The popular California Shohin Bonsai Seminar was held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 31-February 3, 2014. The event was held at a small hotel in Santa Nella, California, which is a small town (truck stop?) located between Los Angeles and San Francisco to make travel easy for people throughout the state. Several friends from Rochester traveled with me to the event on our way to Japan for the Kikuyu Bonsai Exhibition, Shinseki of Japan Exhibition and to visit public and private bonsai collections in the Tokyo area.
The excellent and well presented lecture/demonstrations were held on Friday. On Saturday morning 12 workshops were conducted by skilled instructors, all in one large banquet room. Although all the workshops were in the same room, everyone enjoyed the individual attention of the teachers and excellent plant material each prepared for their classes. An additional 12 workshops were then presented in the afternoon. The only cost for the workshops was for the plant costs.
A room filled with beautiful shohin bonsai provided inspiration for the 237 full registrants and many daily attendees. Critiques were held in the exhibit to get fresh ideas and thoughts on the display, design and horticultural requirements of the small treasures people brought to share with the others.
Sunday morning concluded the California Shohin Bonsai Seminar with a comprehensive lecture/demonstration by Kathy Shaner on repotting bonsai. Two rooms were filled with numerous vendors offering their plants, stones and other educational items for training, caring and the display of bonsai.
This event is always sold out and is limited to the size of the banquet room. Although typical of well organized California conventions, the California Shohin Bonsai Seminar, conducted every two years is popular because of the low cost. All the instructors, from around the country, volunteer their time and talent so the workshops are offered at low prices. Profits from the raffle and auction are split equally between the two bonsai gardens administrated by the Golden State Bonsai Federation in Pasadena and Oakland.
The chairman of this event is changed each time and this year Gary and Lucy Judd did an outstanding job assisted by other family members and volunteers. All programs were well attended and many questions were asked and answered.
I have been fortunate to have attended and taught at all but two of the seminars and look forward to the 15th California Shohin Bonsai Seminar which will be held in January 2015.