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Bonsai Mirai: Asymmetry
86 minutes | Jul 30, 2021
The Rocky Mountains with Todd Schlafer
In this episode of Asymmetry, we are joined in the office by the familiar voice of Todd Schlafer, who is one of the most talented individuals traveling and teaching bonsai in North America. Now returning from a momentous trip to the Rocky Mountains near Todd's home, Ryan and him reflect on the shared experience of taking Mirai into the wild. Reminiscing, the two wrap their shared time together after weeks of working side by side and now look forward to the national show in Rochester. To see Todd Schlafer's work, check out his website First Branch Bonsai.
66 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, the Mirai garden is illuminated with joy and creativity as we are joined by our honored guest, kusamono professional Young Choe. Proudly compelling and feminine, Young guides us through her and early childhood in Korea and enlightens us with her evolution as a Kusamono artist, and the origins of her passion for horticulture. To see more of Young Choe's work, check out her website at kusamonochoe.com
117 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
New Mirai Live Educator: David Cutchin
In this episode of Asymmetry, we are elated to announce Mirai Live's new educator David Cutchin, a long-term student of Mirai with an extensive background in ecology and Southeastern American environments. As an expert in tropicals, propagation, and material cultivation and development for bonsai, David ushers us into a new era of Mirai Live instruction.
66 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Stone Monkey - Andrew Pearson
In this episode of Asymmetry, Andrew Pearson, the UK-based ceramic artist behind the Stone Monkey brand joins Ryan Neil remotely to discuss the evolution of Pearson’s artistic journey. Expressing his connection to the containers he meticulously crafts, and the creation of the permanent vessel for the nonpermanent living tree, Pearson guides us through his artistic odyssey and the complicated ethos that accompanies the artists’s perspective of their own creations. To shop the newest collection of ceramics from Stone Monkey check out our webstore.
84 minutes | May 22, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, ceramicist Nao Tokutake joins Ryan Neil for an in-depth conversation of ceramics, delving into the concept of the vessel, the clay, the chemistry, and the origins of the bonsai ceramic. As a young and upcoming ceramic artist in the Pacific Northwest, Nao profoundly details his personal journey from his roots in Japan to his background in engineering that serves to supplement his keen artistic approach to the bonsai vessel. Shop our collection of Nao Tokutake's ceramics in our webstore at: https://goods.bonsaimirai.com/collections/vendors?q=Nao%20Tokutake
114 minutes | May 7, 2021
Peter Warren: Pinching Japanese Maples
In this episode of Asymmetry, long-time friends and bonsai professionals Peter Warren and Ryan Neil catch up on the past year and discuss the highly debated topic of Japanese maple pinching. As a Mirai collaborator and a revered United Kingdom bonsai educator, Peter Warren is well respected for his practice and knowledge of acer palmatum bonsai cultivation. To learn more from Peter Warren, check out his website.
112 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
World War Bonsai: Remembrance and Resilience
For this episode of Asymmetry, the Mirai team visited the Pacific Bonsai Museum to shine a light on the current exhibit, World War Bonsai: remembrance and resilience. Eve Sczechowski sits down with museum curator Aarin Packard and researcher Nancy Ukai, who is the director of a digital project called 50 Objects/Stories: The American Japanese Incarceration. Listen and understand Nancy's perspective as a Japanese American with family members who were unjustly incarcerated during the 1940's, and understand how this history has majorly influenced the story of American bonsai. To see more about the exhibit at the Pacific Bonsai Museum, check out: https://pacificbonsaimuseum.org/on-view/exhibits/ To read more about Nancy Ukai and her 50 Objects digital project, check out: https://50objects.org/about/
112 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Joshua Roth Tools
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is joined by Ken Carlson, the owner of Joshua Roth bonsai tools. As a testament to the quality, Joshua Roth tools have stood the test of time as effective, durable, and professional-grade tools that have an immense influence on bonsai cultivation. They discuss Ken's history in tools, the New Talent competition, and their previous collaboration for the Artisans Cup. To shop our selection of Joshua Roth bonsai tools, check out our webstore at https://goods.bonsaimirai.com
96 minutes | Apr 10, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is remotely joined by Gil Marriner, a retired international pilot as well as a dedicated bonsai practitioner. They converse about what it takes to maintain a bonsai garden while juggling the schedule and responsibilities of a commercial pilot.
138 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is proud to announce a new Mirai Live educator and Australian bonsai professional Hugh Grant. As the founder and creative force behind Tree Makers Bonsai, Hugh teaches outstanding technical and aesthetically driven bonsai concepts with reference to native Australian species. As a long-time friend of Bonsai Mirai, Hugh joins us to share his unparalleled understanding on Australian bonsai culture that is soon to come to Mirai Live. To learn more about Hugh Grant and Tree Makers Bonsai go to https://www.treemakers.net/
99 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
The Beginner Series
In this episode of Asymmetry, Mirai team members Josh and Eve catch up with Ryan for a nostalgic review of the creation of the beginner series. Josh emphasized his bonsai journey has only begun, while Eve is soon to take on her first attempt in the coming weeks. Conversations are shared of childhood toys, fantastical interests, interpretations of nature, and species to use as bonsai subjects. To watch the beginner series, click here.
104 minutes | Mar 14, 2021
Field Growing with Randy Night
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan is joined by one of the most prolific providers of bonsai material in the northwest United States, Randy Knight. After working on a series of strong-based deciduous trees at Mirai, we recognize the profound resource of Randy's field growing operation experience. As familiar friends, the two discuss noteworthy insight on growing deciduous material, sapling cultivation, and catch up with one another since the New Year.
75 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
The Trophy: Luke and Christian
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil makes a long distance call to speak with Luc and Christian, both members of the bonsai association of Belgium, to discuss the annual bonsai Trophy. As a pillar of influence for European and North American bonsai, the Trophy is a massive exhibition. Understand what it takes to run this type of exhibition, how it came to be, and where it will go in the years to come. To see more about the Bonsai Trophy and the Bonsai Association of Belgium, check out their website at: https://bonsaiassociation.be/trophy/
75 minutes | Feb 21, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, the outstanding bonsai professional Mary Madison is interviewed by fellow Mirai student and deadwood artist David Cutchin. As a significant historical figure of in the development of bonsai culture, Madison has been a mentor to Ryan Neil as early as high school, and a driving force for bonsai practitioners worldwide. If you would like to more of Mary Madison's work, check out her website at Orlando Bonsai
73 minutes | Feb 13, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil visits bonsai practioner Tom Roberts at his field growing operation Driftwood Bonsai in Coos Bay, Oregon. After combing through the fields for material selection, this affable conversation between the two takes us down the path of Roberts's background and the origins of his passion for bonsai and field growing. To learn more about Tom Roberts and Driftwood Bonsai, check out http://www.driftwoodbonsai.com
91 minutes | Feb 5, 2021
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is virtually joined by the exceedingly talented Czech ceramicist Tom Benda. Understanding his process and artistic vision that contributes to the finished ceramic vessel is an asset to the creation of any bonsai composition. Benda’s most recent shipment is one that will inspire awe and fuel your inspiration this repotting season.
108 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Andrew Robson: Bonsai as Art versus Craft
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is remotely joined once again by bonsai professional Andrew Robson to delve into the discussion of bonsai as an art form versus a craft. This discussion is not a debate, but instead an exercise of thought to stimulate fascinating conversations about the practice of bonsai in the greater context of the artistic world. To learn more about Andrew Robson and his work, check out his website at https://www.rakuyobonsai.com
47 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
The Next Decade of Mirai
In this unique episode of Asymmetry, Ryan flies solo for a different paced podcast to jumpstart the New Year. Expressing his thoughts and ambitions for Bonsai Mirai, he shares the origin story that has built the brand over the past ten years, and explores his aspirations for this next legendary decade of bonsai.
82 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Year Wrap with Todd Schlafer
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is remotely joined by good friend and fellow bonsai professional and educator Todd Schlafer for a discussion about the shared experiences and oddities of being bonsai professionals stuck in their own gardens, reflecting on an overall strange year. They reconnect about their facility improvements, garden management, juniper cultivation, and the forever evolving design process of collected native material. To see more about Todd's facility, check out his website at https://www.firstbranchbonsai.com
95 minutes | Nov 28, 2020
In this episode of Asymmetry, Ryan Neil is remotely joined by Rodney Clemons, a beguiling bonsai professional based in Georgia who humors us with his personability and guides us through his bonsai discovery. This long-awaited conversation sparks a reminder of the massive impact Rodney's approach to bonsai had on Ryan when he first returned from Japan, witnessing the magical garden facility that Rodney ardently built with his wife Charlie over the years.
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