PSBA - Who We Are

Puget Sound Bonsai Association is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the education of its members and the general public in the art and culture of bonsai. Club members have bonsai experience that ranges from beginner to recognized experts in the art. PSBA holds regularly scheduled club meetings featuring demonstrations and educational programs by national and international bonsai artists. The club also stages public shows and participates in community events where members' trees are showcased. PSBA was formed in 1973.

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Nov. 26th & 27th - Guest Artist Mike Pistello Puts on a Workshop and Demonstration

We are pleased to announce Mike Pistello as our guest artist for the November 27th general meeting. Our meeting will take place from 7:00pm to approximately 9:30pm on Monday November 27th at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. We will be raffling the finished demo tree at the end of the meeting. This is also our annual business meeting so don't miss it! Mike will also be conducting a workshop the day prior (Sunday Nov 26) at Bonsai Northwest from 11:30am to 3:30pm for a limited number of members. Please scroll down for details.  

Mike Pistello began practicing bonsai twenty-four years ago at just thirteen years old. His grandfather had begun cultivating bonsai in the early seventies after attending the Fuji Bonsai Club's first-ever show, and introduced Mike to the art. At fourteen, Mike joined the Fuji Bonsai Club, active at the time in Berkley, CA. There he met Jimmy Inadomi, who would become his first teacher, schooling him on the basics and laying the foundation for future success. A year later, Mike joined the Yamato Bonsai Kai and met one of the founders, Yoneo Uchida (better known as Johnny). Mr. Uchida is the proprietor of Grove Way Bonsai Nursery in Hayward, CA, and has served as sensei to the Yamoto club for over forty years. Mike and Johnny quickly became life-long friends and as Mike's skills improved, Johnny allowed him to style many of his personal bonsai.  

In the early two-thousands, Mike met Boon Manakitivipart and Boon's friend and senpai (senior apprentice, mentor) Akio Kondo. Both men had apprenticed with Kihachiro Kamiya in Japan and practiced a style of bonsai for which Mike had great respect. Inspired by their work, Mike joined the Bay Island Bonsai Club and partook in Boon's famous Bonsai Intensive Series. In the ensuing years, Mike has also worked with internationally recognized artists Ryan Neil and Matt Reel.

Mike is a member of the Bay Area Bonsai Associates and the East Bay Bonsai Club. He has conducted workshops at multiple Golden State Bonsai Federation conventions and volunteers at the GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. He is entrusted as the custodian of a particular juniper styled by the legendary Masahiko Kimura in 1987 on his first visit to the United States. Mike has performed demonstrations for many clubs throughout the Bay Area and enjoys teaching bonsai as often as his schedule allows. Some of his favorite species and specialties are: Japanese black pine, Japanese red pine, Sierra juniper, California juniper, and the Itoigawa and Kishu cultivars of shimpaku juniper.

Mike will conduct a workshop for a maximum of eight members on Sunday November 26th at Bonsai Northwest in Tukwila. This is an excellent opportunity for personalized, hands-on instruction from a master. Mike's workshop last year was a great success and produced many dramatic changes. The workshop will run from 11:30am-3:30pm. Participants are expected to bring a mature, vigorous tree with good potential (bring a second tree in case there is only minimal work to be done on your first choice), bonsai tools and wire. Bonsai Northwest has a wide selection of trees available if you wish to purchase one for the workshop. Silent observers are welcome at a cost of $10. This is a great opportunity for those new (or not so new) to bonsai to pay a small price to learn by observing. If you elect to participate, please be on time so the workshop is not disrupted. If you are interested in participating, please contact our workshop coordinator, Lynn. Payment by credit card is available, just ask Lynn.