California Shohin Seminar 2014   7 comments

First the bad news. I went on Friday to get first crack at best deals….

Bad news, I don’t have any pictures of the display due to it not being finished with set up. Trees were in boxes or grouped in lots for display and it would not have been very good photo’s. I went for just the day, as my wife still needs some care during her chemo treatments.

What I do have is an in depth review of the vendors of this marvelous place on the highway out in nowhere land between Fresno and San Francisco.

The vendors were grouped into two buildings. Some vendors came armed with tables of merchandise and some brought very little compared to past events. As you walk into the first building one is struck with a huge display of stones and Suiseki. The stones of Ken McCloud are very nice and many of the Diaza have been made by Jerry Braswell, at Art of the Diaza.

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These natural hut stones were to die for. I found these after I spent all my budget.

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across the aisle from Ken is the pots of Jim Barrett. His pot stock is getting smaller and I heard him talking to his wife about selling off some of the diplay racks to a guy that made an offer on them. It will be sad when Jim no longer sells his pots.

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The small pots

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And Jims large pots. Thats Jim back there to the left.

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At the end of the aisle is Lotus Bonsai. My good friend Scott Chad runs this place. Very nice material and the premiere place to get a imported white pine.

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Here’s one of those white pines.

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Here’s another along with some other things. Scott has some killer maples also.

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He also has some flowering bonsai.

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The booth of Fusion Bonsai, owner artist Kanahiro Hamajima. All handmade pots, all handmade glaze. Many pots are made of porcelain.

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Back in the corner is Gary Ishii, of Chikugu En. Here he is with Kenji Miyata.

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Ishii’s work with Kishu juniper speaks for itself.

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Behind the stands is David Knittle. No, he’s not dead. This man advertised in every Bonsai Today magazine that was published. In the early days he went by Tansu Bonsai. now he just goes by Knittle Studio.

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Art of the Diaza, Jerry Braswell also makes some nice tables. He is a very good friend of mine and we have talked about table alot. Buy one I highly reccomend it.

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For those of you that have bought stands from Jerry and never had the pleasure of meeting him, here he is. I got this photo from him in his booth all slumped over looking pretty bad. I asked him what was up and he said he had a 8 mm kidney stone he was battleing. Having passed over 40 stones myself, I know how hard it was to make this smile. Jerry your a trooper!

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Thats Kora Dalager fussing over her pots for sale fresh from Japan. She is always in the booth with William Valavanis.

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This year it was also shared with Sean Smith and some of his handmade accent pots as well as some of his woodwork tables.

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Chris Kirk, The Capn’ from Telperion Farms.

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A few Zelcova’s for which they are famous in this seminar. There are always a few on display.

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Gnarly ole trident with a super flared base. It would have been easy to just buy this one, but I want to go to all the trouble of making one myself. What a diehard.

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Juniper from a couple different directions and a price tag for you guys back east!

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Another nasty Trident to play with.

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Jim Gremel. This guy has the life. He does have groupies. The guys that always are around trying to pick his brain. I am one of those groupies. Itr has paid off. Jim has agreed to let me do an in depth interview with him as well as provide me with some good pictures of his nursery and techniques. Don’t miss that blog post. I told him this needed to be done before he died. He asked me if I had been talking to his doctor? What a sense of humor he has.

Jerry Braswell going over the finer points of one of his stands.

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Some of the trees for sale by Jim Gremel.

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This little beauty was tucked into a corner. I asked Jim about it, and he though about using it for the bonsai display. I told him Kathy Shaner was setting the trees. He said he would take it to the display room.

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Jim gets to the display room and asks Gordon Deeg, Chairman of GSBF Collection North, if its good enough to go into the display?.

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Some more Kishu junipers of Jims.

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An atlas cedar already gone.

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Some foliage and wire detail.

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Jim seated in his booth doing what he does best, work on another tree for sale. This is a Burt davi ficus cutting that is being trained in the yamadori style. This is the second wiring.

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This is the doner plant that the cutting came from. Looks like pretty good genes if you ask me.

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Kenji Miyata had a booth next to Bonsai Vision whom I already posted about. Here Kenji sits the plants at the best levels to see everything there is to see about these junipers.

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The sign behind in Japanese says: “If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”.

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These were the pines for the Kenji workshop on Saturday.

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George Muranaka was one of those that did not have as full of plant sales as in past years. he had a huge booth at REB’s in August so maybe he is just sold out for the season. Glad he came though, cause we got to spend about an hour looking over Jim Gremels trees and figuring out how he does things. We concluded that he cheats alot.

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Just a few of the things I bought besides the two pots from Bonsai Vision. This Japanese pot, it has been used and is fresh from Japan.

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I have another pot from this maker but I have no clue who it is. Ryan Bell you out there?

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I bought a few of these pots from Sean Smith. I like the color and the size for a shohin display.

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Ed Clark, a good friend of mine from the valley and a commercial maple grower for many years, turned retired bonsai person and doing it all over again. I have many trident maples from this grower, the Wizard of Oz maple and the trident from living in realville. More recently Ed has turned his efforts on Japanese black pine. He is growing them from seed and is burying wire in the trunk early on getting some terriffic movement and nice swelling bases on these small pines. This is no. one.

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This is no. two.

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This is no. three.

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7 responses to “California Shohin Seminar 2014

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  1. I’ll have to make it out for some CA shows someday! I love my table from Jerry too!

    You didn’t even buy any maples…

    • I have 600 seeds sprouting any day. So far only one up as of today. Next week should look like popcorn! What the hell am I going to do with 600 twisted up tridents……..sell them!!!! Last thing I needed is another maple. I’m kinda liking these pines right now. I have bought about 8 so far. Sure hope I get the knack soon.

  2. Darling, I enjoyed this post a lot! Try some mame and shohin from the pines…not seen too many on the forum and they look good.

  3. So THAT’S what happened to tansu…always wondered.
    Have a couple dai from the 80’s.

  4. Great post, Al.

  5. Your unknown pot is from Taiwan. The company’s name is “Jian Yuan”.

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