Bonsai Mirai: Asymmetry

Bonsai Mirai: Asymmetry

Bonsai Mirai is a company, a place, a practice, an ecosystem of creators. This is our outlet for discussion of all things bonsai and beyond.


November 16, 2022 103 min

Through research, outreach, and exploration, founders of the Ancient Forest Society—Anthony Ambrose and Wendy Baxter, discuss their efforts to conserve the world's tallest and largest trees, the giant sequoias and coastal redwoods.

Learn more about their organization:

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Proprietor of Apical Solutions—David Knaus enlightens us on the benefits of modifying and enhancing nutrition in the bonsai container to provide the best possible environment for your bonsai trees to thrive.


Learn more about Apical Solutions:

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October 19, 2022 117 min

In celebration and preparation for the rapidly approaching Pacific Bonsai Expo, we circle back to talk with a pivotal figure in the public institutions of bonsai in North America–Aarin Packard, curator of the Pacific Bonsai Museum. We catch up on recent endeavors, all things bonsai, exploring his curatorial outlook and sharing our mutual anticipation for the upcoming exhibition. 

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October 5, 2022 71 min

We sit down to catch you up on our adventure-filled summer–covering Ryan's trip to Sweden, climbing the giant sequoias and exploring Yosemite National Park, and our recent Mirai in the Wild release. We also dive into the upcoming journey of the Covered Wagon and touch on the politics and science of trees. This end-of-summer recap will give you a sense of what's been happening, where we stand, and what to look forward to nex...

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Eric Schrader and Jonas Dupuich join us to discuss their co-creation of the upcoming Pacific Bonsai Expo in Oakland, California. A juried exhibition featuring 70 outstanding bonsai displays and a selection of the most reputable vendors in the community. In addition to learning more about the event, we explore their prolific field-growing methodologies, thought processes, and recent bonsai endeavors. 

The tickets are on sale now, as...

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August 10, 2022 101 min

Todd Schlafer takes a break from his busy schedule to reconnect with us on all things bonsai. He updates us on his new garden build and his continued evolution as a bonsai professional. We touch on the upcoming Mirai in the Wild project, which Todd was a part of, as well as the loss of a bonsai legend in the community—Jerry Morris, an absolute pioneer of western bonsai.

To learn more about Todd's work check out his website: ht...

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Mirai's tropical instructor—David Cutchin, shares insight and perspective on some of the tropical content he's helped us create that we've released over the past few months on Mirai Live. We discuss the groundbreaking demonstration he recently performed, and we remember some of the iconic bonsai pioneers in North America who passed away this year. David is a wonderful human being, a talented artist, and a positive ambas...

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July 13, 2022 97 min

Adventure seeker and bonsai provider—Randy Knight, joins us again to catch up on all things life and bonsai. The conversation takes off as we dive into some of his recent and upcoming trips, exploring the topic of yamadori, reminiscing on past adventures, and even touching on the myth and legend of Sasquatch. 

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June 15, 2022 83 min

The self-proclaimed punk rocker of bonsai–David Crust, sat down with us to share in a wonderful conversation that touched on life, art, bonsai, and connection. With over 45 years of experience, he has shifted the rules of bonsai and won international acclaim with his unique approach and style. 

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June 1, 2022 68 min

In part 2 of our interview with Dan Robinson, we explore his personal history and approach to bonsai compared to traditional methods. Dan, who is the artist and owner of Elandan Gardens in Bremerton, Washington, has significantly influenced the world of bonsai with his unique perspective. Tune into this verbal telling of history to learn more about his fascinating approach to bonsai.

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May 18, 2022 74 min

Dan Robinson owns and operates Elandan Gardens in Bremerton, Washington. His seminars and workshops on bonsai carving and sculptural processes present a unique perspective–emphasizing natural forms and rejecting prescribed rules that he feels restrict artistic expression. During a recent trip to his garden, the Mirai team spent one-on-one time with Dan, exploring his unique perspective and horticultural approach to the bonsai art f...

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May 4, 2022 65 min

Teaching, growing, and cultivating trees for over 30 years–Steen Christensen walks us through one of the most cutting-edge landscaping projects in reforestation history. He shares personal insight on collecting seeds, preserving the genetics of the North American forests, and his focused attempts at curbing climate change.

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April 20, 2022 48 min

Ryan and Ira recount the most recent bonsai shuffle caused by an unexpected (and unprecedented) April snowstorm, and take a trip down memory lane in honor of Mirai's 12th anniversary.

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April 6, 2022 109 min

In this episode of Asymmetry, we sit down with Eli Akins—the proprietor of Waldo Street Pottery. Eli has a growing ceramic presence in the North American community. His work has taken on significant levels of evolution, which highlight his dedication to mastering the craft. Join us for a tremendous discussion of ceramics, the interaction and overlapping of music as a medium, and practicing bonsai. 


To see more of Eli's work, ...

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March 30, 2022 126 min

Jan Culek's lightweight stone slabs have unleashed the imagination at Mirai, bringing compositions to life that would otherwise not be possible. In a recent, long-anticipated visit to Mirai from his native Czech Republic, Jan takes a break from styling in the workshop to have a conversation with Ryan and Ira about his journey into stone, why he doesn't like pots, and what's next in the journey of one of the most innovat...

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March 9, 2022 109 min

In this episode of Asymmetry, we deviate away from our standard bonsai geekery to share in an engaging conversation with Kate Brelje, a doctoral candidate at Temple University. Tune in this week as Kate walks us through her thesis study on plant care and the ethics that surround our relationships with plants.

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February 23, 2022 92 min

In this episode of Asymmetry, we celebrate the release of a new soda fired ceramics collection from Jonathan Cross. Travel back in time, and into the future of his soda firing journey, and see these incredible geometric vessels, now available only on Mirai Goods.

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January 26, 2022 120 min

In this episode we get to sit down with Adam Jones of Tree House Bonsai. Adam not only broke the mold by apprenticing at the highly coveted Mansei-en bonsai gardens, but also has established himself as a functioning professional in the Japanese bonsai community.    A deep thinker, talented artist and a person in the sphere of bonsai who is sure to  leave a significant and positive imprint on the relationship between east and west. 

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January 12, 2022 94 min

In this episode Ryan sits down with long-time resident bonsai practitioner and newly minted Project Manager for Mirai, Ira Sisson, to talk through what is to come in 2022.  

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December 22, 2021 111 min

Kathy Shaner was the first non-Japanese citizen to have completed a full bonsai apprenticeship under a master in Japan. As a woman, she defied the conventional structure of society in completing a rigorous apprenticeship under a bonsai master. 

Her good reputation paved the way for all modern, Japanese educated bonsai practitioners from around the world. She has educated successive generations of people, created spirited collection...

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