Our Bonsai Show Was a Success
On April 20-21 our club hosted our 53rd annual show. Lots of people came to see member's trees and the demos by Kathy Shaner (Saturday) and Jerry Carpenter (Sunday). If you're one of the many people bought a "starter bonsai" you may want to check out the article, About Your New Tree. There are many other helpful articles under the Resources menu above.
If you want to know more, we invite you to visit our next club meeting.
Directions to our club can be found here.
About Our Club: We specialize in teaching bonsai. Most months we have a club meeting where we learn about how to train our trees, which pots look best with particular trees, how to control bugs, etc. We have a mix of material so that people new to bonsai will learn the basics - and more experinced members learn something new.
May 17, 2013
Our May meeting is a wood carving demonstration by Gordon Deeg.
Earlier that day there will be a wood carving workshot at Gordon's house (sign up list already full). Club members who participated in this workshop at Gordon’s house should bring their trees to the club meeting for Show and Tell.
As always, please arrive early to help with setup if you can.
Timely Work Schedule
Each month there are a number of tasks you need to do to your bonsai -
from repotting, to fertilizing to spraying for pests. We have put together
a checklist, customized for the San Francisco Bay Area to help you. This
checklist is adapted from earlier work by Mitsuo Umehara.
This month: May Tasks
Congratulations on a Successful 2013 Show!
by Charlene Fischer
As 2013 Show Chair, I wanted to thank you all for a beautiful, educational, and profitable show! Yes, from initial accounts, it looks like we once again covered the expenses of the event as well as made a profit! I am grateful for all the help including holding potting parties, collecting donation trees, preparing show cards, setting up signs, transporting items from our homes and the shed, pricing of trees and pots, coordinating our demonstrators and the Lucie Stern facility, covering the reception table and show room, hosting the lunch buffet, and selling the trees and benefit drawing tickets. Using the words from Hillary Clinton "It takes a village to raise a child," I want to say it takes a village to raise a bonsai! Our bonsai are our children and each of us is tied to one another through our love of bonsai and it shows when we put on such a wonderful event.
I want to especially thank show co-chair Rita Curbow who did the bulk of the logistical work. Through her efforts we had the show lights installed earlier on Friday and the delivery of the show tables was directly in the show room this year! That gave us a chance to promptly begin at 6:00 PM with the table setup. Mark O'Brien and Lonnie McCormick bravely hung the extra show lights and Dave Flynn once again painted and installed the main tokonoma. His crew is amazing and we welcome their help every year. Dave Curbow took the initiative to create new PVC frames for the 6-foot tables and was able to reuse the cloth backdrops repurposed last year from old tablecloths. I want to shout out to Jerry Carpenter who helped place the trees on Saturday morning to highlight the different aspects of our trees. Does it amaze you that we end up with such a variety of species and styles each year?
After a short break, Jerry then led us through the intricate details of the proper techniques for wiring. While members are encouraged to not show a tree with lots of wiring, sometimes you need to keep some wire on the tree. In this case, you should always make sure you’ve followed the proper techniques and do not have wires crossing on a show tree especially if it can easily be seen when viewing from the front.
The bonsai pot sale was also a great success! Thank you to members who turned out in force to make purchases and to Suresh ‘Mo’ Mohan who donated 45 or so pots to the sale and managed the sale during the meeting. The pots sold also included ones donated to Kusamura in 2012 by the family of Marjorie Iseke.
Thank you to all the members who jumped in on any task that needed to be done-often before anyone even asked! Are you all "mind-readers?" Thanks goes to Patrick Dosier and Richard Kindall who tackled the setup of the show tables along with Janet Refvem's son who was visiting from Portland. I am so glad Janet’s family got to see the show on Saturday since their father's tree was in the main Tokonoma.
This year we had many of the trees already priced when they arrived on Friday night due to the forethought of Suresh Mohan and John Planting who priced the generous donations from Nancy Eaton and Bill Scott. I hope everyone got a chance to purchase one of Nancy or Bill's trees as they were of exceptional age, quality, and design. Thank you Nancy and Bill! And thank you to everyone who signed up to cover the reception table and particularly to Barbara Shahinian and Hal Jerman who stepped in during periods of time when no one was there. The show room appeared to always have someone watching over it, answering questions, and ensuring visitors had a pleasant experience. Along with Patrick, we had many new members help during the show including Karen Greenstedt who helped with the tree cards, Marsha and John Mekisich, Gale Lane and Desmond Johnson who worked in plant sales and Mary Delelis in the kitchen. Thank you to you all!
Did everyone notice we had a new sound system? Dave Curbow took the initiative to purchase and setup a new audio system for the demonstrations and Jerry Carpenter ensured we had a nice mix of music softly playing in the background of our show room. Donna Farmer worked the benefit drawings and improved the process by offering an attractive pricing scheme for participants who wanted to buy more tickets than what we had posted. The tree sale area was particularly busy on Saturday and I was glad to see people helping Mo out there. I now realize that Lynne O'Dell and Janet Refvem are expert party planners as their setup in the dining room was once again a welcoming haven in which to enjoy all the delicious food and each other's company.
This year we were privileged and honored to have Kathy Shaner share her time and expertise on a wild plum in a clump style. Many in the room wanted to win that tree and we look forward to the winner Lynne O'Dell sharing it with us in the future. As we all know education in the art of bonsai is the goal of our club and what better way than to learn than from our mistakes. Kathy provided us a welcome critique of our show setup and now we have a checklist for next year of things we need to bear in mind. She also did some impromptu work on the two trees from the Bonsai Collection at Lake Merritt and it was interesting to see how people naturally gravitated around Kathy to watch her work. Jerry Carpenter was our demonstrator on Sunday and the material was a zelkova that was a donation from Bill Scott. We had let that tree grow freely for the weeks since we received it and it was like a big chia pet until Jerry removed the excess foliage and exposed the beauty within. Using minimal tie down wires he added negative space between the branches and we all could envision how that tree will look throughout all seasons. The lucky winner, Stephanie North, now has a large zelkova to add to her collection.
This year a team of five people awarded five Certificates of Merit. The recipients were Christine Weigen, Janet Refvem, Jane Iki, Lonnie McCormick, and John Planting. We had a hard time deciding upon the certificates this year as so many obviously had taken time with their trees and the displays. Thank you all for sharing your trees in the show. Now is not too early to begin thinking about next year's show. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the show, let me know. Once again high-fives to you all for a successful 2013 show!
Bonsai Master Kathy Shaner presenting Lynne O’Dell with the demo tree
New Hapi Coats and Aprons Coming
The board will be meeting soon to discuss having new Hapi coats and aprons made available to club members. Kathy wore the prototype apron during her demo. Details to follow in June.
Return Club Stands at this Meeting
Club members who borrowed club stands or slabs from Lonnie McCormick at our March meeting for use in our show should return those items to Lonnie at the May meeting. Please minimize Lonnie’s effort in this task by returning everything you borrowed that evening.
Club members Lynne O’Dell and Lonnie McCormick are handling the nomination of Kusamura officers and board members for the July, 2013 – June, 2015 term. Nominations will be announced at our May meeting. Any nominations from the membership at large must be done at this time also.
Voting on nominations and the swearing in of new officers will take place at our June meeting effective July 1. We thank Lynne and Lonnie for their efforts in this task.