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artofbonsai.org • View topic - Back to Back - Instant Bonsai - by Dixon and Heath
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 Post subject: Back to Back - Instant Bonsai - by Dixon and Heath
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:06 pm 
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This thread is for discussion of the article Back to Back: Instant Bonsai, by John Dixon and Will Heath.
http://artofbonsai.org/feature_articles ... bonsai.php


Last edited by Carl Bergstrom on Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:39 pm 
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I also believe that "instant bonsai" is highly oxymoronical. How about changing the name to "instant potensai"? This would be a more accurate description, and won't offend those of us that think bonsai is never created in the short run.
Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:00 am 
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From that point of view I would like to know where the term "potensai" came from. It seems like a linguistic shortcut, to avoid saying "A tree in training to become bonsai".
Call me conservative, but I would rather not be party to propagation of words that are essentially meaningless to the greater population. I still bristle at the trend to turns nouns into verbs, like "tabled", as in "He tabled the document." How? Did he screw legs onto it, and carve a few nice inlay panels in the surface of it?


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There has to be a start somewhere, John.
Look at the truly great bonsai artists' work. What they turn out on the day often looks better than most people manage to produce in a lifetime of fumbling.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:33 am 
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A question which may sound silly to you as it is asked by somebody who is not as experienced in Bonsai-Do as most of the fellows here:
What exactly is the difference between a first styling and an instant-bonsai concerning what the tree looks like after the styling? Does instant bonsai in that respect just mean paying less attention to the future health of the plant in order it looks good?
Best regards,
Raphael


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The rate of loss on any effort in bonsai is high for all beginners, this rate decreases in direct proportion to experience gained. Everyone kills a few trees, more when they first start in the art, less as the time goes on, but I do not believe it every stops, it just becomes less frequent.
Not trying something because the plant may die is the surest way to fail at bonsai. Instant bonsai, as described in my article, can be very educational in almost every area of bonsai.
Education, sometimes it hurts, but there is no debating it's value.

Will Heath


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The so called instant bonsai in a demonstration has its place as long as the material selected will lend itself to this kind of result. The instant bonsai in a group workshop does not because this usually leads to multiple disasters.
The demonstration can be a source of inspiration for the beginner, novice and intermediate growers and a source of instruction for the more advanced in learning how to see what is not at first obvious. I have seen a few pictures of a couple of pretty good bonsai people who have done initial styling on a tree where the result they stopped at was pretty bad because they decided this was far enough for now.
The real problem lies with the clubs and organizations that expect this kind of thing and demand it of their guest artists. Like it or not I don't think you are ever going to see this change. No one wants to see somone style a pooper.


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In that case, Vance, it should be the objective of people with a clue to expect the visiting artist to style a raw stock plant to the extent it will safely take, and leave it at that... with a clear explanation as to why that is necessary.
The second stage of the demonstration should be the application of more advanced styling to a tree that has previously been partially styled.
That would surely drive home the point that bonsai is about patience and care and restraint. That's the whole point of this discussion, I would think.


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