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Bonsai Master Class Hardcover – December 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (December 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402735472
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402735479
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Coussins packs this substantial, lavishly illustrated guide to Japan's ancient art of bonsai with everything from a refresher course on the basics--watering, feeding, pruning, wiring, and repotting--to advanced techniques for those seeking nothing less than a total horticultural and aesthetic journey. Technically, bonsai is a tree with roots and foliage pruned to generate multiple growth points and reduce the distance between these internodes for greater strength. Step-by-step instructions with photos guide readers through the various skills necessary for maintaining bonsai, and Coussins demonstrates techniques using pines, yews, azaleas, junipers, and more, as carving, trunk splitting, trunk fusing, and manufactured deadwood create numerous horticultural visions. Using detailed listings of bonsai styles, tree names, and even heights (from thimble to 65 inches) in Japanese and English, Coussins provides a complete guide for novices and bonsai artists. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Yamadoriman on January 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Superbly written with, what I believe to be, over a thousand images, this is the most comprehensively photographically intensive Bonsai Book in the world. Craig Coussins has written a number of very popular Bonsai Books and his books are indeed unlike most others. It's not about him but rather about Bonsai, Bonsai techniques, other teachers' demonstrations and that is why I love this book. Craig Coussins has traveled all over the globe teaching Bonsai and he has asked his many friends to share the platform of this book with him.

What you get is a very interesting assortment of wonderful Bonsai Masters showing you what it is that they do well. Clearly a lot of work has gone into this book and the breadth of knowledge in this book is simply vast. It's not too technical which is a relief but a book written with passion, presented with gusto and read with love. His last book started this broad attitude to discovering knowledge but if it was not for the author I doubt that many of us would have had the chance to meet so many wonderful teachers.

I am sure that Mr. Coussins has very little Ego or we not have seen such a publication. He is clearly an ardent promoter of other Bonsai Masters while being one himself. Now that really is refreshing. Visit the masters from Singapore, South Africa, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, America and Canada through Craig Coussins photography of stunning bonsai and landscapes from all these and so many more countries where you can find Bonsai. I love it. I visited his website and that was another revelation. I loved that too.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Chuin Zeng on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was hoping for more from the book and was disappointed. There is a lot of general information. I have mostly deciduous trees and there wasn't that much information on it. I had to return the book.
For advanced level, I recommend the Bonsai with Japanese Maples. It gives way more detail and how to information. Thanx!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Claire on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this book has a lot of great information about bonsai and good photos the editing of the photos make it hard to follow the progress of the trees in many cases. The photos seem to be out of order and they are shown in reverse negative so the trees are first on the right side of the pot then on the left side in the sequence. I still appreciate the volume of work and the effort to bring this to print. I just wish the editor liked the subject enough to care about the finished book. I would not recommed this book to the beginner or anyone who doesn't understand basic photography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dryfus Petty on August 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A review of this book is somewhat difficult. Mainly, I enjoyed it, if anything, for the book's bonsai photo series. All photos are glossy, although most of the showcased bonsai are are not full or half page images. The quality of print, mostly, makes up for this, but there are many shots of trees that are difficult to examine in detail due to their small(picture)size.
The information Craig provides on inorganic/organic soil mixtures, and types of various fired clay used by the Japanese, such as Akadama, Kanuma, Kiryu, are helpful, and mainly accurate, e.g. Akadama is used for feeder root development, Kanuma is used for acid loving bonsai, and Kiryu is good for conifers. PH levels are included for each, as different varietals demand different PH levels from the acidic to the alkaline.
Craig also goes into repotting basics, watering, and, in great detail, nutrient requirements for bonsai. In this, he does a thorough job. He also touches on fertlizing, the influx and remedy for pests, and pruning briefly. He goes into more detail with technical wiring and branch ramification, although in this, it is obvious that he is not a proficient technician.
Craig touches on the various classical styles of bonsai, such as literati, han kengai, informal upright, etc. and offers personal insights on alternatives to raffia(which in his case is vet tape)and tools; from hand tools to power tools e.g. scorps and Arbortech power chisels, pro grinders, and mini grinders. He also describes the makings of shari, jin, uro, and provides step by step pictorials on how to achieve the aforementioned.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excelent pics and explanations. A lot of different real bonsái are displayed. Very good way to understand the theory beyond bonsai. Great book.
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By Rodrigo Marcon Sanches on July 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book presents advanced techniques for plants with lots of pictures and a step by step guide showing each the technique.
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