There are a few 2021 Courses at Mirai left!

Welcome to Defining Techniques

Greetings Mirai Community,I hope this finds you as well as can be expected in these challenging times. Registration for classes in 2021 is nearing an end and we have just a handful of spots left. The evolution of Mirai Education is happening now, this is a long email but I encourage you to read it all to understand where we started, where we’ve come, and where we are going to understand the changes to our educational structure and make the decisions that are right for you.

The familiar has become a cloudy distant memory and we are all forced to find a new normal inside evolving times. There is no returning to what was for most of us but inside of this, there is an inevitable opportunity. It’s within this quest for improvement, as facilitated by the Mirai community’s tremendous fortitude and anticipation for a brighter future, that we launch into a new structure of education at Mirai. What is changing about Education at Mirai?The past 10 years have been a phenomenal journey. Mirai was born out of the ethos that knowledge builds artistry. From the growth of individual student creativity, to the watershed event that was the Artisans Cup, to all the incredible pieces displayed amongst the best trees in the country at the National Show by Mirai’s brightest and best; I have no doubt that Mirai students have been empowered by knowledge. In achieving this we’ve also collaborated as a community to create and formalize a diverse methodology of thought and approach that is true to each of us as individuals. Mirai has not created rules. Mirai has not judged aesthetic preferences. Together we’ve focused on the creation of intentional design, facilitated by conceptual understanding, that gives you, the individual, a voice through the medium of bonsai. And like all good things that begin the process of learning, 10 years into Mirai, we are at a point where it’s time to evolve. The species-specific focus of Mirai’s Defining Concepts Courses provided students with a foundation. We’ve come to understand Pines, Junipers, and Elongating Species on a level they haven’t been discussed in the western world to date. We needed this understanding to have a reference, we needed a foundation. At the same time, we created Mirai Live, a platform that paralleled our course education. By showing a high-level execution of the topics discussed in class, students have a high-level reference to learn what we discuss. It’s within this strategic combination of learning opportunities Mirai has built our foundational bonsai knowledge. However, knowledge alone doesn’t necessarily translate to us achieving our highest potential. Breaking new ground and pushing our limits of potential requires a combination of knowledge and technique. We are at a point where we can combine the concepts we practice across different species if we understand the techniques. Bonsai is a lifestyle and recognizing the cross-pollination of approaches is facilitated by technique. And so we see ourselves at another turning point at Mirai, entering a period where we focus, where we grind, where we dedicate ourselves to the mastery of technique. No longer will classes sacrifice 30% of our time to lecture, we’ve built the tools to provide this in a more efficient and practical way. No longer will we spend class time shoring up our knowledge through Q and A, we’ve refined our ability to address these opportunities. Instead, Mirai’s future is going to be built on the back of your hard work and desire to become Black Belts in the martial art of Bonsai through mastery of technique. By combining techniques with the knowledge we’ve built, we are beginning to build a much brighter and more communicative Bonsai future. It’s time. Mirai is ready to take the next step and continue helping the advanced, intermediate, and beginning students reach their next level. So, without further ado, the new Defining Techniques educational structure is as follows: What do Defining Techniques courses look like? 1. Students will sign up for 3 day session(s) at Mirai depending on the scope of knowledge they wish to learn. Each 3 day session will have a list of topics that are appropriate to cover at that time of year. These sessions are NOT species specific. These are cumulative sessions to address bonsai work appropriate for that time of year.  Students are NOT limited to the number of sessions you attend each year. Our goal is to provide self-directed opportunities to help you improve in areas you are weak and to push your skills in the process.2. 10 days prior to your session you will receive a digital lecture tailored to the topics we are going to be working to execute technically in your session. You will also receive a curriculum of Mirai Live content you are expected to not only watch, but also have practiced the techniques involved to develop as much familiarity as possible. If students come to class without having watched the lecture and practiced the necessary skills, the scope of work given in class will be significantly reduced. 3. 3 days prior to your session we will have a live Q and A session via Zoom to shore up your knowledge and define the focus of your time at Mirai4. The day you show up the workshop will be prepared with workspaces for your trees, or with trees Mirai has prepared for you to advance your technical abilities based on what you defined as your focus in the live Q and A. We will strictly focus on the act of technical application. PLEASE UNDERSTAND, YOU ARE HERE TO MASTER TECHNIQUE and you are here to WORK. 5. All 3 days will be hands-on. Students can focus on one scope of work, or on multiple scopes of work across multiple species. However, once a student begins a piece of work it is expected that the student will FINISH THE WORK. Again, you are here to master the technique, and that means you will need to dedicate yourselves to that objective.FAQ’s1. Can I bring my own trees? Absolutely! We encourage you to bring your trees and advance your technical skills on your own work. HOWEVER, we do ask that you bring only trees you can accomplish the work on and no more than that. Defining Techniques classes are NOT a time for Ryan to critique and provide broad feedback on your Bonsai collection.2. Am I limited to the number of courses I can take in a year?NO! In fact, the new system creates more opportunities to study, provides more information for each session, and is designed to improve and maximize your ability to advance as far as you want to go as a Bonsai practitioner. Please, take as many classes as you’d like.3. Are there beginner classes, intermediate classes, or advanced classes?Defining Techniques classes are homogenous across all skill sets. However, advanced students will be tasked with assisting beginner and intermediate students to improve their skills. Like it or not, teaching demands mastery of technique, and Mirai’s advanced students are expected to offer mentorship during class to help them advance their own understanding. 4. How many students will be in each class?5 students maximum with no exceptions. Over the course of Defining Concepts class size continued to grow because Mirai did not want to stop the progress of student’s improvement. This did develop into a difficult dynamic. With the new system being limitless in the number of courses a student can take, and being self-directed in regards to timing, there is no limitation to educational advancement thus eliminating the increase in class size. 5. How much does a 3-day session cost?$1200. This includes a guided curriculum, comprehensive lecture, Live Q and A session, and 3 full days of hands on technical application without lecture or Q and A interruption.  Any way you conceptualize the workload and value, we’ve increased the quality of education and quantity of education without increasing the price. 6. How do I sign up? Fill out and submit the 2021 Defining Techniques Registration Form, and our team at Mirai will notify you whether your desired weeks have available space for your participation. Please note the registration form link is updated every business day and there are courses that are currently full and will be marked as waitlist only or removed from the form when full.  Classes that are not shown as waitlisted are filled on first come first served basis. Upon confirmation, you will be invoiced for 50% of the $1200 class fee, or $600. This is a non-refundable deposit that secures your spot. You will be responsible for paying the remaining $600 when you arrive for class. You will need to submit payment of your non-refundable deposit within 7 days to secure your spot or your spot will be made available to the next student wishing to study at that time.7. Finally, what if I don’t find something I’d like to learn listed in the offered weeks of study? Perfect, email us and ask when a specific scope of work might take place and if we will be addressing it. We’ve done our best to create a year-long curriculum, but the annual cycle of bonsai at Mirai is robust and we have surely forgotten something. Just let us know and we can communicate whether we have the capacity to add additional scopes to the appropriate times of the year. 

Okay, so….when are the classes? Below are all the classes for the year.  The 2021 Defining Techniques Registration Form will show what classes are full and is updated daily.  Here we go!Week #1
:Dates: Friday, January 8 – Sunday, January 10Focus: Repotting fundamentals including soil prep, top dressing prep, tool prep. Focus on repotting of Field Grown Pine, Coastal Cypress, Coastal Oak – Build technical proficiency in the handling of field-grown pine roots and their transition to a Bonsai container for the first time. Learn the nuances and soil compositions for different species of field-grown pines and expand your technical understanding of how to handle Cypress and Oak in this dynamic time of repotting to begin the season. Notes: Although the focus of this session is on repotting, the fundamental component is on an as-needed basis. For example, you will probably sift soil, but the education is not on sifting soil. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 1 classWeek #2Dates: Monday, January 18 – Wednesday, January 20Focus: Repotting fundamentals including soil prep, top dressing prep, tool prep. Focus on repotting of Field Grown Pine, Yamadori Pine – Further your ability to handle complex field grown stock. In addition, learn the nuances and differences to handling Pine Yamadori. Notes:  Although the focus of this session is on repotting, the fundamental component is on an as-needed basis. For example, you will probably sift soil, but the education is not on sifting soil. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 2 class. Week #3Dates: Friday, January 29 – Sunday, January 31Focus: Repotting Yamadori Pine – Final week of Pine repotting and handling the most complex Yamadori pieces. Learn the intricacies of the most intense root manipulation and specifics of handling pines during repotting.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 3 class. Students must have repotted at Mirai for at least one season before signing up for this session. Week #4Dates: Monday, February 8 – Wednesday, February 10Focus: Repotting fundamentals including soil prep, top dressing prep, tool prep. Focus on repotting Junipers of all shapes and sizes including whips, filed grown stock, and Yamadori Junipers. Notes: Although the focus of this session is on repotting, the fundamental component is on an as-needed basis. For example, you will probably sift soil, but the education is not on sifting soil. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Juniper 1 classWeek #5Dates: Friday, February 19 – Sunday, February 21Focus: Repotting fundamentals including soil prep, top dressing prep, tool prep. Focus on repotting Junipers and Yamadori Junipers of medium size. Smaller Junipers are not necessarily easier but we dive into the nuances of smaller Juniper handling specifically this week. Notes: Although the focus of this session is on repotting, the fundamental component is on an as-needed basis. For example, you will probably sift soil, but the education is not on sifting soil. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Juniper 2 classWeek #6Dates: Monday, March 1 – Wednesday, March 3Focus: Repotting Yamadori Juniper. Final week of Juniper repotting handling the most complex Yamadori pieces. Learn the intricacies of the most intense root manipulation and specifics of handling Junipers during repotting.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Juniper 3 class. Students must have repotted at Mirai for at least one season before signing up for this session.Week #7Dates: Friday, March 12 – Sunday, March 14Focus: Repotting fundamentals including soil prep, top dressing prep, tool prep. Focus on repotting Elongating Species and Broadleaved Deciduous material. As we enter the beginning of active growth we hit the optimal time to work on both genres in the repotting process.Notes: Although the focus of this session is on repotting, the fundamental component is on an as-needed basis. For example, you will probably sift soil, but the education is not on sifting soil. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Elongating Species 1 class with the addition of Broadleaved repotting. Week #8Dates: Monday, March 22 – Wednesday, March 24Focus: Repotting fundamentals including soil prep, top dressing prep, tool prep. Focus on repotting Elongating Species and Broadleaved Deciduous material. As we enter the beginning of active growth we hit the optimal time to work on both genres in the repotting process.Notes: Although the focus of this session is on repotting, the fundamental component is on an as-needed basis. For example, you will probably sift soil, but the education is not on sifting soil. This session would correlate to Defining Elongating Species 2 class with the addition of Broadleaved repotting.Week #9Dates: Friday, April 2 – Sunday, April 4Focus: Repotting Yamadori Elongating Species and larger Broadleaved trees. The final week of repotting for both genres, handling the most complex Yamadori pieces. Learn the intricacies of the most intense root manipulation and specifics of handling both genres during repotting.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Elongating Species 3 class with the addition of Broadleaved repotting.Students must have repotted at Mirai for at least one season before signing up for this session.Week #10Dates: Monday, April 12 – Wednesday, April 14Focus: Spring work on Elongating Species, Juniper, and Broadleaved species including pruning, styling, and pinching. As we enter the growth phase of the season we see an optimal time to be making aesthetic changes and to begin the growth management process. Different species begin growth at staggered times and this allows us to work on Spruce, Redwood, Larch, Hemlock, Doug and true Fir, Deciduous, Juniper, and Cypress to a varying degree. Timing and operations depend on the pace of the trees and their state of growth but we are sure to mix up a multitude of these techniques as we explore the broad concept of creation and development. Notes: This will be a heavy session of wiring. Students will be expected to have watched and rehearsed the Mirai wiring methodology. We will not be teaching wiring, instead, we will be improving your wiring and mixing in growth management with wire and design applications. Week #11Dates: Friday, April 23 – Sunday, April 25Focus: Spring work on Elongating Species, Juniper, and Broadleaved species including pruning, styling, and pinching. As we enter the growth phase of the season we see an optimal time to be making aesthetic changes and to begin the growth management process. Different species begin growth at staggered times and this allows us to work on Spruce, Redwood, Larch, Hemlock, Doug and true Fir, Deciduous, Juniper, and Cypress to a varying degree. Timing and operations depend on the pace of the trees and their state of growth but we are sure to mix up a multitude of these techniques as we explore the broad concept of creation and development. Notes: This will be a heavy session of wiring. Students will be expected to have watched and rehearsed the Mirai wiring methodology. We will not be teaching wiring, instead, we will be improving your wiring and mixing in growth management with wire and design applications. Week #12Dates: Monday, May 3 – Wednesday, May 5Focus: Spring work on Elongating Species, Juniper, and Broadleaved species including pruning, styling, and pinching. As we enter the growth phase of the season we see an optimal time to be making aesthetic changes and to begin the growth management process. Different species begin growth at staggered times and this allows us to work on Spruce, Redwood, Larch, Hemlock, Doug and true Fir, Deciduous, Juniper, and Cypress to a varying degree. Timing and operations depend on the pace of the trees and their state of growth but we are sure to mix up a multitude of these techniques as we explore the broad concept of creation and development. Notes: This will be a heavy session of wiring. Students will be expected to have watched and rehearsed the Mirai wiring methodology. We will not be teaching wiring, instead, we will be improving your wiring and mixing in growth management with wire and design applications. Week #13Dates: Friday, May 14 – Sunday, May 16Focus: Air layering Juniper, Broadleaved Deciduous, and Elongating Species. Approach Grafting Juniper branches and roots. Live vein reduction on Junipers. Pinching and growth management on Elongating Species. We will dig into the propagation of grafting stock and medium or small-sized material for both our Junipers and deciduous material. We may also have the chance to air-layer material for raft or shohin creation on species in the Elongating Species category. In addition, we will take the opportunity to graft branching and roots on several Yamadori Junipers to improve the success of the material as Bonsai as we further work on live vein reduction and growth management as a continuation of previous weeks. Notes: This class is not about production, it is about accuracy. Students will be expected to both take part, as well as find value in observing the intricacies of each project since every tree will demand a customized approach. We will intermix operations to keep us busy but be prepared to take part in every aspect of grafting from support to execution.Week #14Dates: Monday, May 24 – Wednesday, May 26Focus: Air layering Juniper, Broadleaved Deciduous, and Elongating Species. Approach Grafting Juniper branches and roots. Live vein reduction on Junipers. Pinching and growth management on Elongating Species. We will dig into the propagation of grafting stock and medium or small-sized material for both our Junipers and deciduous material. We may also have the chance to air-layer material for raft or shohin creation on species in the Elongating Species category. In addition, we will take the opportunity to graft branching and roots on several Yamadori Junipers to improve the success of the material as Bonsai as we further work on live vein reduction and growth management as a continuation of previous weeks. Notes: This class is not about production, it is about accuracy. Students will be expected to both take part, as well as find value in observing the intricacies of each project since every tree will demand a customized approach. We will intermix operations to keep us busy but be prepared to take part in every aspect of grafting from support to execution.Week #15Dates: Friday, June 4 – Sunday, June 6Focus: Pines, Pines, Pines, some Elongating Species, and partial defoliation on Broadleaved Species. We will be post-flush harden pruning short-needle single-flush Pines, decandling multi-flush Pines, cleaning up five-needle Pines, and doing post-flush hardening work on our Elongating Species like Spruce, Hemlock, and Fir. This is a magical time of year to learn pruning as a way to enhance our Bonsai’s shape.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 1 class.Week #16Dates: Monday, June 14 – Wednesday, June 16Focus: Pines, Pines, Pines, some Elongating Species, and partial defoliation on Broadleaved Species. We will be post-flush harden pruning short-needle single-flush Pines, decandling multi-flush Pines, cleaning up five-needle Pines, and doing post-flush hardening work on our Elongating Species like Spruce, Hemlock, and Fir. This is a magical time of year to learn pruning as a way to enhance our Bonsai’s shape.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 2 class.Week #17Dates: Friday, June 25 – Sunday, June 27Focus: Pines, Pines, Pines, some Elongating Species, and partial defoliation on Broadleaved Species. We will be post-flush harden pruning short-needle single-flush Pines, decandling multi-flush Pines, cleaning up five-needle Pines, and doing post-flush hardening work on our Elongating Species like Spruce, Hemlock, and Fir. This is a magical time of year to learn pruning as a way to enhance our Bonsai’s shape.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 3 class.Week #18Dates: Monday, July 5 – Wednesday, July 7Focus: Junipers, Junipers, and some more Junipers. ’Tis the season for Juniper work. We will be devoted to all aspects of Juniper design from live vein cleaning and deadwood maintenance and design, to styling raw stock, to refining Mirai’s best. Come ready to clean, wash, prune, and wire Junipers of all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Juniper 1 class.Week #19Dates: Friday, July 16 – Sunday, July 18Focus: Junipers, Junipers, and some more Junipers. ’Tis the season for Juniper work. We will be devoted to all aspects of Juniper design from live vein cleaning and deadwood maintenance and design, to styling raw stock, to refining Mirai’s best. Come ready to clean, wash, prune, and wire junipers of all shapes, sizes, and varieties.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Juniper 2 class.Week #20Dates: Monday, July 26 – Wednesday, July 28Focus: Junipers, Junipers, and some more Junipers. ’Tis the season for Juniper work. We will be devoted to all aspects of Juniper design from live vein cleaning and deadwood maintenance and design, to styling raw stock, to refining Mirai’s best. Come ready to clean, wash, prune, and wire junipers of all shapes, sizes, and varieties.Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Juniper 3 class.Week #21Dates: Friday, August 6 – Sunday, August 8Focus: ADVANCED heavy bending and subsequent design on Pine and Juniper. August in the Pacific NW is a great time to do heavy bending and make big moves on the structure of most types of Pine and Juniper. For students who have earned their stripes at Mirai, this is an advanced opportunity to further your skills and dig into some of the bigger work under Ryan’s guidance.Notes: This class requires you to have been a student at Mirai for at least 3 years and at least one of those years was spent studying either Juniper or Pine. Week #22Dates: Monday, August 16 – Wednesday, August 18Focus: ADVANCED heavy bending and subsequent design on Pine and Juniper. August in the Pacific NW is a great time to do heavy bending and make big moves on the structure of most types of Pine and Juniper. For students who have earned their stripes at Mirai, this is an advanced opportunity to further your skills and dig into some of the bigger work under Ryan’s guidance.Notes: This class requires you to have been a student at Mirai for at least 3 years and at least one of those years was spent studying either Juniper or Pine.Week #23Dates: Friday, August 27 – Sunday, August 29Focus: ADVANCED heavy bending and subsequent design on Pine and Juniper. August in the Pacific NW is a great time to do heavy bending and make big moves on the structure of most types of Pine and Juniper. For students who have earned their stripes at Mirai, this is an advanced opportunity to further your skills and dig into some of the bigger work under Ryan’s guidance.Notes: This class requires you to have been a student at Mirai for at least 3 years and at least one of those years was spent studying either Juniper or Pine.Week #24Dates: Monday, September 6 – Wednesday, September 8Focus: Black Pine field-grown styling and Ponderosa Pine paradise. That’s right, September marks the moment in the year when we get to dedicate ourselves to the two species of pine that continue their growth until early fall. We will focus on initial work for field-grown Black Pines in development, the pruning aspects of continuing Pine development, and secondary and tertiary stylings of developed Ponderosa Pines.Notes: This session will require students to be proficient with the use of heavier gauges of copper wire.Week #25Dates: Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 19Focus: Black Pine field-grown styling and Ponderosa Pine paradise. That’s right, September marks the moment in the year when we get to dedicate ourselves to the two species of Pine that continue their growth until early fall. We will focus on initial work for field-grown Black Pines in development, the pruning aspects of continuing pine development, and secondary and tertiary stylings of developed Ponderosa Pines.Notes: This session will require students to be proficient with the use of heavier gauges of copper wire. Week #26Dates: Monday, September 27 – Wednesday, September 29Focus: Elongating Species pruning, styling, and creation. Yes, oh yes, the onset of Fall marks the beginning of a major season for Spruce, Hemlock, Thuja, Hinoki, and Cryptomeria work. We will be focusing on new tree creation while we also take advantage of the timing to further refine and utilize the fruits of the summer’s growth. Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Elongating Species 1 class.Week #27Dates: Friday, October, 8 – Sunday, October 10Focus: Elongating Species pruning, styling, and creation. Yes, oh yes, the onset of Fall marks the beginning of a major season for Spruce, Hemlock, Thuja, Hinoki, and Cryptomeria work. We will be focusing on new tree creation while we also take advantage of the timing to further refine and utilize the fruits of the summer’s growth. Notes: This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Elongating Species 2 class.Week #28Dates: Monday, October 18 – Wednesday, October 20Focus: OPEN SEASON. The heart of October and early November is perhaps the most diversified moment of work in the entire season. We will be doing every aspect of Juniper styling, fall pruning of Deciduous whose leaves have expired, the styling of Elongating Species, and anything else we haven’t gotten around to from the perspective of Pines and Broadleaved work. This will be a design-heavy session. Week #29Dates: Friday, October 29 – Sunday, October 31Focus: OPEN SEASON. The heart of October and early November is perhaps the most diversified moment of work in the entire season. We will be doing every aspect of Juniper styling, fall pruning of Deciduous whose leaves have expired, the styling of Elongating Species, and anything else we haven’t gotten around to from the perspective of Pines and Broadleaved work. This will be a design-heavy session. Week #30Dates: Monday, November 8 – Wednesday, November 11Focus: Multi-flush Pine shoot selection, strength balancing, and refinement design. Finally, a season dedicated to the most important period of the year for Multi-flush Pines. Learn nuances to styling full and highly ramified Black and Red Pine to further their refinement. Notes: This session will require a focus on secondary/tertiary wiring….like, you’ll be wiring all day long. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 1 class.Week #31Dates: Friday, November 19 – Sunday, November 21Focus: Multi-flush Pine shoot selection, strength balancing, and refinement design. Finally, a season dedicated to the most important period of the year for Multi-flush Pines. Learn nuances to styling full and highly ramified Black and Red Pine to further their refinement.Notes: This session will require a focus on secondary/tertiary wiring….like, you’ll be wiring all day long. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 2 class.Week #32Dates: Monday, November 29 – Wednesday, December 1Focus: Redwood fall styling and the finality of Multi-flush Pine shoot selection, strength balancing, and refinement design. We will be mixing up the species in this final course of the year to include the beginning of the redwood season. Learn nuances to styling full and highly ramified Black and Red Pine to further their refinement and further build your skills around the handling of Redwood fall design creation. Notes: This session will require a focus on secondary/tertiary wiring….like, you’ll be wiring all day long. This session would correlate to Defining Concepts Pine 3 class.Please remember that registration is entered by the order in which responses are received to the 2021 Defining Techniques Registration Form. Confirm your spot via the form by October 31st. The deposit deadline to secure your spot is November 7th. If you have any questions, email us at info@bonsaimirai.com.

We look forward to seeing you in class next year!

Thanks,
Bonsai MiraiHow do I register?Fill out the applicable form provided above or here 2021 Defining Techniques Registration Form. Once we confirm there is a spot for you, we will send you an invoice. You will officially secure your spot when you send us your deposit. Cash or check is preferable, though we also accept payment online (service charge will apply). To reserve your spot, your confirmation must be received by October 31st and your deposit must be received by November 7th, or your spot will be opened to the next student who has requested to be in the class. Just as a reminder, deposits are non-refundable, even if students are unable to attend for whatever reason.  General Course DetailsWhere do we stay? 
For lodging, the Best Western in St. Helens, OR offers a discounted rate to Mirai students. Mention us when booking your reservation. As another option, ask us about the potential to stay on site.

How do we get there? 
You are responsible for your transportation to Mirai from the airport or from wherever it is you’re coming. We are located about 25 miles outside of Portland in St. Helens, OR. Once class enrollment is finalized, we will provide you with our physical address and introduce you to your group by email, so you can coordinate flight schedules and carpooling, if you’d like.

What do class days look like? We provide coffee in the morning and onsite lunch in the afternoon. We will do our best to accommodate any dietary restrictions. We invite students to stay for a group dinner on the 2nd to last night directly following class, depending on social distancing requirements with the ongoing response to COVID-19.  There are great spots in St. Helens for dinner the other nights.

What are precautions for COVID-19? In the event the COVID-19 pandemic has not reached the point of vaccination in the population the following guidelines will be in place for all all students. All students will be required to take a COVID-19 rapid test and present negative test results prior to starting class.  We ask that this test is taken no more than 48 hours before day 1 of class.All students are required to wear a face mask, covering your nose and mouth, at all times while on-site for classes.All students are required to conduct a temperature check, with a Mirai provided instant forehead thermometer, before class begins each day.  We ask that any student showing any COVID-19 symptoms listed by the CDC refrain from participating in classes.  We reserve the right to send any student home that is presenting with any of the symptoms from the CDC list. The full list of symptoms can be found here and are outlined below. Fever greater than 99.9 degrees FahrenheitCough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrheaAll student workstations will be spaced 6 feet apart to adhere to social distancing guidelinesSanitizer will be provided throughout the facility at all hand-washing stations.  Students will be asked to wash hands upon entering and re-entering the facilityWhat do I need to bring?
Students are required to bring their own set of basic bonsai tools and appropriate clothes. The summers are hot and the winters are wet! Tool sets and annealed copper wire are available for purchase (Starter Set of annealed copper wire (gauges 6-18) is $195, tools are priced individually), or you may bring your own.

What trees will we work on?
You’re never required to buy or bring trees; we will always supply skill-appropriate material for students to work on during classes. That being said, there are some options here:
1) Bring your own trees. If you want to bring your own tree and need to ship it, we can help you arrange transportation;
2) Work on Mirai stock.  Ryan will select Mirai stock for students to work on based on student skill level. 
3) Purchase your own tree.  Many students choose to invest in a raw, unstyled tree from Mirai’s extensive supply of field-grown stock and yamadori and board it at Mirai throughout the year. This option is appealing to lots of folks because you get to take your tree from raw stock, through repotting, design, etc. with Ryan’s guidance, and you end up with an impressive Bonsai to add to your personal collection. If you work on the same tree through several years of Defining Techniques courses, you’ll ultimately have a show-worthy specimen. If you are interested in investing in a tree, you can look at what we have available when you’re here for the first class.  

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