Another year done! A look back at my first year of bonsai

Well, what a year it was!

Firstly, a big Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone has had an amazing time, and did not get up to too much mischeif.

Whilst it is not exactly a year since I started bonsai (its actualy been one year and 2 months… but who’s counting right) I thought I might have a look back over my year and see what I have learnt, and where I can grow.

My first real bonsai experience I guess was with the Bonsai Society of WA. It was a simple day long beginners course, that taught me more then I can say, and sent me way with my passion for bonsai. I created a Shohin Juniper with the aid of a mentor for the class (who I was stoked to work with, as he is a favourite artist of mine) from a stock Juniper Procumbens. I learnt many things during the course, more then I can really put in to words, but it gave me the base I needed to really start learning.

P1160136
Me and my first bonsai. Proud as punch

Next was the Mauro Stemberger demonstration. Unfortunately I did not participate in the workshop, as I just was not confident enough to put my name down. A shame, as I now really wish I had of done it. Anyway, I did watch his demonstration, which was a real pleasure. The man himself is great, very funny and extremely knowledgeable in the art. He produced an amazing tree from the stock that was provided, and really helped me in looking beyond the ‘obvious’ tree.

Then, it was back to the beginner course, I enjoyed it so much the first time that I just had to go again. the set up was the same and I enjoyed myself just as much as I did the first time, the experience is one I recommend for any beginner wanting to learn. I worked on another Juniper Procumbens, which I created a slanting style bonsai from. Being able to work a tree in that environment, with so many knowledgeable people there to help and answer my questions, really is the best way to learn.

(Picture coming soon, I didn’t get any good ones at the course, but do have one once I got home)

Finally, my workshop with Bill Valavanis. I have documented this already in another post, so will not go through that again. Suffice it to say, that Bill is a wonderful bloke, and I really enjoyed the workshop.

Bill V-workshop

This, was my first year through bonsai. I should note that this is a very high level view of my year, I have my own small garden which I am continue to grow my bonsai-to-be, and learn as I do so. I also acquired a nice little melaleuca, which is pictured below. My first, proper, native bonsai. The first of very many to come.

Mel. Incana

So, that is my first year of Bonsai. The one thing I really have learnt this year, is that I truly have a lot to learn. I know now that it really is not as simple as it looks, but I have also found that I have a real passion for this, and hope to continue on for a long time. I have also discovered my passion for natives, and look forward to where I can take that in my bonsai ‘career’.

One down! A small update and announcement

Well we are well and truely into the silly season now, and I thought it a good time for another update as well.

Firstly, the announcement. One of the projects I’ve recently been working on is now complete, and I’m finally able to let you all know what it is! I should note at this point that this is not related to my website, but is with another site that I support and regularly use (and think you all should too!) AusBonsai. I have finally completed working on the most comprehensive directory in Australia, a directory that shows the location of each and every bonsai related store/club/park/etc within Australia. Not only is it my pride and joy, it is also a really great resource for when you are looking for a club or nursery local to you. So, here it is!

http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/directory/

If you have the chance, please have a look and let me know what you think!

So with that out the way, I will hopefully move onto another project for the site. My aim in all of this, is to assist in the growth of the art of bonsai within Australia. Be it through my site, or through another.

Now, a personal update on my own growth. It has been a long month… again. Whilst I continue to learn, I am finding that my lack of space is now affecting my learning of the art. Hopefully, that will soon change, as it is really no fun only being regulated to a few bonsai. I guess December is also not the most active of months for bonsai demo’s or workshops, so that is also a contributing factor. It is tough though, as what do you do when you want to learn… but have nothing or no one to teach you, or should I say, no way to get to those resources?

Hopefully, the new year will bring me some new windows of oppurtunity to learn this wonderful art, as I am really passionate about building bonsai within Australia, but without the skillset, that is quite hard to do. I soldier on all the same, I am determined after all… and a bit stubborn too!

The site will undergo a small update in the very near future, so stayed tuned for that too! Looking to upgrade the base images, font and the like to make it a bit more stylish