Taught by Michael Levin and Zuma Fleischmann, the School of Bonsai West is a specialized 12-month program dedicated to deepening the craft and art of bonsai. Using the Bonsai West Collection and students’ trees, we will practice horticulture and design theory, cultivating a deep understanding of bonsai across many species. The School’s curriculum is designed to be a year-long Masterclass.
Workshops are project-oriented and content is student-determined. Bring your own tree with your own project and goals in mind. We’re there to assist, guide, and help with that project as needed. We provide tools (if you don’t bring your own), soils, wire and, of course, our expertise. Workshops do not have a lecture or formal teaching component, but everyone is welcome to listen to any explanations and watch any other projects as they occur. Workshop duration is generally 4 hours, though we offer several all-day workshops, often led by a visiting Bonsai Master.
Classes are built around a theme, whether it is a specific species of tree, such as Pines, Maples, or Indoor Bonsai, a certain style of bonsai (i.e., forest-planting or cascading bonsai) or a technique or skill you want to learn about or brush up on, such as Planting on a Slab, Wiring Techniques, or Repotting and Root Pruning. Classes include all or most materials, and range in level from Beginner’s to Intermediate and Advanced content. While some classes are held on an all-day format, mostly the duration is from 3 to 4 hours.
Listen to a presenter show and explain their subject matter, and watch as they demonstrate techniques and transformations as part of the event. While students are invited to ask questions and take a close look, there is no hands-on component or material involved. Lecture/demos usually last an hour or two, and everyone is free to come and watch.
Private lessons involve a direct one-on-one session with a bonsaist. The student comes equipped with a plan or subject they wish to delve into, and their bonsaist works with them to accomplish their goals. Typically private lessons are meant for advanced projects, but can be tailored to any students needs. Private lessons are scheduled in advance and are tailored to the student’s timeframe; the duration is usually one hour, though we’re happy to arrange for longer sessions.