For the past 50 years I’ve been teaching bonsai in Rochester, New York. Thousands of students have been introduced to bonsai through my courses and workshops. Many students enjoy the hobby, are talented and want to improve their techniques. A good number continue with me and become good friends. Often students join the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York Inc, in fact, most of our members originated from my classes. They demonstrate at club meetings, become officers and assist me with my classes and other educational activities.
A few weeks ago Harvey Carapella and Bob Blankfield were introduced in my blog. I’d like to introduce a few more of my friends who are serious about improving their bonsai. Each of these friends has been studying with me for 20-25 years. By the way, I have one more talented bonsai friend to introduce, but don’t have the time to properly introduce him now as its snowing outside and must protect a few more bonsai (not from the snow, that’s good) before I head on to Japan in a few hours.
Enjoy the bonsai photos and interesting gardens of the six friends introduced here. I’m proud of all of them and am blessed with their friendship and support.
Marc is the current President of our bonsai society and has also served as other officer positions. He is recently retired and is now spending his time enjoying his bonsai and also painting… scenery, not houses. He is always ready to help and offers valued opinions during both my beginner and advanced bonsai workshops and presents programs to regional bonsai societies.
Each year Mark designs and installs the Welcome Garden for the US National Bonsai Exhibitions. Also he helps set up, run and take down the show.
He loves small size trees, especially mame and shohin bonsai, and excels in their creation and display. This multiple award winning bonsai artist often travels with me on lecture trips and also assists with both my bonsai courses and workshops. Suiseki is one of Marc’s passions and he organized the Upstate New York Suiseki Study Group.
Joe is the current Ways & Means Chair for our bonsai organization and a terrific auctioneer at club events. He is a semi-retired registered nurse, which provides him with the necessary time to enjoy and improve his collection. Joe is very interested in suiseki and has made several trips to Japan and Taiwan to see bonsai and increase his stone collection.
In addition to his bonsai collection of larger trees, Joe enjoys the beauty of shohin bonsai and displays his trees, of all sizes in local, regional and national exhibitions. He offers good ideas to the society and works on his bonsai for long hours, and it clearly shows. The creation and maintenance of bonsai requires a dedicated personality.
Ron is the immediate past Treasurer of our bonsai society and spent nearly 20 years keeping the organization’s funds in order. He is a semi-retired insurance salesman and loves to interact with people. His friendly personality draws many new people into our society and is invaluable organizing and running the US National Bonsai Exhibitions. He presents interesting programs during my Autumn Open House & Sale on his vast suiseki collection, which is one of the best in this area.
In addition to his bonsai collection Ron is passionate for suiseki. Together with his wife JoAnn, they have collected stones in California as well as New York State in secret locations. Currently Ron is the Chairman of the Upstate New York Suiseki Study Group. He has traveled with me to Japan and Taiwan many times and has displayed several from his collection in the Japan Suiseki Exhibition held in Tokyo yearly. He has also won awards for his beautiful stones.
Jim is one of the past Presidents of our bonsai society and continues to advise the group and work hard to organize activities and programs. He is an executive with Fuji Xerox, which keeps him traveling, however, he always finds time to work on his bonsai and help me whenever needed. He is primarily responsible for setting up all of the past US National Bonsai Exhibitions and his wife Rita sewed all the hundreds of yards of curtains, skirting and table coverings used.
Jim presents interesting critiques for our bonsai society along with Marc Arpag and Harvey Carapella. He always shares his trees in our exhibitions. He recently moved to a new home and is establishing his new bonsai garden. His help organizing my friends to move trees and cover six poly houses for winter protection is valued highly.
Rick is responsible for refreshments for our club meetings, shows and also at the US National Bonsai Exhibition. He is a retired engineer and a member of my Senior Monday Crew, which assists me doing anything needed. His friendly personality is valued when dealing with the public and trying to get them interested in our art. His bonsai have received awards in the Upstate New York Bonsai Exhibitions.
Rick assists me at every bonsai course I offer and is especially interested in starting trees from seed. He has several fine bonsai he has grown and trained from seed collected from some of my developed bonsai. Rick prefers cultivated bonsai, rather then collected trees. When traveling Rick is one of the few people I trust watering and caring for my personal collection. The is the consummate gentlemen and the ladies love him…
Alan is on the exhibition committee for our bonsai society and in charge of vendor relations. Professionally Alan is a sign painter specializing in the unique art of carnival signs. His background in packaging design is helpful when shipping my bonsai and is my Director of E-Bay Sales & Marketing. This award winning bonsai artist specializes in collecting Larch from our region, but more importantly develops them into stunning specimens, which he displays. He presents programs to regional bonsai organizations.
Alan is my assistant and is the Curator of the Living Collection at the International Bonsai Arboretum. Having studied with me for over 25 years he is familiar with my design, techniques and helps me wire, trim and maintain my bonsai. I trust him to water when I’m traveling and to care for my bonsai, as well as our two dogs. He often assists when teaching classes and presenting demonstrations. His fine eye and sense of design is clearly evident with his beautiful bonsai.