THE podcast thread

If it gets enough traction we may be able to get it pinned :crossed_fingers:t4:

@Bonsai_Bentley I will see which good ones we can share with you all soon :slight_smile:


Supposedly the Mirai team had been working on a blooper video before your arrival @Eve. It would be nice to use all saved material to make multiple blooper videos to share the funny a couple times a year. Thank you for your Mirai input as a Artist with a Calendar! :grinning:

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@Joe_Johanesen I am not sure about anything that would have been started before I got to Mirai… But I know two years back when I started, Josh and I used to collect all the blooper moments we could so we have a back stock on bloopers on our old editing drives!


Anyone have a link to the last blooper video?

I don’t think anything very long has been released publicly but there was this


Sam posted something. It was Ryan’s struggles with tech during Forum Q&A.

Oh I remember that video

EDIT: Here

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“We’ll clean up that pauses and, you know, swearing at the computer.” :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


I thoroughly enjoyed the Rodney Clemons podcast. I was expecting a “how to boxwood” episode, but it turned out to just be a nice discussion about bonsai, life, bonsai life, and self-reflection. Biggest takeaway was viewing your trees from underneath. It sounds corny, but when’s the last time you just laid underneath a tree? Bonsai or not. I’ve been conditioned to think that any branches that cross the trunk are trying to hide flaws. Looking in nature that’s not the case though. Trees grow radially and couldn’t care less about what you think the front should be.


Agreed, it was a cool look at a great person who happens to do Bonsai as a profession.

I do like to get down on my knees and twist by head round to look up a trees at Bonsai exhibitions. None of my trees are worth doing it to yet. With a good tree I can really get the feeling of being there in nature at the base of the tree. This is one tree I am remember from last years UK National Bonsai Show which gave me goosebumps.

I do wonder from the quality of people on the podcasts if all bonsai professions are a higher level of individual or if Ryan is just very good at curating who he podcasts with. I do enjoy just listening to the bonsai chat.


With my smaller trees, likes shohin or anything I can hold with one hand comfortably, I will rotate it in my hands to look at it from underneath (as well as top down and from the sides). It’s great to get all those perspectives when designing a tree.

What I took away from that, though, was that I do it analytically and maybe I should also do it from time to time for pure enjoyment.

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Is bonsai art? :thinking: Still in the middle of this one, but figured I’d do a stream of consciousness as I go.

They bring up an interesting point. Is the live demo a bit of performance art? My mind immediately went to the Japanese teppenyaki steak house. Is the chef dude that’s twirling knives, salt and pepper shakers, and forks doing a bit of performance art?

The very next point is something I’ve pondered as well. Are we, in American and I guess to a larger extent the rest of the world, doing bonsai? If not, what do we call it? I’ve always felt like I’m not. The motivations don’t seem the same. Culturally different for sure. It was at one time called penjing. Then bonsai. Now what?

I like the notion that bonsai is a craft (a daily one at that) and displaying them can be art (whether in exhibition or in other contexts).

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I agree. I consider myself more of a craftsman with no real intention of ever exploring the display/art side of things. That said, when a tree is done well it can evoke some sense of feeling or emotion. Is that due to the artistic side of things or is it a by-product of well done craftsmanship?

…Enthralled. I tried to find a single word that best described how I felt about the episode with Tom Roberts. If you enjoyed the Telperion Farms episode then you’ll love this one. Tom’s approach is more akin to how I envision I would approach a field growing effort. I typcially listen to episodes at 1.5x to 2x speed. I listened to this one a normal speed and immediately started it over again.

Some key takeaways for me:

  • Do what works for you. We keep saying there are no rules in bonsai and then immediately tell ppl that they shouldn’t be doing X at Y part of the year because of Z. A friend of mine prunes in the middle of summer. Why? Because he’s a school teacher and summer is when he’s most free to do those operations. Tom is sowing seeds in summer. Crazy!

  • Use Mirai as a foundation, not as a crutch. This feeling has slowly been creeping in for me. I absolutely would not be where I am (which really is just at the beginning) without Mirai. However, I recognize that I can’t rely on Mirai. I can’t be afraid to do something unless I submit a tree on a Monday and hope to get feedback that Friday…if I’m lucky. It’s usually the following Monday. Being in a completely different zone I’m usually not even working on the same species that is often prevalent at Mirai. It behooves me to take the lessons learned and apply them to my practice.

I could go on and on about this episode. Something about it really spoke to me. We need more ppl like Tom in the world.


The recent Beginner Series podcast with @Eve and @Josh is pretty fun. The episode touches on a lot of other topics and oddly enough not very much of it is about the beginner series itself. It’s a fun episode though and very much worth a listen.

Josh touched on a design idea that I’ve always wanted to toy with. That being the way a tree looks when humans come through to cut branches for power lines. Replacement for grass? Idk, it’s hard to visualize a suburban neighborhood without lawns.

Eve touched on the lack of women in bonsai. I won’t/can’t comment on that since I’m a dude, but I can kind of relate as a minority in bonsai. When I search YouTube I only find one person that looks like me from a complexion standpoint. I saw no one that looked like me at the few bonsai related events I’ve been to. It just kind of solidifies my feeling of being on an island as there’s very little bonsai activity around me. Thankfully the awesome Mirai community provides a sense of kinship and camaraderie.


I really enjoyed the latest podcast about PBMs latest exhibit World War Bonsai (which I still hope to see this year). Great talk by Eve, Aarin, and Nancy Ukai about the exhibit and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War 2. It is a hugely important thing to remember what happened and the ripple effect it still has in modern American bonsai culture. Hope everyone takes the time to listen.