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Michael Hagedorn’s Review of Bonsai Empire’s Advanced Course


Bjorn Bjorholm, course instructor and highly respected bonsai artist and teacher, busy doing something he enjoys
The following was posted by Michael Hagedorn of Crataegus Bonsai.  We were going to do our own review here on Bark, but a major computer melt down followed by a long planned family vacation, has consumed almost all of our time. But not to worry, Michael Hagedorn knows more and writes better than almost everybody in our trade anyway, so you’re in good hands.

In Michael’s own words…
Once more we have an educational video from Bonsai Empire, using the talents of Bjorn Bjorholm. This is the longest of the three courses so far from the team of Bjorn and Bonsai Empire, running a full 6 hours.

“This is a good and helpful course. The strengths of the Advanced Course are its simplicity of presentation, Bjorn’s extensive and communicable knowledge, the written key points at the end of each section, and most especially the ‘Case Studies’ which cover specific topics on one tree in depth. I thought those in particular were well done, and I think that Bjorn’s presentation style is more conversational in the Case Studies as well.”

Fans of conifers will be satisfied, fans of deciduous will be satisfied; both are covered equally.”

Michael continued from above…
If I had to critique the course in any way I think the sections on ‘Environment’ and ‘Culture’ may seem a bit long for their points of utility to some people, as good as they are. I personally found them quite engaging and well done. It’s not easy to cater to all tastes and interests, and this section will appeal most to those already curious about history and culture. For those who prefer applicable ‘nuts and bolts’ tutorials, they will find that given the length of this course there is still tons of that kind of info.

“Aesthetically this course is simply gorgeous. The attention paid to a full range of images including slow mode, speeded up clips, and overhead views (I assume they did not rent helicopters) enliven this course beyond any of its predecessors.

The Advanced Course is a very solid showing of Bjorn’s, with Oscar’s usual clean packaging job which continues to get better with each installment. Those seeking to apply advanced bonsai techniques will benefit from seeing it done in a careful and clear manner, as presented in the Case Studies. In all I think this latest course is a very useful tool for bonsai enthusiasts and is a continuation of an excellent series that—given its video format and solid instruction—is second only to a live teacher.

For more about the Advanced Course including questions, please go to Bonsai Empire.”

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