Rocky Mountain National Park
Workshops in Colorado:
I took a 20 year old spruce which I had been rough shaping for 6 years
to a Craig Coussins workshop.
The spruce was about 16 inches (23 cm) tall with a nice 3 to 4 inch (8 to 10 cm) diameter trunk with curving movement and
good nebari. Still, there were not always branches where I needed one, and I did not have a final vision for the design of the tree.
After a few hours I had completely wired the tree and Craig started to move branches to build the basic silhouette and to
create a natural branch placement. Some branches moved up toward the apex up to fill gaps
and balance out the design. But he only did half of the branch placement, leaving the other half for
me to do based on his example.The end result was wonderful. A tree that was neglected and unruly was
transformed into one of my better specimens.
I have done several
workshops with various Bonsai experts, but this was the best
I have ever attended. And it is the first time I walked away from a workshop where the tree I was
working on was truly transformed.
My wife was amazed: the tree she most wanted to dispose of suddenly became her favorite.
Darrell Whitley, Colorado
I was asked to do a demo for the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society. Jerry Morris who has a large collection of Native trees from Colorado brought along some Colorado Blue Spruce and a Ponderosa Pine for me to work on. Unfortunately I had no prep time and could only do the smallest of the trees offered (much to my frustration as there was plenty I wanted to do with the others of course)
I normally require at least four hours prep time prior to a demo to allow me to study the tree and fully wire everything prior to a demo so I need only discuss the design aspect of my style of 'natural' Bonsai design.
In this case the spruce I chose was presented with an existing 'front'. I needed to work on the tree without transplanting it and decided to turn the tree around to the side. Hence the side became the front and the old front was now the side. Interestingly the new front also had a back but that in turn was also a nice front. So the front would therefore be determined by the nebari-surface root in this case when the tree was transplanted into a circular pot. You can see Jerry here with some of his great Yamadori. I really hope I get to go back one day as I not only like the humor of Coloradoans but love the material that they find.
AFTERCARE: Spray three times a day for at least six weeks to keep the humidity levels up (like a giant cutting) and water to keep the soil damp. Don't feed for six weeks and then half strength high nitrogen every two weeks to assist in bud growth. Read my books to learn about feeding and watering regimes.
Click any image to make larger. Running your curser over each image will give you a description.
The front becomes the side now
The new front
Jerry Morris with some of his Yamadori Blue Spruce and a Pine
The Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado. I spent a morning trekking around the park in order to take some images of trees and landscapes. I went up to 9 thousand feet and managed to get a few snow flurries which was what I wanted before my fingers froze. I also like Pikes Peak and that great vista at 14,300 feet will be in my new book, Bonsai Workshop as I show some tree line Spruce only 2 feet high and hundreds of years old.
Texas: Dallas and Forth Worth Bonsai Clubs
Louisiana: Shreveport Bonsai Club
Colorado: Denver and Fort Collins
Ohio: Akron Canton Bonsai Club and Wildwood Gardens
Ohio: The Dawes Arboretum Collection
Vancouver Island: Landscapes
Vancouver Island: Victoria Bonsai clubs demo and Workshop
Washington State: Puget Sound Bonsai Association, Seattle
Thank you once again for your magnificent lecture and demonstration to the Akron - Canton Bonsai Society.
Ohio is considered the “heartland” of the USA, traditional middle America.
Unlike folks on the east and west coasts, Ohioans in general have heard little and know less about bonsai and penjing.
lecture and demo were great! You explained the history and
techniques in ways that everyone could understand.
Your humor really helped to set folks at ease while you prepared a wonderful group planting of Shimpaku junipers.
You stimulated a number of people to join our club, former members to renew their membership, and we’re beginning to give classes for beginners.
Your appearance was a real shot in the arm for popularizing bonsai in our region.
Link to the Akron and Wildwood demos
Other Craig Coussins photo pages on this website. Some are 2min downloads. If it comes up with page not found simply refresh the page and it will reappear for you.
Boston and Australia
Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg
Images General-Landscape and urban landscape
Niagara Falls and Toronto March 2005
Estonia and Tallinn 2004/2005
Gallery of images site-If you like my photographic work
Please visit some of my other images at:
With regard to one of my albums
titled California- Black and White Images/ California and Utah
One viewer made the following comments:
Emotionally powerful. Takes you outside yourself in an instant.
Even over the internet this comes across.
Thank you for sharing such spectacular work, Ann Thomas