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remist17
April 3rd, 2012, 12:38 PM
What are some good learning sites for beginners?
- Bonsai4me.com
- evergreengardensworks.com

jkl
April 3rd, 2012, 01:29 PM
Gosh . . . do you remember books?

alonsou
April 3rd, 2012, 06:42 PM
I've learned some very valuable information from all these sites:

BonsaiMirai (http://www.bonsaimirai.com/) by Ryan Neil

Bjorvala Bonsai Studio (http://bjorvalabonsaistudio.com/) by Bjorn Bjorholm

Shohin Europe (http://www.shohin-europe.com/) by Morten Albek

Bonsaivigi (http://www.bonsaivigi.cz/) by Pavel Slovak

Walter Pall (http://walter-pall.de/00gallery/index.html) by Walter Pall

Artistic Bonsai Circle (http://www.artisticbonsaicircle.co.uk/)

Bonsai4me (http://www.bonsai4me.com/) by Harry Harrington

Yamadori and Bonsai material (http://yamadoriforsale.com/) by Tony Tickle

Karamotto (http://www.karamotto.org/) by Hans Van Meer

vlbanting (http://www.vlbanting.com/) by Vaughn Banting

I have many more, but these are some of the best resources I've found so far.

Tona
April 3rd, 2012, 07:49 PM
I would also add:

http://www.kaizenbonsai.com

Many videos

remist17
April 4th, 2012, 10:47 AM
Thank you all. Yes I have books but sometimes the internet you get more inforamtion and cheaper!

Bill S
April 4th, 2012, 11:06 AM
IBC internet bonsai club forums and articles

Bill S
April 4th, 2012, 11:06 AM
bonsainut.com :)

grouper52
April 4th, 2012, 01:14 PM
Thank you all. Yes I have books but sometimes the internet you get more inforamtion and cheaper!

Internet is good for information, yes, but information by itself (even if always correct - which it often is not online) is not the same as knowledge, or wisdom, nor does it invariably lead to them. Something about books make them a much better medium to convey or lead to those more rarified levels or understanding. The advantage of advancing age is having seen entire generations learn both ways, and this Luddite has become firmly convinced that there is simply no comparison.

In bonsai, our own trees are our best teachers - spend your time with them. A bonsai teacher is next best - if you get a good one. Books such as Naka's and Koreshoff's are next best. Internet is a very distant fourth, IMHO, useful mostly as an entertainment, at least for this old codger.

Folks will likely think me a pretentious jerk for the following, but let me propose a test for anyone who thinks their mental landscape is improved significantly by learning things online: Google "Aristotle's Metaphysics" and see what "information" you can learn, spending as much time as you like, even weeks or months. When you finish, pay attention to your mind, and what it is like. Then go to Amazon and buy a good translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics ( a hardback version with decent binding is best, so you can easily lay it out flat to underline and write in the margins as you make your way through it), AND get the Dumb Ox Press edition of Thomas Aquinas' Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics as a companion volume. Wade (or struggle) through those two books for a month or more, and when you are done, pay attention again to your mind! Compare it to what your mind was like after the Google search. Nothing you will ever read on a computer will do that to your ability to think. And when you can think, you can transform information into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom. This is what has been lost.

Great books - like those of Naka and Koreshoff in our field - can do that for you. The internet cannot. I await your flames.

garywood
April 4th, 2012, 01:34 PM
Will, probably the best commentary you've written. I agree wholeheartedly. A very glaring example a few will be aware of. A thread was started this past fall by a beginner on every forum known to man. He received probably a million answers. The result this spring of all his work, which was posted, was a compendium of all that could be done wrong. This is not to condemn the internet, forums or the poster but the trap that's there without at-least a baseline of "knowledge".

remist17
April 4th, 2012, 01:48 PM
Thanks to all for pointing out items listed above. I wish I could find a teacher to help me out but I refuse to pay $75 a hour to sit in a class of 30 people to learn. Books as I stated above are great and I have several. The internet I agree is 75% bologna and the rest of negativity. I am trying to secure a wide range of items to use to learn on my own.

Thank you again for taking the time to help me out.

jkl
April 4th, 2012, 02:08 PM
In bonsai, our own trees are our best teachers - spend your time with them. A bonsai teacher is next best - if you get a good one. Books such as Naka's and Koreshoff's are next best. Internet is a very distant fourth, IMHO, useful mostly as an entertainment, at least for this old codger.

This old(er, probably) codger agrees, wholeheartedly. The Crap-to-Candy ratio on the Internet is overwhelmingly on the CRAP side. People use the I'net for reference because it is "cheap." But you get what you pay for.

To those books (which I'd list in reverse order, if only because Naka is a tad conservative in this day and age), I'd add Colin Lewis' "The Art of Bonsai Design" and some of Peter Adams' later books.

grouper52
April 4th, 2012, 02:38 PM
Thanks, jlk. You are, indeed, 20% older than I am. :)

Koreshoff's book is probably the best "how to do bonsai" book overall - better than Naka's in that way, I agree, but I found and still find Naka's book(s) teach the most on the level of "how to think about bonsai".

As for the cost of a teacher, it may not need to be a formal teaching arrangement. When I first got into the hobby I found many experienced people at bonsai nurseries, or in the areas where I lived, who were always quite willing to share a bit of their expertise for free if I came across as sincere and didn't take advantage of their generosity. If I offered to help out a bit with what they were doing, or showed interest in possibly buying some of their trees or wares, they were often very giving of time and insights. A few adages here and there, and an appreciation for the way they looked at a tree and thought about it - that was all the info I had for about five years, except a single beginners book, and it was more than enough when combined with what my trees were teaching me.

gergwebber
April 14th, 2012, 01:22 AM
bonsaifarm.tv best infomative videos out there! . <--- thats an arial black, bold size 7 PERIOD!

Poink88
April 14th, 2012, 06:22 AM
I agree about books (I have lots of them) but they can become dated and boring. Some things evolve (techniques included) and some people (like me) learn faster with discussion. I retain more this way since it forces me to think and can clarify things that may have confused me. I learn by understanding how it works.

There is the financial limitation to some of us too. I would love to attend seminars, private classes, and the like but I can't...and that is MY reality just like the OP. This is a hobby to some....something that makes them happy with what little they have...even the stick in the pot they are proud of because it is the only thing they can afford. Maybe they (we) too will strive to go to the higher/next level but until then, we all can use the help by keeping the interest & education going. Some books also only cater to a certain location/weather...something that affect trees in more ways than one. Internet breaks through that barrier.

The internet can be the best and worst source of information but if everyone corrects any mis-information then it will be reduced. I know very little but I am learning. Some of you have forgotten a lot more than what I know but you too was once like me...please remember that.

I like & learn from these sites/links too:
http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/
http://www.animabonsai.com/gallery/
http://sandevbonsai.blogspot.com/
http://www.bonsai4me.com/
http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/shop/index.php

and a good place to start extra search
http://bonsai.toplisted.net/index_27032.html

gergwebber
April 14th, 2012, 11:03 PM
This old(er, probably) codger agrees, wholeheartedly. The Crap-to-Candy ratio on the Internet is overwhelmingly on the CRAP side. People use the I'net for reference because it is "cheap." But you get what you pay for.

To those books (which I'd list in reverse order, if only because Naka is a tad conservative in this day and age), I'd add Colin Lewis' "The Art of Bonsai Design" and some of Peter Adams' later books.

look we know its crap, yet we found this site and its great.... i love bonsai books, and i love libraries. but the internet is the best and broadest research tool out there. but just like a library, you have to be smart and savvy enough to weed through the irrelevant and plain crap to get to what you want. and you do it with a search engine:D

as for books I would add Four Seasons of Bonsai by Kyuzo Murata If you are going to lament the current trend toward digital unreality don't do it on an online forum

Brian Van Fleet
April 15th, 2012, 06:59 AM
Workshops with the pros are invaluable. Most workshops are $50-$150, which is likely the average price folks are spending on trees as they are starting to get serious. Find out what artists the local clubs are bringing in and attend one. At times, clubs will allow silent observers to watch the workshop for little or no cost. If the artist is a good teacher, you'll learn more in a day of auditing the workshop than you can learn in a year alone in your back yard.

Hard to be hands on work with someone with experience...notice how apprenticeships are how the knowledge is passed down in Japan?