After much consideration I’ve decided to head back to the states. I have carefully discussed with others as well as spent significant time assessing my own thoughts to come to this decision.
Everyone’s apprenticeship experience is different and it’s hard to assume a single mold , model, or stereotype of what it is, what one’s experience should be, and what they have difficulty with.
There are significant problems at the nursery and I consider it in my absolute best interest to leave. I am grateful to have had the experience to hone my talents and improve my skills. I have no regrets and I can confidently say I did nothing other than my best for my duration here.
Of course, there are still many things I lack for me to learn and to gain experience in. I understand how deep the breadth of knowledge bonsai encompasses and will seek to further my knowledge and skill.
I am grateful for the support I’ve received, and some kind members of the bonsai community who check on me on occasion and offer help.
As far as what comes next, I’m not too sure myself. On this blog I have been very transparent on my development from an hobbyist to the last 2 years, as an apprentice.
Although my skills have rapidly advanced the past 2 years, I can acknowledge and recognize that I still lack a lot of knowledge and experience necessary to become a “full fledged” professional.
I want to pursue bonsai to my highest ability. I want to stay true to myself. I want to be able to support myself and those I care about around me. I am not abandoning my path, but certainly this is a detour if any.
I’ll be back in the states next month. I need some time to assess my options and save some money.
Lastly I wanted to share some pine work I’ve recently completed. They both came out fairly clean and I am content with the results.
I was debating removing the lowest branch. With a left moving trunk and the tree flowing back to the right you get a more dynamic design.
There was too much disconnect between the foliage and the trunk. In order to create a more powerful tree and to lose the disjointed feel, I compressed the trunk. A bend was already in place so it was fairly easily to push it further. Unfortunately the screws and wire I had on hand were not strong enough to hold the bend. I relocated the anchor screws onto a large jin and directly into the deadwood.
Lower branches set.
Since pulling the right side of the trunk down lifted everything on the left side, I had to compensate with guy wires hidden around the back and left side of the tree. Overall the design was able to be compacted quite a bit.
Here’s a red pine I styled as well. The goals with this tree was to clean up the pads and design–meaning necessary branch cuts/thinning as well as pulling all the old needles. After doing so the entire tree could be wired.
Done! Repotted in a lightly larger container and roots slightly worked to accommodate for angle change. Looks a little messy in this photo with needles stacked over each other, but it turned out really clean in person! These 2 trees will be available for sale at Kokufu.