The Art of Kusamono

Saturday, June 10, 2017, 9 am-12 noon

A Workshop with the Milwaukee Bonsai Society


Fee: $35/$30 members of Lynden or the Milwaukee Bonsai Society. This price is for participants bringing their own containers (see note on containers below). Participants may purchase containers for $10, payable day-of.

Registration: Space is limited; advance registration required. Register online or by phone at 414-446-8794.

In honor of the opening of the Bonsai Pavilion at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, the Milwaukee Bonsai Society is pleased to offer a workshop on the art of kusamono (or k'samono).

Originally, beautiful mountain grasses were dug and put into small containers and placed next to larger trees growing in pots (bonsai) to complement them. They completed the picture, telling the story of the season, location, ecology and history of the tree. Then, elements such as flowering plants and mosses and lichens were added to the pots to create a vignette, a small window of nature captured in time that changed and held the viewer’s interest through the seasons and through the years. Simplicity, tranquility and naturalness are the hallmarks of the best non-woody tray plantings called K’samono and they can stand alone to tell their own story as the seasons pass and bring pleasure to the viewer.

In this hands-on workshop, you will work one-on-one with an experienced teacher to learn the basic principles and techniques of kusamono. Following the principles of design, we will plant grasses, miniaturized non-woody plants such as ferns, forbs, and hosta as well as mosses and lichens in ‘found’ objects. Consonant with the bonsai exhibit’s goal of reusing and recycling, we will use found objects such as tiles, trivets, ceramic, porcelain, opaque glass or metal containers, natural objects such as driftwood, shells, volcanic lava rocks or smooth dolomite slabs repurposed as containers to frame these miniature plantings.

Note on containers:
Participants are encouraged to bring their own found objects. Look for size (4-10 inch diameter), color, shape, profile, stability and relative water resistance.
The best containers have drainage holes and feet to raise the container off the table. Be creative! A limited number of choices will be available at class for purchase.

The Milwaukee Bonsai Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals in their efforts to increase their knowledge and skills in the art of bonsai.

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