• Tom Lau

XX Large Bonsai-A-Thon

The end of February always brings a joy of anticipation because my bonsai World is about to wake up and need my attention. This event seems to be the kick off of Spring and I always look forward to this event year after year.

This was an unusual year, I have been volunteering since the my 2nd Bonsai-A-Thon. While this year with some internal changes my normal post as volunteer cook was not needed. So I took the opportunity to look around the vendors and display area a little slow and in depth.

At the huge vendor area, there was maybe 15 vendors. I did not get a chance to take everybody's picture. Partly, because I got into the stuff than remembering to take photos. So if, you do not see yourself in this post I apologize ahead of time.

Here is Barry from Legacy Oaks selling his remain trees from his property. I have posted an earlier blog post about his products. He had a 30% off sale on all his stuff.

Gary Lai had some nice plants for sale. He had some almost display ready plants for sale on both days. Some of his product were gone by the time I took a 2nd round around the vendor area.

You can not miss Nathan Simmon at any show or event. He is 6'4" and is known for his expertise in Japanese chop pots. Most of his inventory is made up of marked japanese pots. I do not want to know what his pot storage looks like.

Of course how do you miss Lady June at any bonsai event. David was absent during the time I ran by. My guess he was helping with public event with Huntington guest producing their very first bonsai.

Dick Ryderson has been another staple at most major events. He has a nack for throwing oval and round pots. None of his pots are mold based pots so each pot will have a different personality from each other.

There was a ton of Harry's stones on the auction table for both days. Here was an early gimples of what was available for the event. Some classic Eel River stones and some Murphy stones.

Some of the last California Junipers selected and dig by the Harry team was up for the auction blocks. Roughly 18 trees went to good homes on this weekend. All the trees were really healthy and needed their first styling.

Of course there was the Huntington's Sales Area. There were enough stones to build a foundation of a house present at the sales. Tons of classic stones and many smaller one. Also two other donators had items up for sale in this area. Here is a picture of Bill W. on the left as they setup to open this sales area.

The display area was from a variety of people. Tree above was from Tom Vuong from Orange County Bonsai.

This shimpaku juniper above is proudly styled and owned by Tak Shimazu.

Finally, this lovely beauty was displayed and owned by Jason Chan of the O.C.

We had a wide range of demonstration people this year. We had some familar faces and we had some new faces that we had never seen before. Of course no Foemina juniper would be complete if Micheal Sykes did not touch it. I really believe that Micheal have mastered this species of material completely.

Jason Chan is a newcomer to the demonstration circuit. Jason is the webmaster for GSBF and student of David Nguy. Also, Jason has a store called Eastern Leaf Bonsai in Chino.

Chas NSX is another newcomer to the demonstration circuit. I have seen Chas on Youtube before. Thank you for being a demonstrator this year.

Tak Shimazu is in my opinion the Gold standard for high quality craftsmanship. Almost everything I have seen Tak touchs has gone from blah to wow. He has a the nack for a lack of a word for seeing the statue within the stone.

Jonathan Fuentes is rather new to me. I have heard his name before in the bonsai community. He did a demo on Narrow Leaf Ficus. Do not ask me about the scientific name, people can not make up their minds

Of course Peter Macasieb, who I call the "Renaissance Man of Bonsai." Peter is will accomplished in the Shohin size of bonsai. But, little to most people Peter is also a master potter and grafter. There is nothing this man can do if he puts his mind to it. Keep it up Peter.

Here are some of the final demonstration trees from Saturday. Above is of course Micheal Sykes Foemina juniper.

Tak Shimazu's shohin size shimpaku juniper.

And finally, Peter Macasieb's California Juniper. There is a short story behind this tree. Peter was sick on the day Harry went digging. So Harry promised Peter he would pick out and dig a tree for him. Maybe 2-3 week past Peter calls Harry to see how he doing and if he had a collected a tree for him. This tree above was sitting in a trash bag, tossed around in a truck to turn into this beauty. We all knew Harry Pressence was at this year's Bonsai-A-Thon.

Some random auction pictures. I was drafted to help parade the auction material into the room. Sorry if the pictures are not to par compared to the other photos.

I have to thank Bill W. and Ted M. for putting together another great fundrasier for GSBF Southern Collection. I had a great time. I still did not get around to see the behind the scene tour with my free time. Have to thank the Hairo Family for letting the Huntington help sell Harry's Bonsai and Stone related items. Finally, like to thank all the volunteers doing all the behind the scene stuff so we could enjoy the show and event.