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Ted Matson instructing on “five qualities of bonsai line”.
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Program: Ted Matson On Shohin And Mame Bonsai

Everyone who already knows Ted Matson knows that he is one of the best bonsai artists and teachers that you’ll find anywhere. For our newer members who may not yet know him, here is a brief biographical sketch: Ted began studying bonsai in 1979 in San Francisco and moved to Los Angeles in 1980, where he became involved in a number of clubs and began a serious pursuit of the art, taking classes from leading masters in Southern California. Although Ted is a lover of shohin bonsai, his collection includes trees of all sizes, styles and a range of species. His trees are known for their proportion and detail. Today, in addition to his own classes, he maintains a busy teaching schedule, traveling throughout the country. He is the curator of the bonsai collection at Huntington Gardens, which is near his home in Pasadena.

Ted’s subject this month will be shohin and mame bonsai. “Shohin” means “tiny thing”, or so a Google search tells me, and “mame” means “bean”, so we are talking about very small trees indeed. Rest assured that Ted’s presentation will be very informative as well as entertaining.

President’s Message:

It was so nice seeing everyone at our summer Pot Luck at John and Ann’s house. New members, old members, and even prospective members were in attendance. Everyone was excited heading into the final months of the year. Many thanks to our hosts for sharing their home as well as allowing us to tour their bonsai and succulent collections. Wonderful dishes abounded.

There were several inquiries about our Saturday workshops. We do have openings in both the 2nd and 3rd sessions, so please contact Wally,, so that he can follow up on your interests.

Our Tuesday club meeting is on the 13th this month. Ted Matson will be our special guest. Hope to see you at the meeting.

~ Tom

Last Month: Summer Potluck

Your overpaid newsletter editor was unable to attend the potluck at Ann Erb and John Kopp’s house, but everyone who did go said that it was, as always, a great get-together. Thanks very much, Ann and John! Susanne Barrymore was kind enough to provide a report and pictures for the newsletter. Below are her notes and a few of her pictures.

It is always an outstanding treat for me to see what Ann and John have done to their place, remembering what it was like at first. Such a treat to see all the fine bonsai, well cared for. There is so much of interest there to see, it’s hard to do it justice. Having put in several rain barrel tanks, they still have rainwater for the things that need it.

Ann was busy watering all her trees before we had lunch. Everything looked neat and tidy, which was a big job I understand, after a number of other occupations in which they were involved beforehand. A nice sort of greenhouse structure behind their garage workshop area had many varieties of fig, and a nice fenced area made a safe home for their cat, which I did not see. The selection of food was a great treat, and we all had comfortable places to sit, eat, and visit. Goska and Chris Ulivo-Materka’s two little girls were there again this year and seemed to have a good time, as did we all.

~ Susanne

Coming Events:

September 10: Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: 2rd Saturday Workshop With Ann Erb

9:30 AM until 12:30 PM, Room 8, Goleta Valley Community Center.

September 17: Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: 3rd Saturday Workshop With Guest Instructor.

9 AM until noon or 1 to 4 PM., Room 7, Goleta Valley Community Center. Mel Ikeda, guest instructor.

October 1–2: Conejo Valley Bonsai Society: 13th Annual Bonsai Exhibition

Resource Center, Gardens of the World, 2001 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks. Hours are 9 AM to 4 PM both days with demonstrations in the Bandstand at 11 AM and 2 PM. Free Admission. No sale of bonsai related items. For information, call Marj Branson at 805-373-1330 or visit

October 8–9 And 15-16: Bonsai Academy. The Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

Saturdays and Sundays, two weekends, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Bonsai master Ted Matson leads an intensive four-session gakko, or school, in the art of bonsai. Geared to beginners, the sessions explore the history of bonsai, basic tree botany and horticultural challenges, design concepts and training techniques, and bonsai display. All supplies and tools are provided, including demonstration trees for classroom practice. Huntington Members: $120, Non-Members: $135. Register online.

October 11: Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: Regular Tuesday Evening Meeting

Travis Goldstein, guest presenter, topic to be announced.

October 27-30, 2016: Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention 39

“A Bonsai Convergence: Gather At The Rivers”. Headliners: Ryan Neil and Bjorn Bjornholm. More Workshops and Seminars from: Kathy Shaner, David Nguy, Peter Tea, and others. Where: The Double Tree By Hilton 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA 95815. Hotel phone: 916-924-4900 (ask for the “GSBF Group Rate”). For more information contact Scott Chadd, GSBF President at 530-622-9681 or On-line registration is now open: