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An Ode to Bjorn's Advanced Bonsai 2 Course


Bjorn Bjorholm introducing a monster Juniper that's part of his Advanced Bonsai 2 course 

I've been spending a couple hours a day for the past few days digging into Bjorn Bjorholm's Advance Bonsai Course 2 and I'm stoked. Bjorn's bonsai wizardry and deep knowledge combined with his relaxed and easy to follow personal style makes for a delightful way to deepen your bonsai understanding. And, thanks to those ingenious little pause and rewind buttons, you can do it at your own pace

If you haven't taken any of Bonsai Empire's online video courses, you might want to backtrack. If you're a newbie, I'd suggest going all the way back to the beginning courses (you might want to anyway, even if you're not a newbie). Or you could skip ahead to your own level or to what interests you. The choice is yours. All you have to do is visit Bonsai Empire, the host for these remarkable videos

We won't try to review the all courses here, nor will we even try to review all of Bjorn's Advanced 2 course. I'm learning new and valuable techniques from Bjorn and his masterful explanations of the reasoning behind the techniques, so I want to take my time and really dig in. Maybe when we're finished reviewing this section, we'll work our way through the other sections (see below) and then if I just can't stop , we'll work our way back through the other courses
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A good place to start... It's a yamadori One seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma). The first subject in Bjorn's Advanced 2 course

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In the first section of the Advanced 2 tutorial (the list of all 16 is below), the emphasis is on finding and exposing live veins, creating shari and building the primary trunk-line and branches
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 The all important live veins after cleaning and some carving

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You may have never seen, let alone laid hands on, such a powerfully massive tree. If you're anything like me, your first question might be, how do I even begin to know where to start? Fortunately, Bjorn knows, and even better, he knows how to communicate and illustrate the answer in a way that might even evoke an 'aha, I can do that.' Or, if it doesn't come to you immediately, you can always rewind (my approach)


Bjorn wiring. By this point a lot of ground has been covered. Enough to make sense of how to proceed with such a challenging tree


One hour and nine minutes later (in video time - real time would be a whole lot longer). A lot of ground has been covered and we're just beginning (the whole course is almost six hours) with some of best bonsai instruction I've ever been fortunate enough to witness. I can't wait for more!

This review is the first in what might develop into a long series. Not that you need more encouragement, but just in case you do...

 List of Sections in Bjorn's Advance 2 Bonsai course (approximately 5.6 hours)

1. Welcome
Conifer Case Studies
2. Yamadori Juniper Creation 
3. Pad Creation
4. Branch Splitting
5. Yamadori Pine Creation
6. Approach Grafting Folllow-up
7. Heavy Bending Follow-up
Broadleaf Case Studies
8. Nebari Creation
9. Deadwood Creation
10. Advanced Fertilization
11. Introduction
12. The Basics
13. Ogata
14. Chuuhin
16. Conclusion
17. Certificate

Stay posted!


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