Kusamono for Beginners

Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 9 am-12 noon

A Workshop with the Milwaukee Bonsai Society

Kusamono for Beginners, 6/13/15

Fee: $70/ $63 members of Lynden or the Milwaukee Bonsai Society. This price includes one small tray planting in a ceramic container to take home.
Registration: Registration is now closed. For information on upcoming workshops, sign up for our e-list.

At Lynden, we think of bonsai as one of the most intriguing intersections of art and nature. This is why we have previously joined with the Milwaukee Bonsai Society to host some of their exhibitions and informal showings of bonsai. We are delighted to be able to offer a series of hands-on workshops that will introduce parents and children and teens to the art of bonsai.

A bonsai is a living sculpture, changing from day to day, season to season, and year to year. Because it is never finished, it celebrates all of nature: its cycles, its harshness, its resilience, its balance. Creating and caring for a bonsai combines the principles of design with the science of horticulture; it develops an appreciation for the world of trees and the world of three-dimensional artmaking.

Although we associate bonsai with small trees, related arts have grown up around companion plantings. In this hands-on workshop, you will work one-on-one with an experienced teacher to learn the basic principles and techniques of the art of kusamono (or k'samono). 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 custom handmade ceramic containers to create small tray plantings that will mature and delight through the years. Anyone with an interest in gardening, plants, ecology and nature and an appreciation for natural beauty will enjoy this workshop.

The Art of 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.

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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