Last fall, two bonsai students from the Southern United States visited Northern California for an extended bonsai study with Boon Manakitivipart. Tim and Tyler became fixtures at Bay Island Bonsai workshops where they worked on their technique in advance of trips to Japan.
Tyler is from Hickory, North Carolina. He’s been studying bonsai for two years and has learned quickly. Much of this study has taken place in Boon’s workshop where he’s completed four bonsai intensives. After a visit to Japan to see this year’s Kokufu exhibit, Tyler secured an apprenticeship with Shinji Suzuki in Obuse, Japan, which he hopes to begin before long. Although he likes all varieties, he is particularly looking forward to working on great pomegranate and white pine bonsai.
Tyler wiring a white pine
First trunk completed
Tim, visiting from Charlotte, North Carolina, has also completed four bonsai intensives. He’s been studying bonsai for three years and is aiming for a visit to Japan to study with Nobiuchi Urushibata at Taisho-en in Shizuoka. While in California, Tim worked on a large California juniper. The tree has been trained with the front pictured below.
Tim and large California juniper
The back of this tree boasts great deadwood. To take better advantage of this feature, Tim is working on making the back of the tree the new front.
The new front lends itself to a shorter apex, indicated by Tim’s hand below.
To give an idea of what the tree will look like when the styling is complete, Tim covered the foliage to be removed with a white towel. The photo below suggests the new silhouette.
California juniper with towel covering foliage to be removed
When the work was completed, the tree was show ready. Here it is as shown at Bay Island Bonsai’s 12th annual exhibit.
The new front does a much better job of showing off the tree’s best feature – its deadwood. In time the branch pads will fill in and create a striking silhouette.
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Mike Pollock says
Wonderful work. Even better is the fact that more young Americans are heading to Japan to study. It gives me hope for the future of bonsai in the US.
As soon as I find the fountain of youth I’m filling my water bottle and heading for Japan…
John KIRBY says
Two very talented people. Will be really fun to see how they progress and prosper over time.
it looks like Tim Gardner will be going to Daiju En instead. Toru Suzuki is accepting Tim to be a new apprentice. He will get his passport and will be leaving for Oakazaki soon
I’ve just received this good news from Peter Tea who is studying with Tanaka Sensei at Aichien in Nagoya.
Tim Gardner says
Thanks Boon, and thanks to Peter Tea, and Mr. Tanaka!