Mr. Kimura masterclass from Bonsai empire Review

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to learn from the world-renowned bonsai master, Masahiko Kimura. In his first ever online class, Mr. Kimura demonstrates his unique approach to Bonsai design. He reveals a life-time of cultivated knowledge and his own personal techniques to achieve results in a short amount of time.

This Masterclass is recorded in Mr. Kimura’s private workshop and consists of two long-format case studies. Each case study begins with a discussion of bonsai aesthetics and design options, followed by an explanation of the applied techniques:

  • Setting the main structure of a tree
  • Wiring
  • Shaping the apex
  • Pad creation
  • Importance of negative space in Bonsai design
  • And moss cultivation.

You can expect 14 lectures with over 4 hours of video tutorials with lifetime access. Be sure to watch the free lecture for a taste of the contents!

Price: $79.99 USD, as always with lifetime access
14 lectures, 4 hour total

My Saturday Demo at The Trophy in Belgium

This is a scots pine that has been prepared over a number of years in preparation for a demo. The organisers of The Trophy in Belgium asked me to create something more than simply ‘styling’ as tree. The root ball has been reduced over many years to enable fitting into a small container. the marriage between the tree, stone and presentation was well received. Aftercare is critical, I would never advocate wiring and potting at the same time but the tree is strong and I know what I am doing, I would NEVER sacrifice a tree for the purpose of a demo. Many thanks to my wonderful friend from Argentina Sergio Luciani, he made the event particularly special for me.

Advanced Bonsai Course 2 with Bjorn Bjorholm

Over the past 20 years, technology has dramatically transformed how we live, how we work and how we connect. How we learn is no exception. So when I was asked to review The Advanced Bonsai Course 2 the long awaited sequel to the The Advanced Course from Bonsai Empire, I was in no doubt as to the quality of the content. Instructor Bjorn Bjorholm guides you through the long-term impact of techniques on a wide variety of tree species. Learn about pad creation for exhibition, branch splitting on conifers and establishing a great Nebari with air-layered deciduous material. Understand how to fertilise trees in different stages and the effects of macro and micronutrients on plants.

But this course is not exclusively about advanced techniques. It also discusses the aesthetics of traditional and contemporary Bonsai display, from the tokonoma to the exhibition hall.

This may be a surprise to many but on average, students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving instruction in a workshop environment. A workshop setting can stifle learning by allowing dominant personalities to take the bulk of the time from the professional artist. Quieter individuals become limited in their engagement and may even be embarrassed to ask questions. Learners can take a course from the workplace during lunch or from the comfort of their home and learn at their own pace with 24/7 access.
An important factor in the production of these courses is the sophisticated way Bonsai Empire use technology. Breaking down lessons into video segments and running interactive discussions, in which students can engage with other users. Nobody will sit through a 6 hour-long lecture online (yes it’s 6 hours of solid information and learning), so you have got to chunk things up.
The flexibility the course from Bonsai Empire is very attractive for a generation where time is constantly being squeezed and the demands of work heightened — you can fit the distance-learning around your life.

Bjorn Bjorholm teaching style is easy on the eye and because you can revisit as often as you wish easier to understand and review. I particularly like the detail in ‘Advanced fertilisation’ and ‘Myth busting’ I found myself making written notes (I rarely do this) you can get a preview and purchase here:

The section on Contemporary Japanese Bonsai display is really detailed and the explanation as to how to place and why the elements are displayed in a particular way. Bjorn gives you a guideline to follow on how to create a basic display and build from there.

I definitely recommend this course and ‘The Advanced course part 1’ alongside all the courses in the series from Bonsai Empire.