On May 19 a small group of Shohin Study Group members went to the LA area in search of shohin stock and instructors for the Group. First we stopped at Fuji Bonsai Nursery. Roy, the owner, has a lot of larger stock of JBP and California Junipers but also has a good inventory of potential shohin plants; Youpon Holly, Olives, JBP, Junipers, Catlin Elms and more. Afterwards we went to the home of Peter Macasieb. He is known as someone who assisted Harry Hirao with digging and styling yamadori (wild) California Junipers. Peter has become very proficient at shohin. He has developed a tremendous collection and is a sought after shohin instructor. We also discovered that he is now making his own shohin pots. We have Peter on board as a shohin instructor. He will augment the expert shohin instruction of Ted Matson, who we are fortunate to have as our guest instructor at the August Shohin Study Group meeting.
The following weekend I visited the Santa Anita Bonsai Society's( SABS) show at the L.A. Arboretum. The SABS show their trees along with the Shohin Bonsai Society of Southern California. I met again with Peter Macasieb to cover a few details. I was also able to speak with Jim Barrett, who would also like to assist us. He is building a shohin collection, and is known internationally for making high quality shohin pots.
The Shohin Study Group will meet again on June 14th at the home of Abe and Cristina Far. Glenn Jensen will be the guest instructor as we continue styling and shaping our trees.
At the August meeting we will continue styling with an eye toward getting our best trees ready for the fall show in September. We will meet in September after the regular club meeting to make decisions on the trees accent plants and displays.
The club has two large stands which I am re-finishing. Well that may be a bit of an over statement. They are being lightly sanded, re-stained and then either varnished or waxed. Urethane varnish is a hard finish that resists water and heat nicely but when scratched needs to be sanded and then re-applied and one waits while it dries. If a second coat is needed, repeat. Wax is not to resistant to water but when scratched simply stain the scratch if needed and then re-wax. Wax dries very fast and all you do is buff it. Since shohin stands do not get watered, moisture resistance is not an issue. Therefore waxing a nicely sanded and stained surface is fine. One can even simply sand to 220 or 320 grit and then apply wax directly to the bare wood. The wax will not darken the wood as much as even natural stain will.
Just remember that what is under the tree should not detract from the tree but should compliment the tree and the display. So the stands etc will generally be dark or medium in color and even that can vary by season.
Shohin Study Group
SDBC member Charlie Mosse lets you know of interesting bonsai posts from around the web but especially shohin topics as he is leading the shohin group.