Bonsai Tonight

New American Masters – Michael Hagedorn

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on October 2, 2012

My recent visit to Weyerhaeuser’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection coincided with a special exhibit, New American Masters, featuring the work of Michael Hagedorn and Ryan Neil. The pairing is fitting – both have returned from bonsai study in Japan in recent years, they together founded the Portland Bonsai Village, and next year they are mounting what is looking to be America’s most ambitious bonsai event, the Artisans Cup of Portland Bonsai Exhibition – an event about which I’ll have more to say next week.

Below is a biography of Hagedorn and some of the displays he prepared for the event.

Michael Hagedorn has a background in fine art with a Masters in Ceramics from The New York State College of Ceramics. His interest in bonsai has had several transformations – a hobby as a teenager, a professional potter making bonsai containers in the 1990’s, and then traveling to Japan to apprentice with master Shinji Suzuki in 2003.

On Michael’s return from Japan in 2006 he settled in Portland as a professional bonsai artist, where he creates, teaches, writes about bonsai. Shortly after returning he set up the Seasonal program for those willing to travel to study bonsai in Portland. In 2008 he authored an anecdotal book of his apprenticeship, Post-Dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk. He has a couple more books in the works, and blogs weekly.

Michael is a founding member of the Portland Bonsai Village. His efforts with the Village are focused on promoting excellence, forming a viable professional network and bonsai showcase, and inspiring bonsai enthusiasts nationally and internationally.

Engelmann Spruce - 20 years in training

Engelmann Spruce – 20 years in training

Engelmann Spruce

View from the left side


A nylon board serves as a pot – nice moss-work

'Chojubai' Japanese Flowering Quince - 40 years in training

‘Chojubai’ Japanese Flowering Quince – 40 years in training

Accent plants

Accent plants

Mountain Hemlock - 2 years in training

Mountain Hemlock – 2 years in training


Moss and nylon board serve as pot – check out the roots growing through the moss!

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