Contest Discussion
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Author:  Will Heath [ Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:00 pm ]
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Morten, this branch is indeed new and thanks to artists like you, it is being brought into the forefront of the bonsai community.
I look forward to seeing your entries, both in this contest and in the upcoming ones.


Author:  Walter Pall [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Here is a 'problem' that I am thinking about these days:
How often does one show the same tree in a contest? What do the rules say? And what does common sense tell you?
The rules don't say mucb - yet. I think if a tree has made it among the first 30 this year it should not be shown next year. I think it should not be shown for the next four years. Most will understand this rule if it is ever decided. Now how about if the tree has been changed pretty much? Would that rule still apply? How about if the tree has changed hands? Could the new owner not show the tree?
Common sense would tell me to show new trees at every contest. Fine, but how many new trees does one have? How about the wish to make the best possible figure? You will try to present your best trees, of course, to accomplish that. So, if the trees were shown already, would you still do it. And how about different contests?
A real case: My big Japaense maple is well known. It won lots of awards. It has won last year's AoB contest. It was on the cover of BT consequently and inside again. It was in my gallery in BT a few months bedfore that. It was on the Gingko Award and is in the Gingko book as a consequence. It is on the cover of some calenders and it is my best selling photograph on the internet photo agencies. It is doing well in the running Certre Award. It was on covers of several bonsai magazines. So far so good. This is quite a carreer for a tree.
But here comes the problem: do I enter it for this contest again or is this overkill? Since this is the first of hopefully a long series of North Amerca vs. Europe contests I can enter anything. I would not enter it within the next years again. But at the first one I can well do so. Or can I? Is it not too much to show this one again. Well, how about personal pride? Is it OK to try to get as far as possible in ths contest again? Would it be considered unfair?
BTW, I have changed the tree slightly. To my eyes it looks even more dramatic now. How about entering this one? Good or bad idea?

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Author:  Morten Albek [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:54 am ]
Post subject:  Hmmmmm...

Hi Walter
Difficult question. As long as the rules don?t describe anything about this issue, it is of course your personal choice if you exhibit the same tree over and over again. From my point of view it could be overkill to exhibit it once again (regarding your description of how well your bonsai has been exposed), if we/you want to see new trees in the competitions. On the other hand, this contest has another aim, so why not use the best you have, and a more important second point; how many people have seen this tree exposed at all the places it has been shown?
You are in a position where you probably have many trees to choose from, I believe? Some have far fewer bonsai at hand, and for them it will be far more difficult to find new exhibition quality bonsai to select among. One of my close friends have a very nice Juniper in cascade style, and it has won national prizes the last three years on a row, and before that it has been exhibited too. So now he is tired of putting this bonsai on show, and I think it is wise to pause it for a while. After maybe four or five year?s time, it will be great to see this tree again. To see how well it is, and if any changes has happened i.e.
But what to do in the meanwhile, if you are an enthusiast, who in a period then is missing trees to exhibit because you put your best trees on hold for a period of time?
At our national show there are bonsai that are exhibited repeatedly, and as a viewer of these trees I get bored viewing these after seeing them seven years or more on a row, - especially if development and changes aren?t clear. On the other hand, if this is what the owner has ready for a show, what else can she/he do about it? Of course one can choose not to show any bonsai, but what is the fun about that?
Already famous trees should be exhibited once in a while of course, but a balance is necessary in order not to devaluate these bonsai, because we risk getting tired of them.
My personal taste and idealistically view on this subject, is to see new interesting trees as often as possible, and avoid overkill exposure of the same trees. In the end it must be a personal decision for each of us to keep this balance. And we might not always know if it is too much or the opposite.
Because how many people have seen your tree on all of these occasions Walter? Probably just the same few who always read every exhibition book, look at the internet to see all the reports from these competitions, read all the bonsai magazines, and go to all the shows. Many just see this tree once in while, because they don?t frequent all the places where it is shown. So maybe the problem is limited? In the end it is your decision alone I am afraid. I have not seen your maple in real life so far, so I have that option of seeing it in flesh, which I look forward too, if you not pack it away now. -;)
Best regards
Morten Albek

Author:  Ed Trout [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:09 am ]
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Hi Walter,
Good points ( as usual ). To me, a good tree should be shown as often as possible. I once heard John Naka many years ago, ask my teacher, Joe Samuels, why Joe's famous nerifolia ( The Cloud ) was not being displayed at the convention we were attending in central Florida. Joe told John that he had displayed it so often that he was afraid people would get tired of seeing it. John's answer was " Joe, that tree does not belong to you anymore, it belongs to the people. It should be here".
Your own e-mail urged us to enter our "best" trees, " to make the best possible impression". Your maple is undoubtably one of the best trees in the world. It belongs in this contest IMHO.
Best Wishes,
Ed Trout

Author:  Candy J. Shirey [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:58 am ]
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Walter -
This contest is a comparison of North American and European trees. I would hope to see the best of both continents in this contest.
Why would you consider not submitting a top European tree? To not show the tree would be a diservice to the European bonsai team.

Author:  Dorothy Schmitz [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:50 am ]
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Words well said Ed!
As Candy is pointing out,we are all expecting to see well known trees as
entries.Some are considered important Masterpieces to their country.
And I think,Walter,your hardest decision will be not which trees to enter
but to keep it down to 5...;)

Author:  Vance Wood [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:50 am ]
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Respectfully I have to agree with Candy. As much as I know a tree like this -------- geeze what can I say, the tree is breath taking and you should enter it.

Author:  Mike Page [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:56 pm ]
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I had the good fortune to have one of my rock plantings do well in the last AoB contest. I wondered if it would be allowed to enter it in this contest. I didn't see anything about it in the rules. Maybe we need a clairification concerning this question.

Author:  Will Heath [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Walter Pall wrote:
I think if a tree has made it among the first 30 this year it should not be shown next year. I think it should not be shown for the next four years.

Walter, you already answered the question quite well. Being the first year of the contest, it is open to all the very best trees. Next years contest will be open to all but the top ranking trees of this year.
By all means your maple should be entered, as everyones finest trees should be. This is not the year to hold back, this is the year to set the standard.


Author:  Vance Wood [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm ]
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I just thought of something. First of all I agree with Will, but there is going to be somewhere, someone that will complain that this is the same picture that was here and there and everywhere. Do we have a current photo or is this a current photo, that might be the only caveat. Or maybe that means nothing and should not even be considered.

Author:  Walter Pall [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:45 pm ]
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This is a photo as of last Saturday. And the tree is even different from all the other photos that were ever shown. It was turned 1.5 hours counter clockwise when it was repotted. This is recorded on my blog

Author:  Will Heath [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Mike Page wrote:
I had the good fortune to have one of my rock plantings do well in the last AoB contest. I wondered if it would be allowed to enter it in this contest. I didn't see anything about it in the rules. Maybe we need a clarification concerning this question.

By the absence of mention of such concerns in the rules, it is indeed covered, this contest is open to all great trees, regardless of what awards previously won, where they have been shown, or any other such concerns.
Next years contest may very well exclude those making the top 30 this year, but for this years contest, all quality trees are welcomed and in fact, we encourage everyone to submit them.
Yes, it seems all agree, your maple is welcomed. Thank you for bringing up this point, it helps to clarify the contest rules and admissions.


Author:  Will Heath [ Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks to the following forums and web sites for helping us to promote this contest:
Your help is a testimonial to a growing cooperation in the bonsai community, thank you.
Please let us know of others.


Author:  Walter Pall [ Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:39 pm ]
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some European forums where it is announced: ... temid,149/ ... Itemid=110 ... 6a821a66d4
and in one blog:

Author:  Will Heath [ Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Walter and thanks to all those forums and sites also for contributing to this contest by allowing the announcements to be made and remain open for discussion by all.


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