September 2016 – Randall Lee

On September 6, 2016, at the Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross, California, Bonsai instructor and artist Randall Lee of Alameda, California, presented the members of the Marin Bonsai Club with a demonstration on Chamaecyparis obtusa, common name – Hinoki Cypress, a native of central Japan. C. obtusa has a scale like leaf.

Dan Olson introduces Randall Lee

Dan Olson introduces Randall Lee

Randall Lee introduces Hinoki Cypress

Randall Lee introduces Hinoki Cypress

In a handout, Randall identified some of his favorite varieties of C. obtusa as “Well’s Special”, “Nana”, “Gracilis”, Gracilis Nana”, and “Torulosa”. Similar to the Hinoki Cypress is Chamaecyparis pisifera or common name – Sawara Cypress or False Cypress, a native of central and southern Japan, and on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. C. pisifera have a pointed leaf tip. Some of his favorites are “Nana” and “Filifera”.

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Upcoming Event

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The East Bay Bonsai Society is excited to announce that the headliner for the club’s 55th Annual October show will be JP Hoareau from France. During the October 8th and 9th show, JP will conduct a free demonstration on a Larch tree on Sunday, October 9th starting at 1pm. This will be his first time as a headliner at a United States bonsai show.

You can learn more at http://www.eastbaybonsai.org

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August 2016 – Peter Tea

The presentation by Peter Tea in early August was as educational as usual. His handout looked like a quiz on everything he has been teaching us for the last year and a half or so. He covered a lot of what he has talked about before, but it wasn’t straight review. Peter took all those important points (such as the three signs of health Continue reading

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Auction Time!

POST-AUCTION UPDATE:

Here are some photos (thank you George Haas) of the auction action:

Congratulations to everybody on another superbly executed auction. A special thank you to Candace Key, who tirelessly takes the helm of this huge undertaking every year. It was also wonderful to see the auction regulars without whom the whole thing would fall apart: Michaele Jaffe, Alison Seaman, Frances Noles and our Treasurer, Art Wasserman, were all on hand to work the tables and keep the auction running smoothly. And then there were Continue reading

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From the VP of Programs – August 2016

Thank you, George Haas, for the excellent write-up of Jay McDonald’s June demonstration. Jay sure did aim a lot of power tools at that bougainvillea! And I certainly enjoyed the break from delivering the blow-by-blow. Nobody answered my challenge to bring something to carve the following workshop, but that’s ok, I carved on my own. Much more daintily than what Jay did, but there was some noticeable progress. Everybody else was busy prepping trees for the Marin County Fair Show.

By all accounts, the Fair show was outstanding. Interest in the Beginners’ Workshop was high, though so far the sign-ups are on a par with past years, even though the visitors were contacted sooner after their visit with us than ever before. We have five committed participants so far, and at least three more promised.

August is going to be a busy month for us all. First, we have Peter Tea returning again, on the 2nd, to show us  Continue reading

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Another Great Show at the Marin County Fair

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Photos by George Haas and Dan Keller

Once again our exhibit at the Marin County Fair was a crowd pleaser. Hundreds of people came by to admire our trees in the spectacular display orchestrated by Jay McDonald, John Doig and Jeanette Arnold. There was a good representation of club members showing trees, although we always want more, and many people stepped up taking multiple docent shifts to make sure our trees were secure and the public duly information about the wonders of bonsai.

Rookie of the year award goes to Marcia Summers, and special thanks to Craig, Jay, John, Jeanette and others who put in extra time and effort. The show wouldn’t have been nearly so successful without everyone’s willingness to do whatever needed to be done. Thank you!!

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June 2016 – Jay McDonald

Jay McDonald conducted a deadwood carving demonstration for the Marin Bonsai Club meeting in June. He brought in two trees, a Japanese maple and a Bougainvillea. Jay pointed out that he had removed the outer bark from deadwood appearing on the Japanese maple prior to coming to the meeting JayDemo1and demonstration, and wanted to show what it looked like without the bark. He used a sandpaper bit and Dremel power tool to remove the bark leaving behind a smooth, fresh look to the deadwood at the top of the maple tree.

Jay then turned his attention to the Bougainvillea. He described the Bougainvillea as a large trunk ripped off an even larger portion Continue reading

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May 2016 – Peter Tea

Our ongoing program with Peter Tea continued in May with Peter’s May 3rd presentation on the topic of deciduous trees. Peter emphasized techniques appropriate to our season, delving into considerable detail and wrapping up by demonstrating a heavy prune on a trident maple he brought.
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Monthly workshop suggestion

Attendance at May’s workshop was extremely low, not at all justifying what we pay to use the space, and thus there is discussion among the board members once again about either encouraging members to make more use of this resource, or being forced to curtail it. Always trying to do the more positive thing, the board is currently reviewing ways to make the workshops more enticing. One possibility we will be discussing is including some sort of informal demonstration at every workshop that reviews the methods we learned from our speaker earlier in the month. I am personally excited about this proposal because it is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been imagining for some time now.
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Stone Bonsai Stands

Stone Bonsai Stands gh2I recently purchased two lime stone pieces from American Soil and Stone, Richmond, CA. I got tired of wood bonsai stands and fighting wood rot and termites. I wanted something different in the way of bonsai stands in the landscape.

Stone Bonsai Stands

The two lime stones were cut but are odd pieces in that they show some raw sections of the original stone. I believe they look artistic. In any case, I got a price deal because the stones were not perfectly squared off. I paid $150 each, plus $210 and tax to deliver the stones to my driveway in Petaluma. I had to figure a way to lift and move the stones from the driveway to the landscape. With a good dolly having new tires and the help from a solid friend, we muscled the stones into place. I then topped the stones with bonsai from my collection.

I think the stones make great alternative bonsai stands and add an artistic touch to the overall landscape.

George Haas

Stone Bonsai Stands

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