Daniel Coffey and Jack Sustic on Saturday, November 9th
10:00 am - noon. Native Pine Kokedama workshop. Space limited to six. $65.
1:00 - 3:00 pm Jack Sustic's presentation on "The Art of Bonsai." $20
4:00 - 6:00 pm Jack and Danny style a Japanese black pine, with Q&A
Jack Sustic was the Curator of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC from 2002 to 2016 and is currently co-President of the National Bonsai Foundation. He was co-chair of the 5th World Bonsai Convention and featured artist at the Carolina Bonsai Expo in 2017.
Click below to sign up or RSVP:
On Sunday, November 10, Danny will have a studio open house from 11:00 - 4:30. All welcome.
Please see the Resources page of this website for professional information on Daniel Coffey.
Bonsai Curator's Talk at the NC Arboretum on November 12th
Tuesday, November 12: 4:00 to 6:00 pm.
Arthur will discuss "Yoshimura Island."
Every bonsai has two stories. One is the suggested story, which is ultimately a product of the viewer’s imagination. The other is the actual story of how the miniature tree, or in some cases the miniature landscape, came to be. Sometimes the actual story is deeper and richer than the suggested one. In this talk, the Arboretum’s bonsai curator shares archival images and the story of “Yoshimura Island,” a signature landscape that was the earliest to be created especially for the Arboretum by famed bonsai artist Yuji Yoshimura. We will meet in the Library on the second floor of the Education building.
Small fee: Click below to register:
2019 . . .so far.
To start our new year right, Jesse McMahon led a discussion on the life cycle of bonsais, both deciduous and coniferous. You must know the special needs of your tree's species and keep it healthy, but also set a goal for it at each stage of development and refinement that will get you to the appearance and style you are aiming for..
Demonstrating the result of pruning a large branch: A juniper with a really interesting root structure:
Bonsai professional Danny Coffey discussed how to prepare a tree for show--starting two years in advance: Year1: wire and style, year 2: repot and adjust.
Danny also discussed details that judges may look for: clean trunks, no heavy wire on large branches, moss that emphasized the roots of the tree, and more.
Discussing a mature boxwood of his own and white and black pines brought by members
Related to display . . .
Here is a photo from William Valavanis, forwarded by Felix Laughlin, illustrating the use of tall stands to get the exhibited bonsai at eye level for the viewers.
March and April: Repotting workshop with Tom Snow in March and--extra event--a Shimpaku workshop with Owen Reich in April
May: Our World Bonsai Day Exhibit at the NC Arboretum!
Felix, Tom, Peggy, and Jesse after setting up.
Click on the image to enlarge it and scroll.
June: Our annual visit from Arthur Joura, the Bonsai Curator of the NC Arboretum
This tree has been worked on periodically at the Arboretum, but has been allowed to get too leggy.
The goal today is to reduce the foliage and do some wiring so that this tree will regrow to emphasize its interesting trunk and look as if it grew this way on its own.
This year, Arthur brought a tree to work on that he had brought the first time he visited our club--25 years ago!
It is a false cypress, donated to the Arboretum by its owner because all the branches on one side of the trunk had died. It was then a little tree with a half-inch trunk, which after clean-up became horizontal and interesting.
Yes, the tree has lost more than half of its foliage today, but it will be fine. Arthur reminds us that the more horticulture we know, the better we will be able to predict how a tree will react to what we do to it..
August: Annual potluck and auction. (The silent and live auctions brought in more money than in any previous year!)
Peggy and Bob auction a tiny tree.
September: Demonstration by Tyler Sherrod
Original lodgepole pine
Tyler creates sharia.
Indicates eventual angle and apex.
Wired tree with its proud new owner, Pam.
Highlights of 2018 . . .
Rebecca Ayers' Wiring Workshop at the November, 2018 Meeting
Rebecca discussed basic principles of wiring for both conifers and deciduous trees and also discussed tools, wire sizes, and techniques, illustrated by her PowerPoint presentation. You can download both parts of her presentation from the links below:
Part 1: Part 2:
2018 Carolina Bonsai Expo at the NC Arboretum.
The featured bonsai artist this year was Bjorn Bjorholm. On Saturday evening, Bjorn reviewed and critiqued all the displays in the Expo. The link below plays a video of his review of our club display.
As with any video, clicking the Full Screen icon in the lower right corner of your screen will give you a bigger image, and clicking the ESC key will close Full Screen.
Sixth US National Bonsai Exhibition September 8-9, 2018
The US National Bonsai Exhibition, organized by William Valavanis, was held in East Rochester, NY. Almost 300 bonsais were exhibited, including trees from private collectors from many countries and displays from:
- National Bonsai Museum at the US National Arboretum, Washington, DC
- Montreal Botanic Garden,Montreal, Canada
- Kennett Collection,PA
- Chicago Botanic Garden,IL
- Pacific Bonsai Museum,WA
- Karamatsu Bonsai Study Group,Montreal, Canada
- Bonsai Society at the Royal Botanic Garden in Burlington, Canada
- University of Michigan, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, MI
The opening ceremonies included representatives of many important bonsai organizations, including our own Felix Laughlin as co-President of the National Bonsai Foundation.
Awards were given for trees and display in many categories. The award
for Best Medium Sized Bonsai was won by
Troy Schmidt's Japanese Five-Needle Pine.
Click the link below to see pictures and the review of the Exhibition from William Valavanis himself.
The following link will open an interview of William Valavanis by Ryan Neil.
May 20, 2018 Blue Ridge Bonsai Society Special Exhibit
We had good attendance at our exhibit in spite of gloomy weather. Jesse McMahon and Tom Snow created little "starter bonsai" from ficus and juniper outside the Visitors' Center while bonsai professional Danny Coffey worked on a large tree of his own and answered questions.
Inside the Visitors' Center, we displayed 27 members' bonsai with companion plants. Some of these trees were mature bonsai in training for many years, including a mixed forest of trident maples, Chinese elm, and azaleas.
See the Photo Gallery page for pictures of
May 12, 2018 World Bonsai Day at The NC Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum will celebrate World Bonsai Day by fully displaying its outdoor bonsai exhibit to the public for the first time in the 2018 calendar year.
Bob Thatcher will give a presentation at the Bonsai Pavilion entitled:
"Bonsai: How to Do It and How to Appreciate It"
He will cover basic bonsai forms, root pruning and top pruning at 11:00 am and again at 1:00 pm.
Come out to celebrate the day, cheer Bob on, enjoy the magnificent Arboretum collection, and talk about bonsai with club members and the public.
Highlights of 2017 . . .
February: Owen Reich workshop on deciduous trees
March: Boon Manakitivant: Repotting
July: tour of the NC Arboretum hoop house with Arthur Joura
April and May: John Cook (trees on a rock) and Bob Thatcher (air layering)
June: Workshop at the NC Arboretum for young bonsai enthusiasts,
organized by Felix Laughlin, aided by other members,
Exhibited at the 2017 Bonsai Expo at the NC Arboretum. (Troy won Best of Show.)
Some members attended the Shohin Expo and the
Winter Silhouette Expo, both in Kannapolis.
We also had a plant sale, auction, and pot luck
and lots of Show and tell and discussions of technique
The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is part of the U. S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC. This museum belongs to us all and is a truly wonderful place to visit.
At the moment, of course, their bonsai—like everyone else’s—are mostly in bed for the winter.
The National Bonsai Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. And you may not know that the current President of the National Bonsai Foundation is our very own member, Felix Laughlin.
The National Bonsai Foundation website is at the following link:
While we are waiting for spring, Felix suggests we subscribe to their free Museum Messages newsletter to cheer ourselves up. Click below to subscribe:
Also, click the next link to download an issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine with description and pictures of the new Japanese Pavilion now being built at the National Museum.