BCI Magazine



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How will you improve your bonsai practice? A common belief is that it takes 10,000 hours to acquire a skill. Where are you on this continuum to virtuosity? Can you create a beautiful bonsai or carve a compelling suiseki? (No, it’s not a typo, I said carve a suiseki—not just the base or daiza but the actual stone.)

At 8 hours per day, five days a week, 10,000 hours equals approximately 5 years. But if you are not under the watchful eye of a teacher or coach, without a program or resources, it may take much longer. Most of us will never get to this level with our bonsai. Many of us are satisfied with only 50 hours of training, allowing for a “good enough” performance level, enjoying other aspects of the hobby, such as socializing with other bonsai friends or dabbling in related pastimes such as carpentry, photography, or making pots. Although we can go through the motions easily, no matter how much we practice, improvement is negligible. Compare this to the length of time a bonsai apprentice serves during a six-year period where 12-hour days are the norm. Regardless of where we are on this scale, we must respect each other and rejoice in what is accomplished, both by pros and amateurs. Read More...


















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