Bonsai tree: American Bonsai Heaven

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bonsai tree: American Bonsai Heaven

Still a work in progress, but an exceptional work at that. Douglas fir, styled by Ryan Neil. Collected by Randy Knight.

Full tilt bonsai

Is it just me, or has Oregon quietly become bonsai heaven? Think about it; Michael Hagedorn (Crataegus Bonsai) has been hunkering down in Portland every since he returned from his apprenticeship with Shinji Suzuki in Japan. Now Ryan Neil (International Bonsai Mirai), still somewhat fresh from his six year apprenticeship with Masahiko Kimura (if you’ve heard of anybody, you’ve heard of him) has settled in the Portland area too. Both Michael and Ryan are going full tilt bonsai, and if that’s not enough there’s this other guy, Randy Knight (Oregon Bonsai) who’s a madman (in the good sense) collector of wild material that’s making a big name for himself with his ferocious eye and techniques and sensitivity that make for almost unprecedented success rates (such hyperbole, especially given that I’ve never met Randy… but I’ve seen enough photos and drank just enough coffee to go out on this limb).

Bunjin juniper, originally from Japan and styled by Michael Hagedorn. I’ve been wanting to post this sweet little tree for a long time, but have hesitated because of the lazy line and dots in the background (I’m really not a finicky person, it’s just some idea I have about standards for Bonsai Bark). But the tree has finally won me over, dots and all.
Just collected by Randy Knight. The cryptic captions say Colorado, so, given the orange bark, I’m guessing it’s a ponderosa.

This’ll give you some idea of the scope of Randy Knight’s collecting passion, perseverance and patience, not to mention his strong back.

I’m breaking another of my own rules (about featuring bonsai rather than people in photos). It’s Ryan Neil back in his apprentice days working on one of Kimura’s most famous trees.

This one speaks for itself. It’s from Ryan’s website and was taken somewhere in Japan. Is it Kimura’s nursery?

Source: Bonsai Bark


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