Austin Bonsai Society

July 2000

President's Message

Alisan Clarke

I hope everyone had as good a time as I did at the LSBF Convention! And to remind EVERYONE that our 4th Wednesday group gives the good hands-on experience that prepares you for these conventions. So let's see more of you there on that Wednesday!

Please help me organize the job description portfolio that I am doing. Anyone and everyone, you help this club in so many ways that only you know the procedures. Just jot it down and give it to me, anytime, so that when & if that has to be done again, and you are not available to do it, someone else will have an idea of where to start.

If you haven't signed up for a covered dish for our next SATURDAY meeting, bring one with you and join us anyway!

General Meeting Minutes

Charlotte Cranberg

The June meeting of the Austin Bonsai Society was called to order at 7:30pm in the Austin Area Garden Center by President Alisan Clarke. She thanked the hostess/host Eileen Deeter and Don Rehberg.

Mike Powers gave a report on the success of our club's recent bonsai exhibit.

Chuck Ware reported on the progress of the LSBF Convention to be held in 2002 jointly with San Antonio.

John Pittenger showed the group the native Texas Ebony that he had carved at the LSBF Convention in Corpus Christi. Charlotte Cranberg showed her Wrightia Religiosa. Both were impressed with the quality of the Corpus Convention and encouraged others to attend these bonsai opportunities.

Elaine White spoke on the status of the Permanent Exhibit. She said that LSBF had voted, at the meeting in Corpus Christi, to support the exhibit . Also, that $162.00 was collected for the exhibit at our May show. She has contacted Don Freeman, Horticultural Chairman of the Austin Area Garden Center and set up an appointment for Friday, June 23 at 1:30pm for Terry & Sheila Ward and herself to talk to the board of the AAGC about getting space in Zilker Botanic Gardens for the Permanent Exhibit. Any Society member is welcome to attend. Bill Cody has volunteered to be chairman of the foundation funds. The first meeting of the exhibit committee will be Wednesday, June 28 at 7;30pm at the Garden Center. Subsequent meetings will be held on the third Wednesday at 8pm after the Society's board meeting. Members are encouraged to attend and participate in the first stages of this project.

A sign up sheet was passed around for food for our barbecue dinner in July.

Mr. Yande Li spoke on "The Art of Pensai". He was introduced by his son, Richard, who proceeded to translate for him. Mr. Li then showed us many beautiful slides of Chinese pensai.

Boon Manakitivipart

Boon's start in bonsai was the result of a birthday gift: of a small juniper bonsai. Before long, he joined the Bonsai Society of San Francisco, the club through which he took his first beginner class in the spring of 1989. Anxious to learn as much as possible about bonsai, Boon studied with as many teachers as he could find in California.

Serious study began when he hosted Akio Kondo, Kihachiro Kamiya's first apprentice. Mr. Kondo arrived as what the Japanese call a first-year professional, and he stayed at Boon's home for one year.

In 1993, the Golden State Bonsai Federation awarded Boon a Teacher Development Scholarship; two years later, he received the Ben Oki International Design Award for styling a Sierra juniper.

In 1995, Boon received several informal offers to study bonsai in Japan. Several months later, he traveled to Tokai En, Toyohasi, Japan, where he studied bonsai as a formal apprentice with the Kokufu-prize-winning Yasuo Mitsuya.

No longer an apprentice, Boon still returns every year to Japan for prolonged work periods in the famous bonsai garden Tokai En.

In 1998, Boon founded and became the teacher of Bay Island Bonsai. He also started his service and styling company, Bonsai Boon. In April 2000, Boon won the Grand Prize in the Kindai Bonsai Styling Contest in Japan (Sponsored by Kindai Bonsai Magazine). All contestants had to style a large Japanese white pine, Boon was the only non-Japanese in the top ten. Today, Boon makes his living as a full-time bonsai artist in Northern California. He styles client trees, lectures, puts on demonstrations, holds workshops, and finds sources for customers show-quality bonsai.

Reprinted from website:

Board Meeting Minutes

Charlotte Cranberg

The June Board meeting of the Austin Bonsai Society was called to order at 7:15pm by Vice President James Allan in the absence of President Alisan Clarke. Present were James Allan, Mike Powers, Charlotte Cranberg, Chuck and Pat Ware.
Every chairperson and committee person is going to be asked to write a job description of their job for the club files. James suggested putting the job descriptions on the web site in the archives. There was also a discussion of where the minutes are being kept.

Mike reported on the financial results of the bonsai exhibit. Total revenue minus expenses was $250.00. In addition the permanent exhibit collected over $160. at the entrance table to the exhibit. Mike said that Terry Ward had donated all the lecture-demo material he used both days; and, of course, his time and efforts in presenting the excellent demos which were then donated to the raffle. Other raffle donors were Charlotte Cranberg and Elaine White. Refreshments were donated by many members - too many to mention but all were to be thanked.

The July meeting was discussed, as well as the August meeting, which will also be on a Saturday. Sign up sheets for food for the joint meeting in San Antonio in August will be available at the July meeting.

All members need to be encouraged to come to the 4th Wednesday meeting as it is no longer just for beginners, and is our only "hands on"opportunity this year with all the invited speakers and guest artists we're having. We need to practice what we learn for the speakers.

Chuck had approached the Lone Star Bonsai Federation delegates about the 1/3 split for the State Convention in 2002. Approval was given.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.

Designing Bonsai

by Richard E. Hayes (reprinted from LSBF Publication "Texas Bonsai"Fall 1992)

Have you had the experience of watching a bonsai artist create a jewel of a tree from what appeared to be a confusing mass of trunks, limbs and masses of foliage; getting inspired enough to run to our favorite nursery to find something that resembled the artist's original material; and achieving frustration when you started, forgetting where to begin and what to do next - much less ending up with something resembling a bonsai?

Of course you have had this experience! We all have. It's basic to the beginning bonsai experience. If, however, you are now marking your fourth, tenth or twelfth year in bonsai and still have extreme difficulty in finding a bonsai in a collected tree or nursery grow specimen, you might need to review the basics of bonsai design, while keeping in mind that there is not always a bonsai - at least what will look like a bonsai in a short time - to be pulled from every potted, healthy-looking tree.

John Naka and other Masters of bonsai have repeatedly pointed out the good bonsai can be made only from good starting material. In an IBC workshop a few years ago, a bonsai teacher was aghast at the prospect of using the poor plant material which had been selected by members of the host society. Very few bonsai artist allow their lecture/demonstration materials to be preselected by members of the host society. Nearly every Master chooses his material after close and thorough examination. For what does he look? Obviously, he seeks those elements of design inherent in natural material, which will combine to produce a near-instant bonsai.

If you were to follow the "Golden Girls of Texas Bonsai"- Fran Bruchmiller, Yvonne Padilla and Cathy Rehberg - as they go through a nursery, you would see them pushing aside foliage to examine trunks for character, taper and line. You would see them on their knees feeling in pots for root development. You might hear them ask about growing habits of unknown, interesting material.

These three local bonsai experts have so thoroughly integrated the basics of bonsai design that they can quickly "separate the sheep from the goats."  So much for rambling. Now, now to basics!

The trunk and surface root development are the two most important aspects of bonsai design. To create the image of an old tree, made small, there must be a trunk which has a buttressed base exhibiting the character and strength produced by age. The tree would taper upward from a firm, full base to the thinner top trunk gone to branches.

In bonsai the trunk is inclined toward the viewer. Roots radiate from the trunk; yet they do not grow straight to the front, not do they reach the edge of the container before disappearing into the soil. Major cuts are made, wherever possible, so as not to be visible from the front. In formal and informal upright styles, branch placement is begun, generally, one-third (1/3) up the trunk, either on the right or left, with the next branch opposite and higher up and with next higher-growing branch placed behind the trunk. Ideally, the side branches should be angled slightly forward in order that the leaning trunk and limbs embrace the viewer. As in Nature, the lower branches are the thickest, with the smallest growth at the top of the tree. Where to begin? Most bonsaiists work on the basic structure of the tree first and then do the refining. Wiring of secondary and tertiary branches, to produce foliage pads, comes as the last stage.

Apex alignment to the nth degree is usually done after potting. Frequently, the potting process will inadvertently misplace several limbs which can then be realigned.

Except for round, square or equiploygonal containers, bonsai are placed off center. Conifers, by tradition, are planted in unglazed containers. Trees for glazed containers should have a dominant color feature which harmonized with the glaze. Oops, I got off the topic!

To make the bonsai design work for us automatically, we must practice ad infinitum! Educational psychology tells us that we retain about 10% of what we hear, 15% of what we see, 25-30% for both and 40% of what we have learned by doing. Take workshops, help others with their trees and give lecture/demonstrations. We remember most what we teach. Grab those new members and TEACH THEM!

Gifts to the National Bonsai Collection

In late March 2000, the collection was enhanced with the arrival of seven large satsuki azaleas. They were a gift from the Japan Satsuki Association to the Arboretum. Discussions had begun two years ago. The trees were on a direct flight from Tokyo to Dulles International Airport. Following a detailed inspection, the plants were released and immediately placed into pots that had been shipped with them Each of the plants has produced new leaves and appears to have survived the ordeal.

Six of the plants are finished bonsai while one of them is an unfinished azalea with a beautiful broad tapering trunk. This bonsai will be kept in an unfinished state until next spring when members of the Japan Satsuki Association come to Washington, D.C. to present a lecture and demonstration on the styling of satsuki azalea bonsai. Watch for a later announcement concerning the precise time and date for this event. This indeed will be a rare opportunity to see and interact with the leaders of the Japan Satsuki Association.

Letter from............

I wish to thank all of the members who supported the convention, the raffle and for participating in the Texas Stars. Austin's support of the convention was a big part in making the convention a success.
Again thank you.
Yvonne Padilla
Convention Chairman

This website was sent to me with pictures of the LSBF Convention 2000 held in Corpus Christi. There are some nice pictures and you will probably recognize a few of the faces.

Go down the page to "Private Albums" and type in the word symposia for the password. There are 2 album pages with 72 pictures.

The Four Seasons

Wanda Woods

Graceful, curving limbs
Black etchings on azure skies;
Winter's bare beauty...

Tiny curls unfurl
Emerald decorations
Signaling rebirth..

Shimmering yellow,
Hot, glowing sunshine saunas;
Bathing our world gold...

Nature's artistry
Painting speckled, russet leaves;
Clinging, brittle flecks...

LSBF Minutes

May 27, 2000
The President, Buddy Allen, called the meeting to order at 7:03 AM.

Buddy stated that our budget was not approved at the January meeting. Bob Swindle moved that the budget be approved. Chuck Ware seconded. Motion passed.

Chuck Ware moved that the minutes of the last meeting be accepted as presented. Sheila Ward seconded. Motion passed.
Pat Ware distributed and summarized the Treasurer's Report. $746. dues income received. $400. paid to Dallas for preparation for the next convention. $306.77 for newsletter expenses. $37.95 for preparation of the LSBF handbooks. Attachment to Treasurer's report included the convention schedule of responsible clubs from 1982 to 2012. Pat also presented an attached proposal for the disposition of the books and videotapes in the LSBF library to the clubs. After a brief discussion, attendees agreed to the book disposition and to table the videotape decision until the October meeting. John Miller made a motion to approve the treasurer report, convention schedule, proposed library book disposition and hold the videotape decision until October. Bob Swindle seconded. Motion passed.

Chuck Ware distributed third draft for Dennis Makishima's fall tour. Chuck asked for feedback from the delegates and alternates regarding the schedule and the names of the club members that will be driving Dennis around the state. Attendees asked Chuck to continue as the chairman for 2001 fall tour. He agreed and requested help from the attendees to locate and contact potential speakers.

Yvonne Padilla stated the "we are out of the red" regarding the convention budget. Approximately seventy four (74) are fully registered and a few partial registrants. Eighty one (81) were in attendance at the Friday night dinner and program. A full convention report will be prepared for the next meeting.

John Miller distributed a preliminary brochure for the 201 convention in Dallas. The convention will be held in early spring on March 23-25th. Pedro Morales and Craig Coussins will provide the feature demonstrations and will direct workshops. Greg Setter and Vito Megna will also lead workshops. Dave Schleser will teach "Preserving your bonsai in print". Trident Maples, Australian pine, buttonwood, ash junipers, and Japanese maples on slab.

Chuck Ware presented that plans are underway for Austin, San Antonio and LSBF to jointly sponsor the 2002 convention November 15-17th at the Civic Auditorium in New Braunfels. Chuck made a motion that the clubs and LSBF co-sponsor this event. John Kline seconded. Motion passed.

Chuck recommended the formation of a volunteer committee to investigate the future of the convention and how to encourage a stronger LSBF presence in the state event. The committee would consider alternative event formats, schedules, locations, club roles and/or responsibilities for future state-wide events. The four volunteers are Gail Williams, Buddy Allen, Chuck Ware, and Todd Davis.

Alisan Clarke presented a recommendation from the Austin Bonsai Society (led by Elaine White) that a Permanent State Bonsai Exhibit be developed in Austin at Zilker Park. The Austin club has been investigation how other states have developed their respective exhibits. After brief discussion, Chuck Ware made a motion that we approve the concept of a State Bonsai Exhibit. Bob Swindle seconded. Motion passed.

Terry Ward & Bob Swindle proposed the formation of a historical archives of all the Texas Bonsai newsletters. Several issues of the newsletters are missing which have valuable educational information for historical and current reference. Terry distributed a list of missing issues. The proposal is to consolidate all available documents, solicit missing issues from past club members, scan the documents into a computer zip drive and transfer to CD's for club member use and/or purchase. It would provide a permanent record of the history of LSBF. The time and cost to prepare the archives is estimated at 116 hours and $100-200. respectively. Terry said he would attempt to pay the cost out of the current newsletter budget funds. John Miller made a motion to approve the formation of the newsletter archives. Bob Swindle seconded. Motion passed.
John Miller made a motion to adjourn. Bob Swindle seconded. Motion passed and meeting closed at 8:01AM.

The butterfly
Even when pursued,
Never appears in a hurry.