an international art form, Craig is its
international exponent. Spending a considerable time of each year visiting
many parts of the world, Craig demonstrates and explains his methods both
simply and clearly. Nobody attending his teaching sessions could fail to
be inspired to greater heights of bonsai art whether the demonstration is
of carving, multiple wiring or simply performing the basic skills of
creating a believable and pleasing creation. His knowledge of horticulture
The author of several
splendid new books, lavishly illustrated and informatively written
unravelling the mysteries of bonsai development, Craig is one of those
rare bonsai people who can communicate his ideas and methods with an
apparent ease on whatever level of expertise is required, whether it be
for the absolute novice or the bonsai enthusiast of many years.
The Avon Bonsai Club of
Christchurch, New Zealand was fortunate to be taught by Craig on his first
visit to New Zealand during his teaching tour of the country. We enjoyed
and learned so much from him in his all too-short visit three years ago
that he has been invited back as part of an international line-up of
demonstrators for our conference in September 2003. (That has now been and
gone and a report will be forthcoming for this page)
Vanzsai Bonsai Studio
Christchurch, New Zealand.
Coussins has been identified with bonsai from the very early days when
bonsai within the United Kingdom was beginning to evolve from its infancy
into a major cultural entity in its own right.
As someone who is both enthusiastic and highly motivated towards bonsai,
Craig has proved over the years to be an artist full of energy and
creativity. This enthusiasm has been unreservedly applied in his teaching
of bonsai on a worldwide basis, and many individuals and societies have
benefited from his unique style and approach to the subject.
In terms of his creations of bonsai, he has always tended to draw on what
he sees of trees in their natural habitat, in turn creating an individual
bonsai through to a large landscape design which attempts to reflect in an
orthodox, and occasionally, less orthodox manner, the way in which nature
itself creates its own styles.
Malcolm & Kath Hughes
Kath Hughes was the
Secretary for the Federation of British Bonsai Societies for
many years and Malcolm was President or FoBBS, The European Bonsai
Association and President of the National Bonsai Collection-UK. Both
Malcolm and Kath now organise and manage the Best of British Bonsai Event
held in Birmingham, UK.
North America: In my
opinion, Craig is a very talented stylist of Bonsai. His back ground
knowledge is superb. He is a passionate and dedicated teacher of the "Art
I have engaged Craig a
number of times for various events, i.e. to conduct teaching demos for the
Ohio State University Extension for Horticultural events and others (in
the USA). I have found him to be well prepared, professional in every
aspect, and extremely delightful. He will demonstrate with ease and
humour, to the delight of onlookers, and deftly answers any and all
questions directed to him.
As a teacher, he is
relaxed, focused and interested in assisting the student in any way. His
generosity knows no bounds. I know that if he could do one thing, it would
be to instil his passion in others, as he has to me.
I count him as a valued
friend as well as teacher.
I've never been
North America: On
behalf of the Las Vegas Bonsai Society I would like to thank you for the
creative and informative demonstration you recently gave for our
The Bonsai Societies in New
York State highly recommended your unique approach to the art of Bonsai
and they were correct. The demonstration was refreshing as well as a
pleasant and exciting learning experience. I look forward to your next
North America: As
president of a bonsai club I am always looking for workshops or
demonstrations for myself and members to learn more about bonsai. I heard
that Craig Coussins was holding some workshops in Colorado. I and some
other members attended these workshops and we all learned new techniques
as well as had our passion for bonsai taken to a higher level.
We are looking forward to his return in the very near future.
President of the Northern Colorado Bonsai Society
I completed a six week tour of the Bonsai
Federation of Australia clubs and was a speaker at the New
Zealand Bonsai Convention. Here are some of the testimonials.
From the President of the Bimer Bonsai Club, November 2003
Michael Clarke. Michael is a wonderful man, full of humour, a passion
for Bonsai, nature and someone whose smile always lights up his
face and warms everyone's hearts.
Craig Coussins has been and gone and I'm still hearing that soft
lilting accent. I had a great weekend and from all the reports I have
had, so did all of you. What I found so good about Craig was the fact
that he not only knew a great deal about the art of Bonsai but was
more than willing to share it with us. If you asked him the right
questions you always got the right answer. Another new and refreshing
approach to this art, some of his styling ideas were quite radical to
our way of thinking but the end result was to be seen to be believed.
At no other time or with no other
tutor have I seen a tree look so much like a full grown tree in
miniature so early in its training. There was no mystery, no smoke and
mirrors, just a simple approach freely explained and the result was a
Bonsai that looked like a magnificent tree in miniature almost
Craig is a wonderful man, warm,
friendly, a good sense of humour, relaxed and confident and all this
without a big head. He caused me a little panic early in the weekend
because time was not important, if he ran over time on his workshop
then so be it. After Saturday, Sunday and Monday I got to relax also.
By Monday afternoon I was on Craig time and feeling nicely laid back.
All the workshops went well and
I'm sure all participants were pleased with their result. The
demonstration on Saturday afternoon was a big success with over 90
people packed in to the hall.
Yes Craig we had a great time
and would love to see you again now that you know where we are, don't
forget about us.
Get out there and practice the Craig
Coussins method on your trees and see what a difference it makes, Good
I received a most delightful letter from the
secretary of the Bonsai Federation of Australia who attended the Craig
Weekend in Sydney. Jan Briggs is an elegant and very gracious lady who
is an enthusiastic Bonsai artist and a lover of Suiseki. Jan
collection of stones stem from the wonderful choice available in this
amazing country. CC
Jan wrote," On behalf of our President, Ric Roberts and our member
clubs, may I take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for the
wonderful visit we have just experienced with you. Your obvious
expertise (and sometimes radical approach to styling) combined with your
excellent communication skills and knowledge that you so freely passed
on, all came together to make it a wonderful learning experience for the
many people that participated in the events during your visit./ We
greatly appreciated the time and effort that you expended on our behalf
and we look forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future"
Don Deluca is an experienced
bonsai grower and enthusiast from Australia. Don runs a small nursery
outside Sydney and specialises in the creation of larger Bonsai pieces.
He has been working for a number of years with Sydney Bonsai Master Ric
Roberts, the President of the Bonsai Federation of Australia and a
number of visiting Masters from around the globe. I loved his company,
humour and joi de vivre. I found Don a highly intelligent, articulate
and dedicated enthusiast. These are some observations from his recent
Masterclass with Craig Coussins during the Sydney Craig Coussins
Conference weekend during September 2003-CC
"As an enthusiast
with little workshop experience, I am fortunate to be able to take away
from visiting Demonstrators many new ideas and techniques. As my
knowledge increases, I imagine that I will be able to take less from
these classes but in the meantime, I enjoy learning as much as I can. Of
course, learning is a non-stop state of mind.
brought a new approach to the workshop experience for me. I found two
differences with his way of teaching. The first stems from the way that
other teachers, both in Australia and abroad, discuss Bonsai in a way
that describes a section of landscape, setting of trees or a single
tree. What I mean is that they try and produce a picture or image in a
way that they determine nature should be shown. Perfectly formed foliage
pads, triangulated tangles of twisted trunks or branches that form a
sort of mountain shape or other formulaic predetermined shape for a
Bonsai creation. I am a keen follower of these goals myself but I
realised that I had lost sight of the fact that I am supposed to be
working with nature, not reinventing it.
Craig Coussins many
years of study through observation and photography has given him a
unique understanding of form and placement. This knowledge was evident
when he critiques trees and groups of trees in a number of combinations.
He would ask simple questions such as: ‘Why were these trees grouped
together in this or that way and in a way that would rarely occur in
nature?’, and ‘Have you ever seen trees shaped like this or grouped
together like this in nature?’
That is when it
dawned on me. I have lived amongst nature my entire life and have looked
at trees and landscapes in order to understand what nature was showing
me then I have gone home and tried to recreate a totally different image
or tree just like the one on page 65 of the Japanese quarterly magazine
on all things Bonsai. I was both unhappy and enervated by what Craig was
saying. Unhappy because he had pointed out that we were not observing
nature and recreating it and enervated by the fact that what Craig was
clearly explaining was a very easy approach to making trees symbolic of
the landscapes that I was comfortable with in my own environment. I am
now certain that if I include more nature, natural look and realistic
imagery into my Bonsai I will get the essence, expression and perhaps
the soul of the Bonsai that I create coming back to me in a way that I
have been unable to do until now. Being at one with the Bonsai and the
Bonsai being at one with me.
difference in Craig’s teaching was the explanation and understanding of
perspective in the creation of a Bonsai. It’s a rather difficult concept
to explain in writing. Craig says that the magic component in Bonsai is
perspective. The large tree that you see in a landscape near you may
fill the image because of its size but the viewer cannot escape the need
to study the small tree or trees in the distance. In a Bonsai or
miniature landscape creation that smaller tree can be created from a
tiny shrub with two branchlets wired into a silhouette shape that in
turn is reminiscent of the larger tree. That larger tree can be placed
to the right or left of a composition at the forefront despite these two
trees being pretty much on the same line as each other. You see the
magic then comes into play with the understanding of perspective. It’s
the tiny tree that makes the scene enormous.
(It is hard to
explain so here are some of Craig’s creations)
Craig's Chinese Penjing Group using perspective planting OZ
Click for a larger image:
A 3 metre long Elm Landscape UK
2 metre long South Africa 2 metre Cedar Group 1 Italy
2 Metre Cedar group 2 Italy 3 Metre Cryptomeria Group UK
Size can be an illusion and illusion can be in the size.
Cut down from a collected field grown tree-UK grown entirely from a
perspective in a way that showed me was still missing a big piece of the
puzzle. If I do not use perspective then I will be unable to achieve
depth of image, distance and size. This would allow me to create a scene
with a true sense of scale dependant on the size of the tree or trees
and although you know that the artwork is but a few inches high, long
and deep the composition will look real. Craig mentioned that when he
creates a forest or landscape he is only happy when he feels that he can
walk among the scene and that the image looks real.
We all go to
workshops or demonstrations where we sit in the audience, nod sagely and
come away thinking that the demonstrator has simply said out loud what
we either already know or have been thinking about for years. How clever
we are. Until we realise that we don’t have many masterpieces of Bonsai
because while we think we can do it we rarely put into practice what we
should have been learning because we perhaps, think that we already know
My conclusion from
this brief encounter with this generous Scotsman is easy for me to live
with. It’s very important to gain skills, learn the techniques, observe
nature and put all of that into practice. This means that I can change
the material I already have to both improve that material and my
perception of what it is that I should be doing. No bells and whistles.
Just commonsense and understanding of exactly what it is I need to do to
become a better Bonsai artist. It I important to use nature as a teacher
and to listen well to her suggestions as nature is what I am supposed to
be capturing in miniature. Study placement of the tree, the branches and
other detail in order to make the scene believable for others and
myself. How hard can that be?
This is what one
bloke took from the weekend and I thought all the stuff Craig said was
what I had been thinking for years!!
And finally, Ric Roberts, the President of the
Federation has a few words to say. Ric has an outstanding knowledge of
Bonsai and shares that without a seconds thought.
Click for larger images.
He is well loved and highly respected by the members and member clubs of
the Bonsai Federation. I spent some time with Ric when he visited the Uk
and during my Australian trip and found him generous, giving and
great fun to be with, pretty much like all the other wonderful Aussies I
met in fact!!!. Ric allowed me access to his extensive collection to
create some of my own art during the demo's I also assisted him in the
creation of an outstanding mature group of Trident Maples shown here. CC
Click for larger images
Bonsai Federation of Australia IncPresident:
Phone/fax: 612.9953.1931 Email:
with our Sydney clubs was a wonderful boost for all who attended. This
was true for the less experienced who were given a clear insight into
the sometimes-confusing number of ways to go to the next step. This is
information, which gives confidence to tackle more advanced work.
For the more experienced he
encouraged the progress to refining and un-scrambling problems that have
developed and pointing the way to producing modern bonsai works that not
only respect their ancestry of classic Japanese bonsai and Chinese
Penjing ideas but also influenced by something of the Romantic European
cultures. All this with his infectious good humor and true teachers
knack of keeping the audience enthralled for the whole time while
accomplishing feats of artistic excellence by way of demonstration.
I can highly recommend a
visit to your club he is a tonic for the improvement of all things
bonsai an instant enthusiasm transfusion and I’m sure a lasting benefit
to the art of Bonsai.
If you would like
to see the other 200 or so testimonials please let me know and I will
forward these on to you.CC