Often an interest in bonsai is sparked when one sees or receives a tree that leaves an impression. Some research may lead to a book or two and possibly to a local club or nursery. Once in a club, one may see demos or take workshops. Books may be checked out from the club library. Along the way more trees are acquired.
When there is no club or nursery nearby, one is left with books and magazines, friends, and online resources. Some travel may be required to find material for bonsai or to further one’s knowledge.
My story is similar. I saw a tree that left an impression. I found a few bonsai clubs. I visited local nurseries and picked up material where I could.
I didn’t learn how to work on trees, however, until I found a good teacher and got hands-on practice.
I was fortunate to have good teachers available close to home. I know that’s not the case for everyone.
Evaluating bonsai at an exhibit
Many of you run the clubs to which newcomers turn when their curiosity leads them to learn more about bonsai. I’ve always thought of the task as difficult – to design a program that inspires and educates novices while facilitating the goals and interests of the experienced.
I’ve been thinking about the dynamic a lot as as I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of clubs this year. I’ll have more to say about learning bonsai in upcoming posts, but for now I’m mostly curious about the following:
How did you learn bonsai?
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