Newsletter – Janurary 2015

2015-01-Img05Bonsai Notebook

Happy New Year!


Please bring a salad, fruit dish, or dessert. The club will provide the main dish and beverages. Bring bonsai related items for the raffle if possible, and we will have our biggest raffle of the year.

As part of the evening we will have a swearing-in of the new officers, presided over by Jim Barrett.  The officers as voted on by the membership include Dave Miles, President; Peter Macasieb, Vice Pres. and Program Chairman; Judy and Steve Anthony, Treasurer; Marge Blasingame, Secretary; and the Board consisting of Robert Sencer, Website master; Lorraine Miles, newsletter editor, Frank Yee, Ray Blasingame, and Dick Ryerson.

We will also have our new name badges at the meeting, so be ready to find yours in the badge case.

Now is the time to renew your club membership.  I encourage you to renew at the January meeting.  You can also go to the website for membership information;

$20/yr. single, or $25/yr. per family

Meeting Time And Place:
January 10, 2015 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room

President’s Corner

Welcome to all as we begin the 2015 new year.  We had a wonderful 2014.  Our annual show at the Arboretum was a success.  Thanks to all those who entered trees, helped set up and take down, signed up to docent, performed a demonstration,  and placed items on the sale table.  Thanks especially to Marge Blasingame, our show chair, who, as always, was there everyday making sure everything went as planned.  We could not do it without her.

Thanks to Peter Macasieb for all the great programs he arranged in 2014.  Besides being a great bonsai talent, Peter knows “everybody” in bonsai, so he persuaded very good artists to teach and entertain us.  I look forward to what he has in store for 2015.
Judy and Steve Anthony served as our treasurers, and did a wonderful job keeping the books in order, writing checks as needed, and handling the membership dues.  This is such a critical function for any organization, and we are lucky to have the Anthony’s .  Thank you both.

I mentioned Marge Blasingame before, but she also acts as our club secretary.  She takes down the minutes at our board meetings and prints them so we have them at the next meeting.  Another necessary function we can’t do without.  Thanks Marge.
Our webmaster, Robert Sencer did an outstanding job maintaining our beautiful website and keeping it current.  Thank you Robert for doing something that he says is easy.  We’d be lost without his expertise.

And…last but not least, thank you to my wife Lorraine for editing the newsletter and putting up with me while doing it.  She is responsible for the format and putting it together each month, and with Robert’s help, getting it ready for the website.

November Meeting Highlights: Saturday with Mauro

The Santa Anita Bonsai Society welcomed Mauro Stemberger to their November 8th meeting in sunny Arcadia, California.  Mauro was invited to perform an educational demonstration on a Harry Hirao-collected California Juniper.  Harry gave the non-styled tree to Marge Blasingame several years ago, and Marge donated it for the demonstration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMauro’s vibrant personality and passion for bonsai immediately got everyone’s attention, and he delivered an evening members won’t forget.  He was like that favorite teacher who’s lessons we will always remember.  He explained in great detail how he examines a tree, develops a styling plan, and executes the plan to completion.
The California juniper had three large roots at the base of the trunk and a large main branch bending at a sharp angle.  Mauro liked the movement of the sharp angle and settled on this branch line for his design.  He drew a picture of his vision for the tree on the chalk board, so we could see where he was going.  The drawing proved to be an accurate rendering of the final product.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMauro explained the importance of following the juniper’s live veins to determine what parts of the tree they supported.  Once he identified the vein feeding the branches in his design, he cut away or jinned the branches that weren’t supported by this vein.

Since this was the first styling of the juniper, Mauro said his work would focus on improving the   existing foliage to fill out the pads of the design.  He looked for branches with “power” to develop the structure.  He emphasized taking out branches that would take away energy from important   branches.  He said foliage pads needed light to develop fully, so later in his process he wired secondary branches and spread them open to let light in.

2015-01-Img03Mauro spent time describing what he termed the tree’s need to “eat and rest”, meaning the need for roots to draw in water with nutrients followed by rest, or a lack of water, until the “eating” was again necessary.  He talked about collected trees and the importance of small feeder roots to improve the chances of the tree’s survival.  Once a collectable tree was located, Mauro recommended, if possible, watering the tree thoroughly to stimulate new root growth and leaving the tree alone for this root growth before digging at a later time.  So often we just dig up a tree and hope for the best.

There were several large branches needing drastic bends to fit Mauro’s design.  He used raffia and wrapped those branches to protect them from breaking once the bending started.  He wrapped black electrical tape over the raffia for additional protection and support.

Mauro explained that he wired trees from the bottom up progressing from the largest wire down to the smallest on each branch working outward.  He maintained a consistent gap with each wrap of wire to evenly distribute tension along the branches which helps avoid cracking.  He shaped pads of sparse foliage, and as mentioned above, spread the small branches to let light in.

Throughout the demonstration Mauro related what he was doing and why.  He made it easy to follow his styling process, making it possible for us to incorporate his techniques in our own styling.  He said the artistic part of bonsai styling comes, first, from mastering bonsai techniques; trimming,   wiring, etc.  As our technique evolves, an artful style will emerge.



Article also published in the GSBF  “Golden Statements” Vol.38. No.1 Winter 2015

What’s New

  • See photos of Mauro’s demonstration on our website
  • If you would like to receive the monthly newsletter electronically please send your email  contact information to Dave Miles at:  [email protected]  or register on our website by clicking on the “Mailing List” link. (Your email information will be kept confidential for newsletter purposes only and will not be shared.)

Thank you to November Raffle Donors

Judy Anthony, Jerry Banuelos, Y.S. Farn, Tom Freeman, Joe Gutierrez,  Emma Janza, Peter Macasieb. Dave Miles, Dick Ryerson, Frank Yee

Next Meeting

Date: January 10, 2015
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, Ca  91007

No Board Meeting prior to general member meeting

2015 Monthly Meeting Dates

January 10: Annual Potluck
February 14
March 14
April  11

2015 Refreshment Schedule

Sign up for 2015 at Annual Potluck

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