Classical Bonsai Art: A Half Century of Bonsai Study
Purchace from International Bonsai.
William Valavanis has another book coming out in early June, he has personally asked me to do a review of his book that took 50 years to make. Knowing Bill and his efforts and accomplishments in the bonsai community and around the world made me wonder what this book was going to be like. Was it to be a picture book much like his most previous release, Fine Bonsai: Art and Nature or was it going to be something different?
First impressions with are a big deal, and my first impression of Classical Bonsai Art: A Half Century of Bonsai Study can be described in one word, classy. I remember seeing it leaning against my front door beckoning me to tear open the box and to start thumbing through the pages immediately. As soon as I picked up the box I know this was going to be something special because the box itself was custom-made for specifically this book, with a snapshot of the cover and built in spacers so that the book would not wriggle around during shipping. I have never seen so much effort made in a packing box in my life, and I think no one should have anything to worry about with their book being damaged in transit. Enough about the box, I am sure that you want to know more about the book itself.
Once I stopped admiring the shipping box I was immediately struck by really heavy high quality glossy paper that was used, this terrifically allowed the text and pictures to jump off of the page. Filled with tons of high quality color popping photographs all I could do, and still do every time I pick this book up, is thumb through a devour the pictures.
Classical Bonsai Art: A Half Century of Bonsai Study contains the development history of exactly 100 of William’s trees from “Pre-Bonsai” to well developed tree or to masterpiece, he was really thinking ahead. Each of the 100 tress were divided into 4 categories, Deciduous; Narrow Leaf Evergreen; Flowering & Fruiting; Shohin. While throwing in valuable and informative “introductions” for each, filled with care guidelines, pruning and other techniques that are pertinent to each category. Now was every single tree picture within of such high quality that it deserved to be included, no I don’t think so. But I do believe that that is important if you are trying to reach a broad audience from beginner to advance enthusiast. I remember when I was just starting out with the “obsession” and I would pickup book with nothing but masterpiece bonsai and get really intimidated. Valavanis does include the obligatory bonsai history and style definitions, needed for the beginners, but keeps it short, only 20 pages of the 256 are allocated for this. All of this is followed by a short but inspiring pictorial of bonsai displays and bonsai gardens, I almost with that this section was larger.
So whether you are new to bonsai or a seasoned enthusiast I really believe that you will find not only get a high quality bonsai book with Classical Bonsai Art: A Half Century of Bonsai Study but also you will get a chronicle of what can be accomplished in only 50 years of passionately allowing your love for the art of bonsai be the driving force in what you do. The bottom line is that this is, yes, a picture book but, one on steroids, as there is so much more than just picture for inquisiting minds to gobble up.
[tabgroup][tab title=”Publishers Summary”]
For 50 years graduate horticulturist and international bonsai educator, Wm. N. Valavanis, has studied and perfected his bonsai techniques which are clearly explained in this book. He gives guidelines for creating deciduous, narrow leaf evergreen and flowering & fruiting bonsai. Shohin bonsai are depicted and explained in detail. Using his knowledge and techniques he demonstrates through photos, the creation of 100 classic bonsai.
[tab title=”About the Author”]
William N. Valavanis has made over fifty trips to Japan where he apprenticed with well-known bonsai artists Kyuzo Murata and Kakutaro Komuro in Omiya Bonsai Village in Japan. He is the proprietor of the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York, where he maintains a collection of classical bonsai.
[tab title=”Disclosure”]This book was provided for review by International Bonsai.[/tab][/tabgroup]