After an incredible 8 years studying with Shinji Suzuki in Obuse, Japan, Matt Reel has returned to the US as a bonsai professional.
Matt with recently styled Western juniper
I first met Matt in 2009 – 3 years into his apprenticeship – on a visit to Suzuki’s garden (see “Taikan Bonsai Museum“). Already his work was impressive. Now that Matt has returned, he’s available for a variety of bonsai services including styling, demonstrations, workshops and bonsai programs. At a recent Bay Island Bonsai meeting, Matt provided a critique of member trees.
Finding a new front
Matt carefully reviewed each of the trees at the meeting and shared his insights during the program. For a white pine he suggested a new front. For a small juniper, a new planting angle.
Considering a new planting angle
With a recently collected Sierra juniper he ran through the basic steps for initially styling a tree. He began by checking for surface roots.
Looking for surface roots
From there he made suggestions for front and planting angle that would feature the tree’s best asset – its interesting deadwood.
The program was a blast and I’m looking forward to Matt’s next visit. For those interested in learning more about Matt or following his work, check out his website, Reel Bonsai.
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