Auction Time!

A gavel comes down on the word Auction to symbolize the final bid being called

The Auction!
The Marin Bonsai Club Auction will be held on Tuesday August 16 at the Corporate Center, 750 Lindaro Street, in downtown San Rafael. We are very excited about this new venue which offers lots of light and space in which to showcase all manner of bonsai and pre-bonsai material, tools, stands, books, pots and more. There will be a Sales area too and there are sure to be lots of bargains. Preview starts at 6:45 pm with the auction starting promptly at 7:30 pm. Sales are cash and check with local ID. No credit cards.

Auction Items!
A successful auction needs lots of trees and bonsai materials. Please dig deep and bring trees, pots, tools, stands, anything bonsai related which will either be in the auction or our Sales area. The club takes a 20% commission on all sales, or donations of 100% of the sale, and if you have friends in other clubs who would like to auction their items we welcome those contributions as well. Inventory Sheets to list your trees can be found here, and tags will be available at the August 2 meeting. Items for sale and auction need to be at the Corporate Center no later than 6:15 pm.

Auction Helpers!
We need plenty of helpers to make the auction run smoothly. It takes just about everyone in the club contributing in some way to make things run smoothly. Please contact Candace to volunteer your services if you haven’t already heard from her. No contribution is too small.

It’s always a fun time and there are sure to be lots of bargains. Hope to see you August 16.

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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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April 2016 – Eric Schrader

What a wonderful Spring we are having! As if the new growth and flowers on our trees aren’t delightful enough, the periodic rain is a heaven-sent relief from our watering regimes. With ideal conditions come ideal growth, but also an increased need for vigilance, so be sure to keep an eye on your trees’ pruning needs, and check your wires! The Taskmaster frequently reminds us of this, but it cannot be emphasized enough. There was a beautiful tiger-bark ficus in the April workshop with deeply biting wires that had been placed on the tree just a few months before. The ficus will be fine eventually, those trees build character through scarring, but seeing those deep wire grooves was a vivid reminder. I’m taking some wire off a wisteria as soon as I finish writing this.

With our trees growing so rapidly, and pruning season well under way, the demonstration we received from Eric Schrader in April gave us a lot to think about with regard to the development of our deciduous and flowering trees. He began with a quiz of sorts for the audience, something Eric Continue reading

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RIP – Frank Bardella

Went above and beyond for family and friends

Gianfranco Teodoro Bardella, died on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at the age of 79. Frank was born August 3, 1936 in Tientsin, China and lived there until age 12, before escaping to Italy from the war. His family lived in Italy for a few years before they were able to come to the United States through Ellis Island and eventually, made it to San Francisco. It was at the International Institute for Foreign Students that Frank met Barbara, his lifelong love and partner. Over the course of the next 58 years they were married and had three children; Liz, Matt and Vanessa, five grandchildren; Ashley, Brittany, Andie, Lexi and Travis, and three great-grandchildren; Maysin, Lane and Nick.


Frank Bardella

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March 2016 – Jonas Dupuich

At our March 15th meeting, Jonas Dupuich brought an almost academic air to the gathering. We could have been sitting in an art or design class for all the discussion of angles, flow, and form. After a demonstration of formality using a collection of stands, the audience was riveted by Jonas’ slideshow of some Japanese show displays. Jonas posed a couple questions throughout, and the audience had a host of questions of their own. It was all very analytical as we all sharpened our artistic sensibilities, engaged by the display scenarios and comparisons presented by Jonas.

Jonas Dupuich discusses displays

Jonas Dupuich discusses displays

It is important to grasp the concept of formality in bonsai displays because many of the decisions are based on formality. For instance, the main tree in a multi-point display should be placed on the most formal stand. Some factors that increase the formality of stands are darkness, detail, and height. Even the type of wood is important, with bamboo being the least formal stand material.

Another valuable point Jonas made was the importance of establishing context within your bonsai displays. The scroll and accent plants in a display are particularly important in establishing both the location and season the artist wishes to convey. Continue reading

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