Well, last night was a first for me. I was asked a few weeks ago after a discussion about pushing yourself further as a bonsaist, if I would do a one to one workshop by a club member.
Up until now, any teaching of bonsai by me has always been in a club environment as part of a pretty big group or just among friends having a lark and a good time. I have organized a lot of workshops with outside professionals and I have taken part in many workshops, even 1 to 1 and 2 to 1 sessions. I don’t do bonsai to make money and I have always tried to be self deprecating and humble when it comes to bonsai, calling myself ‘Bonsai Eejit’ being a prime example. There are so many people out there better than I am at this malarkey and by putting yourself out there as if you know it all, can leave you open for the usual abuse by the small minded!
So when this request came to me, I had to think long and hard. Do I really want to do this? I feel that I am a pretty decent at helping others learn bonsai, in fact, it’s what I enjoy most about club life. No one out there in Ireland that I know of is offering 1 to 1 tuition. So, what the hell, I’ll give it a go and see what happens. Dr Pepper, What’s the worst that can happen?
So getting back to last night, I did a 4 hour [well 5 really] session with my victim. We started off by looking at how to evaluate a bonsai, good points and bad, a massive topic and one that will feature in each session. I was taught this myself in 1 to 1’s with Robert Porch years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. We then had a look at a Juniper brought along for the session. The main purpose was to learn about wiring basics but we got carried away and managed to get the full tree wired on the night. I even set homework, but I won’t go into this in case he cheats 🙂
Feedback has been fantastic and another session is being booked for next month, so I think it’s safe to say it went well.
The whole process also helped me focus on what I feel is important about bonsai and, in a way, helped me learn a little on the night too. The only criticism made was that I made him sit at this school desk 🙂
Only joking, this was the set up.
So after 20 years doing bonsai, this is a new aspect of the art for me and I must admit I’m looking forward to doing more.