Bernard Marque on Repotting

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Articles And Stories, Eric's Blog
Bernard Marque on Repotting

For our January 2017 meeting BSSF kicked off the year by inviting Bernard Marque, a long-time BSSF member to demonstrate repotting for the group. Bernard has recently taken over the helm in teaching bonsai basics II for the club which is the repotting portion of bonsai basics. Bernard began the evening by mentioning some of […]

Critical Thinking on Repotting

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Eric's Blog
Critical Thinking on Repotting

Bonsai instruction frequently is quite prescriptive; this is perhaps the preference of both teachers and students to avoid confusion on a dizzying array of topics. But what if you could move past instruction to rely on your own instincts when it comes to all these topics? Having recently started unschooling (look it up) my eleven […]

Digging Into Some Fall Work

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Eric's Blog, From the President
Digging Into Some Fall Work

Fall can be one of the busiest times in bonsai, with many trees needing cleanup and work to look their best. While repotting during winter will take just as much time, it is not as much a part of the creative process as fall wiring and styling. The initial styling of a tree is often […]

Reflections on The Artisans Cup

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Articles And Stories, Eric's Blog
Reflections on The Artisans Cup

I left San Francisco at 7am on the Wednesday morning before The Artisans Cup to drive over to Alameda to meet up with Jonas Dupuich. Among other things we were taking my grafted California Juniper and accompanying pieces up to Portland, Oregon for the show. Both Jonas and I were happy that most of the […]

Shohin Considerations

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Articles And Stories, Eric's Blog
Shohin Considerations

Shohin trees are those that are in the range about 3″ tall to about 8″ tall. While there are multiple size classification systems, the Nippon Bonsai Association recognizes that Shohin are trees up to 20 cm, which converts to about 8″ for us Americans. It is also commonly accepted that the tree not be too […]

Renewing a Utah Juniper’s styling

Posted by on Mar 10, 2013 in Articles And Stories, Blogs, Eric's Blog
Renewing a Utah Juniper’s styling

“Wiring” it has been said “is bonsai, and bonsai is wiring.”    I find the process of styling  a tree to bring out the best qualities to be highly satisfying.     For this small Utah Juniper this was the second time that I wired every branch to bring the shape from a bunch of unruly looking branches […]

Do what Jim said…

Posted by on Apr 19, 2009 in Blogs, Eric's Blog

If there is one thing that stuck in my mind from the Yamadori-style juniper workshop that Jim Gremel provided for our April general meeting it’s this quote: “one experiment is worth a thousand opinions.”  Of course this is nothing new to many people; you can poll all the bonsai experts in the world and get […]

The problem with root aphids.

Posted by on Feb 8, 2009 in Eric's Blog

When you pull a tree out of a pot to work on the roots, or to transplant it into another pot people often see a white fuzz and assume that they have beneficial mycorrhizal fungi.  But without looking closely you are just as likely to have an infestation of Root aphids. Root aphids are just […]

A few new images of my trees

Posted by on Aug 10, 2008 in Eric's Blog

Sometimes I berate myself for not taking more photos of my trees.  Mostly it is the photos before I started working on them that I miss, I remember the trees vaguely, but I always seem to forget to take a photo before any styling has happened.  It is only once I see that the tree […]

Bonsai is work, don’t fool yourself

Posted by on Aug 9, 2008 in Eric's Blog

If you really want your bonsai to be great you will have to do one thing: work.  Bonsai takes time, not just waiting time, but working time.  When a tree puts on new growth it is time to get out the wire and scissors and harness that growth to further your artistic goals. Work comes […]