Bonsai tree: Slow Down & Stop Thinking So Much

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bonsai tree: Slow Down & Stop Thinking So Much

Michael Hagedorn reworked this collected Sierra juniper (grafted with shimpaku) in a half-day refinement session at the Weyerhaeuser collection in Federal Way, Washington, way back in 2009. The before photo is below.

Sight of the Blind Man

It’s very rare to find writing that explores what goes on with our thoughts and feelings when we work on our bonsai. Mostly we just talk about our trees and what we want to do to them or what we already did to them. That’s why I was surprised and delighted when I read Michael Hagedorn’s latest post on Crataegus Bonsai, Sight of the Blind Man. (it’s actually the second installment in a series; the first installment is The Hook to Hang Your Hat On). Rather than say much more, I’ll provide a little teaser with a link and you can take it from there.

In Michael’s own words…

When I was in graduate school learning ceramics, a friend of mine asked our sculpture teacher when he was demonstrating assembling a work with clay slabs, sticks, and coils, ‘When you’re making those decisions, what are you thinking?’ The teacher paused and replied simply, ‘I’m not thinking at all.’ And he looked at us and carefully warned us of creating and analyzing at the same time, ‘You’ll fail at that. It’s the worst trap of all, thinking while making.’ You can read the whole article on Crataegus Bonsai.

The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk

Most people don’t practice the art writing much (if at all) and therefore don’t write very well, if and when they have to. Michael Hagedorn is the exception. He writes regularly and he writes very well. Some of Michael’s best writing can be found in his delightful and humorous book, Post-Dated – The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk.

Michael merging with an old Hemlock group. I wonder what he’s thinking. Before photo from 2010.

Before photo of the old Sierra/Shimpaku juniper at the top of this post.

Source: Bonsai Bark


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