When Can We Claim Deciduous Work As Our Own?

Michael Hagedorn

‘Whose work is it?’ is a question often asked by those who go to bonsai shows. Both conifer and deciduous bonsai will have answers to that question, but how that computation is made differs significantly.

It is maybe easiest to understand how deciduous work is different by contrasting it with that of conifers. In most of our conifer bonsai work, the last person who adjusts the branches may claim the title of ‘the work’. In other words, if someone wires a conifer, and then someone else adjusts and places the branches and does the detailing, it’s the adjuster who can claim the work, not the wirer. This doesn’t happen often. It did happen a few times in Japan when we had a photo shoot to wrap up fast in the evening, and apprentices helped wire, but then Mr. Suzuki would set the branches. This is sort of a hypothetical as it…

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