About Ryan

          So how did a college student like myself get into bonsai with the "American bonsai pioneer" Dan Robinson? At a young age, I was inspired by the bonsai collection I saw at the Franklin Park Conservatory in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. After I turned eight, I always had two or three trees alive to play with thanks to the advice I took advice from Colin Lewis's Bonsai Survival Manual. Although I shed some tears when I killed my first tree, I learned and grew as a bonsai artist and eventually christened myself a master once I learned that trees do need water when you go on vacation! After that, I didn't kill so many trees, but I still had much to learn (I still do, for that matter).
          Delving into the plethora of online bonsai content later such as Graham Potter's carving demonstrations on YouTube inspired me to try to become more advanced by "apprenticing" with experienced bonsai artists - this is what led me to stumble on Dan's beautiful public garden in Bremerton, WA - hundreds of ancient bonsai just a 2-hour commute from my university, with the man that first began using power tools to carve bonsai, no less! Although I have been practicing bonsai for many years, the rate at which I have learned about bonsai has exponentially grown once I started volunteering at Elandan Gardens every weekend. Dan doesn't have much of an online presence, so I was lucky to stumble on his garden; I hope that by sharing his work and my own on this blog that I can inspire other future bonsai artists, and maybe teach you a thing or two along the way.
         My hope is that this blog will document and further that learning, my own growth, as well as the growth of my trees. I also hope you all will enjoy the trees of Dan's or my own that I am learning with and sharing in the process. Please feel free to share your opinions or critiques on any aspect of the blog or any tree in the comments of my posts! You can also contact me if you have inquiries you'd rather keep private.

P.S. If you're in the Seattle area, check out the Puget Sound Bonsai Association! Around the same time that I began working with Dan, I joined the local bonsai club. PSBA hosts many great events for experienced and new members such as guest artist demonstrations, new member workshops, period live and silent bonsai auctions, and events where we share bonsai with the public. I am currently involved in the club as the organizer for our Spring Show in collaboration with the Pacific Bonsai Museum's annual Bonsai Fest, a board member, and I am working on uploading the club's digital demonstration archive to YouTube.

Here I am with my first yamadori (wild collected tree). Through my knowledge of biology and Dan's experience, I hope to build on Dan's success in transplanting and cultivating great wild trees into bonsai.
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