A new chapter has begun

Hello all and thank you for the continuing support of my outdated and neglected blog. For those of you who still care (or if you jumped ship and happen to see this I still love you) or if you’ve been left in the dark I hope to clear things up in this post. I recently (2 months ago) returned from an 8 year apprenticeship with my master Shinji Suzuki. It was an honor and great privilege learning from one of the best in the business and I continue to wonder how I got so lucky, but luck turned into hard work and now it is beginning to pay off here in California, the place I’m calling home for the time being. As a major transition thus far in my life, I hope you guys can forgive me for slacking off and not doing any posts since I’ve been back, getting established here has proved more difficult than I imagined. However, I’ve been up and down the coast doing work here and there, including the studio of Boon Manakitivipart, the current godfather of American Bonsai. Boon helped prepare me for the tough life of being an apprentice, and made the introduction to my master possible.

Boon is a classy guy

As well as going up North to do work for Boon, I was down in So Cal working for Michelle Dougherty and her husband Mike of the Windsong Museum of Trees based out of Escondido. I had a great time while I was there and had the fortune of helping set up a Bonsai exhibit with Michelle, Mike and Gary Jones (long standing member and mentor of many in the San Diego Bonsai club). Gary is also a very generous and giving dude, setting the trees on display with him was quite a workout but we got the job done accordingly! Here are a few shots I was able to capture of the show, held inside of a Lexus dealership, of all places. It was a great atmosphere and has become a fond memory too.


A Hollywood Juniper belonging to Windsong that I styled for the show.

And here it is on display!
Sorry if the images don’t appear in order, still figuring out WordPress on my iPhone…




And some close ups just so you know I’m not hiding anything. ‘Unique’ eh? I put this planting together using a daring technique that I picked up from my master. It is a Cork Bark Black Pine, property of the Windsong Museum of Trees.








Well my friends, I think that’s it for today, but at least now you have a vague idea of what I’ve been up to in the short time I’ve been back. Much more to come, including trees I worked on from Boon’s yard, as well as a number of others I will be including in future posts so we can watch them develop over the next few years! Thanks, and you should be hearing from me soon.

2 thoughts on “A new chapter has begun

  1. Brian McGrath

    Hi Matt
    Glad to have you back. Have you had a chance to see the conference schedule . We are having a big one in Victoria this oct. Micheal Hedgadorn is attending and I was wondering if you might be coming up with him. I am attending all three of Micheal’s workshops, kind of my own intensive. It would be cool to see you again and if time permits show you what I have up here. Good luck with your new career here in North America.
    All the best
    Brian McGrath ( Qualicum Beach)

  2. Kenny

    Good to see you made it back safe (U.S.). Looking forward to not only see more of your work, but also working with you.


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