Spotlight on Artists – Steve DaSilva   4 comments

 

 

 

Steve started his bonsai journey in 1984. The same year I started.   Steve watched the “Karate Kid” and was inspired about bonsai, as were thousands, by that movie. I must say that I found the movie a great motivator for me as well. Steve’s first tree was purchased from the Barnyard in Carmel California, a business still there today. I shopped that place as well and filled in many of my first back issues of Bonsai Today there. Steves first tree was a crabapple. He still has the bones. It was pretty small when he purchased it but it did die and he never threw it out.

Steve with some pinch pots he made.

DSC_00040004

Steve and his (dead) first bonsai.

DSC_00210021

DSC_00220022

 

Steve joined a bonsai club in Vacaville California, Soon after a friend suggested he join the Napa Valley Club. Here he would work with Mas Imazumi, well known throughout California. Steve would move to Fresno in 1990 and soon found the Fresno Bonsai Society. In 1993 while taking aesthetic pruning at a course at Merrit College, Steve would meet long time friend Dennis Makashima. Steve would retake the course later along with Bill Castellon and Randall Lee. Steve would become President of the Fresno Bonsai Society in 1998 and keep with the job till 2004. He would later become President for a second time in 2011 and 2012.

 

In 2006 Steve had a new house built in the country on some acreage. It is here that he would plant his first seedlings into the ground to build trees for the future. Over the years Steve would add additional plots to the growing amount of space devoted to bonsai.

This phase one started in 2007. This is an overview of the plot. It is about 20 by 25 feet and contains tridents, crab apples, twisted pomegranates, black pines and corkbark elms.

DSC_00010001

The row of lighter colored plants next to the fence are twisted poms about three inches across.

DSC_00030003

These are some of the pines

DSC_00060006

Still lots of fat tridents in the ground. One of the things that is kinda weird when looking at a field is that nothing is in pots so there is no spacial comparison that can be made as to how large something is. For instance this trident is about 5 inches across at the soil and about 10 inches tall.

DSC_00130013

DSC_00200020

DSC_00160016

DSC_00140014

This is one of the smaller pines in the above photo. It seems so small when seen with the larger pines. The trunk on this one is about 2.5 inches across and about 24 inches tall.

DSC_00120012

Here is one that has been sawed off at the ground. It is about 5 inches tall and three inches across at the soil.

DSC_00050005

This is the close up.

DSC_00040004

Here is the big cork bark elm I dug up.

DSC_00070007

Phase two started in 2010

Lots of pines out here. These are really starting to shape up. I have my eye on one. Need to talk to steve about that…

DSC_00380038

DSC_00390039

DSC_00400040

DSC_00410041

DSC_00470047

DSC_00480048

DSC_00490049

DSC_00500050

Here are some recent Itoigawa juniper cuttings.

DSC_00440044

Chinese quince

DSC_00460046

DSC_00430043

DSC_00510051

Hornbeam

DSC_00530053

More tall four inch base tridents. I have two of these I am working on.

DSC_00550055

DSC_00560056

Phase three started in 2013.

More pines, crabapple, tridents

DSC_00360036

Phase three trident

DSC_00370037

This is where Glenn makes all the cali-dama. The crusher and sifter is on Steves property. Glenn collects the hardpan and has it trucked to a batch plant, where it is broken into 1 inch chunks.

DSC_00350035

Then he runs it through his smaller crusher to take it down to soil size particles.

DSC_00590059

Then he sifts it in his recently purchased sifter. It is bagged or put into shipping containers to be sent all over the USA. He also crushes lava in the small crusher.

DSC_00580058

Steve has a pretty large and impressive collection of bonsai at his house.

DSC_00230023

DSC_00240024

DSC_00250025

DSC_00260026

DSC_00270027

 

DSC_00280028

DSC_00290029

DSC_00300030

DSC_00310031

DSC_00320032

DSC_00330033

DSC_00340034

Steve is surrounded by grapes. He lives in the raisin capital of the world so grapes around the property is a no brainer. The grapes are over a hundred years old. The study group we belong to will be taking cuttings off these grapes soon for some shohin size trees.

DSC_00600060

DSC_00620062

DSC_00630063

DSC_00670067

Red tail hawk looking over the vineyard…

DSC_00680068

DSC_00780078

DSC_00790079

Steve has a blog, which is a little dated currently, but he can be found on face book as a regular. Steve teaches workshops at the bi-annual Shohin seminar in Santa Nella and will be there next Feb., he also does aesthetic black pine pruning and keeps busy all summer as well as running the aesthetic pine pruning at Shinzen Gardens in Fresno. Steve is on the Board of Directors of the Shinzen Garden and has been instrumental in helping move the Clark Collection of Bonsai from Hanford to Fresno California where it will be housed in a permanent collection in the Japanese Garden portion of the park. If I’m not mistaken, it should be just beyond the trees in the background.

DSC_00270014

DSC_00290015

One of the pines his group maintain.

DSC_00300016

DSC_00310017

DSC_00360018

DSC_00370019

DSC_00430020

DSC_00460021

DSC_00480022

DSC_00550023
Steve also working at Fresno City College, organized two exhibits of bonsai paired with art as well as a winter silhouette exhibit. Both recieved great reviews.

DSC_0003

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 responses to “Spotlight on Artists – Steve DaSilva

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Good show! BTW it’s Imazumi. Him and Kay Urbanski, REBS early days of yore. Good times.

  2. Nice write up .Thanks. I enjoy your Blog

  3. Reblogged this on treekutter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: