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Bonsai Expert Academy

The Mă-Kè Bonsai Way

The Bonsai Expert Course is for Bonsai Enthusiasts who feel they would like to build on their Bonsai Skills quickly and rapidly by committing to the additional time and effort required to achieve it. Bonsai Expert candidates attend a minimum of 48 sessions covering Core, Advance, Specialist, and Open Modules.

This course is conducted in structured modular sessions that are usually spread out over a two-year period. You can join the Expert Academy at any time in the year, as you will be starting off working on modules and sessions relevant to the particular season you start in. After that, each module builds on the skills sets required to successfully care for and grow a healthy, vibrant, world-class bonsai.

Course Structure

The sessions are held on most 1st., 2nd. and 3rd. Sunday's of the month. To complete the Course Students need to complete 48 Modules including presenting 12 projects over the 2-year duration. 

 

Each year 24 Modules including 6 projects must be completed. Project modules are worked on at the Open Workshops. Academy Students are required to attend at least 12 Project Workshops a year, the remaining 12 may be made up of Core, Advance and Specialist Modules.

 

Dates for Sessions and Open Workshops are published in the calendar please register for your sessions there.

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Year 1: 2nd. Sundays of Month

Core Modules

10:00 am

3101: Art, History Origin, Styles, Sizes

3102: Botany for Bonsai Artists 
3103: Pruning of Deciduous Species
3104: Pruning of Conifer Species
3105: Autumn Care for Bonsai Trees

3106: Bonsai Repotting

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Year 1&2: 2nd. Sundays of Month

Advance Modules

10:00 am

3201: Propagating and growing

3202: Watering and fertilising
3203: Creating forest groups
3204: Choosing a bonsai pot
3205: Root-On-Rock Bonsai
3206: Root Over Rock
3207: Bonsai By Design
3208: Bonsai Wiring
3209: Photographing Bonsai
3210: Bonsai Display
3211: Tool Care and Sharpening
3212: Soils/Growing Mediums

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Year 2: 3rd. Sundays of Month

Specialist Modules

10:00 am

3301: Bonsai Deadwood
3302: Japanese Maples
3303: Japanese Pines
3304: European Pines
3305: Mediterranean Species
3306: Tropical Bonsai Species
3307: Bonsai Lighting and Heating
3308: Kokedama
3309: Grass Bonsai
3310: Chinese Penjing
3311: Native Broadleaf Species
3312: Junipers Bonsai

Venue

Ma-Ke Bonsai, 66 Harvey Road, Whitton, Greater London, TW4 5LU

 

Dates and Duration

The Beginners Expert Course modules are run at least twice a month, usually Sundays. In addition, you can find all scheduled academy modules below. 

Timings

The 10 am - 4 pm. Please arrive 10 min earlier for registration.

Course Fees

Please call for Course Fees as this depends on the Modules chosen. The Taught modules start from £250 per module. Please remember that a few modules will require you to get your own materials.

Bonsai and Tools

Students are responsible for getting their bonsai, tools and supplies for the practical sessions and projects. You can purchase them from Ma-Ke Bonsai Nursery. All modules have a hands-on element to them.

 

General Information

Tea and Coffees will be available throughout the day. Please bring a packed lunch, and there will be a short break between morning and afternoon sessions. Please dress yourselves warmly as we work both in the studio and outdoors in the nursery and London weather can be very changeable.

 

Enrollment

The intensive hands-on nature of the Expert Course there are only a few places in the Academy, please call to discuss.

  • Beginners Bonsai Course (Bairradas, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal)
    Beginners Bonsai Course (Bairradas, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal)
    domingo, 23/06
    23/06/2024, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT+1
    It equips you with the skills and confidence to nurture and sculpt your bonsai. The course will teach the essential techniques to maintain a healthy and vibrant bonsai. While it is aimed at absolute beginners, even seasoned enthusiasts will find the course grounding and enlightening.
  • Open Bonsai Workhsop (Feltham, London) 2 Jun 24
    Open Bonsai Workhsop (Feltham, London) 2 Jun 24
    Sold Out
    domingo, 02/06
    02/06/2024, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT+1
    As the season transitions, our bonsai trees demand special attention. Join us as we delve into essential tasks tailored for this growth stage - to ensure your bonsai flourishes amidst the changing landscape. Don't miss this opportunity to refine your skills and cultivate a masterpiece.
  • Beginners Bonsai Course (LONDON, UK)
    Beginners Bonsai Course (LONDON, UK)
    RSVP Closed
    sábado, 01/06
    01/06/2024, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT+1
    It equips you with the skills and confidence to nurture and sculpt your bonsai. The course will teach the essential techniques to maintain a healthy and vibrant bonsai. While it is aimed at absolute beginners, even seasoned enthusiasts will find the course grounding and enlightening.
  • Beginners Bonsai Bootcamp
    Beginners Bonsai Bootcamp
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 19/05
    19/05/2024, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT+1
    It equips you with the skills and confidence to nurture and sculpt your bonsai. The course will teach the essential techniques to maintain a healthy and vibrant bonsai. While it is aimed at absolute beginners, even seasoned enthusiasts will find the course grounding and enlightening.
  • Open Bonsai Workshops - Mid Spring Preperation (Bairradas, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal)
    Open Bonsai Workshops - Mid Spring Preperation (Bairradas, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 05/05
    05/05/2024, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT+1
    Join us at the Open Bonsai Workshop for Mid-Spring Preparation! As Spring progresses, our bonsai have embraced the spring's rhythm—flowers are fading and fruits are forming, but long shoots are swiftly asserting control. Now's the perfect time to shape your bonsai's journey towards fruitful growth.
  • Open Bonsai Workshops - Early Spring Preperation, Repotting, Pruning, Debudding, Dewiring
    Open Bonsai Workshops - Early Spring Preperation, Repotting, Pruning, Debudding, Dewiring
    RSVP Closed
    sábado, 09/03
    09/03/2024, 10:00 – 15:00
    Our bonsai are beginning to show the blush of spring and buds and early flowers are flushing. We need to look are all the spring jobs building up to give our bonsai a great, balance start for our bonsai.
  • Open Bonsai Workshop - Autumn Care of Bonsai Trees (Dec 2002)
    Open Bonsai Workshop - Autumn Care of Bonsai Trees (Dec 2002)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 18/12
    18/12/2022, 10:00 – 15:00
    Autumn and your bonsai are beginning to dress down for the year. For many beginners, this is a confusing time of the year. This session helps you understand bonsai dormancy, and how to ensure that you get your bonsai ready for autumn and the winter beyond.
  • Bonsai Course for Beginners (Dec 2022)
    Bonsai Course for Beginners (Dec 2022)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 11/12
    11/12/2022, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT
    The Bonsai Course for Beginner - Intensive Boot Camp gives you the skill and confidence to care for and train your bonsai. It teaches you the skills necessary to keep your bonsai healthy and vibrant. Aimed at absolute beginners but even practising enthusiasts find it grounding and enlightening.
  • Open Bonsai Workshop
    Open Bonsai Workshop
    Sold Out
    sábado, 10/12
    10/12/2022, 10:00 – 13:00
    Exploring Bonsai The Art
  • Open Bonsai Workshop - Autumn Care of Bonsai Trees (Nov 2002)
    Open Bonsai Workshop - Autumn Care of Bonsai Trees (Nov 2002)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 20/11
    20/11/2022, 09:00 – 21/11/2022, 09:00
    Autumn and your bonsai are beginning to dress down for the year. For many beginners, this is a confusing time of the year. This session helps you understand bonsai dormancy, and how to ensure that you get your bonsai ready for autumn and the winter beyond.
  • Bonsai Course for Beginners (Nov 2022)
    Bonsai Course for Beginners (Nov 2022)
    Sold Out
    domingo, 13/11
    13/11/2022, 10:00 – 16:00
    The Bonsai Course for Beginner - Intensive Boot Camp gives you the skill and confidence to care for and train your bonsai. It teaches you the skills necessary to keep your bonsai healthy and vibrant. Aimed at the absolute beginners but even practising enthusiasts find it grounding and enlightening.
  • EarlyAutumn Pruning & Repotting - Open Bonsai Workshops
    EarlyAutumn Pruning & Repotting - Open Bonsai Workshops
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 23/10
    23/10/2022, 10:00 – 17:00
    Pruning to remove excessive growth and bring balance back to a tree after summer growth. Prepare trees for the rest of the year. Pruning of conifers, pines in particular and deciduous bonsai trees.
  • Bonsai Course for Beginners (October 2022)
    Bonsai Course for Beginners (October 2022)
    Sold Out
    domingo, 16/10
    16/10/2022, 10:00 – 17:00 GMT+1
    The Bonsai Course for Beginner - Intensive Boot Camp gives you the skill and confidence to care for and train your bonsai. It teaches you the skills necessary to keep your bonsai healthy and vibrant. Aimed at the absolute beginners but even practising enthusiasts find it grounding and enlightening.
  • Summer Pruning & Repotting - Open Bonsai Workshops
    Summer Pruning & Repotting - Open Bonsai Workshops
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 25/09
    25/09/2022, 10:00 – 15:00
    Pruning for inner growth, summer pruning of conifers, pines in particular and deciduous bonsai trees.
  • Bonsai Course for Beginners (Sep 2022)
    Bonsai Course for Beginners (Sep 2022)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 18/09
    18/09/2022, 10:00 – 15:00 GMT+1
    The Bonsai Course for Beginner - Intensive Boot Camp gives you the skill and confidence to care for and train your bonsai. It teaches you the skills necessary to keep your bonsai healthy and vibrant. Aimed at the absolute beginners but even practising enthusiasts find it grounding and enlightening.
  • Bonsai Course for Beginners (August 2022)
    Bonsai Course for Beginners (August 2022)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 21/08
    21/08/2022, 10:00 – 15:00
    The Bonsai Course for Beginner - Intensive Boot Camp gives you the skill and confidence to care for and train your bonsai. It teaches you the skills necessary to keep your bonsai healthy and vibrant. Aimed at the absolute beginners but even practising enthusiasts find it grounding and enlightening.
  • 3303: Japanese Pines (Aug 2022)
    3303: Japanese Pines (Aug 2022)
    RSVP Closed
    domingo, 07/08
    07/08/2022, 10:00 – 16:00
    Pines in Japanese and many Asian cultures are considered holy and revered trees. ‘Matsu’ the Japanese word for Pine mean waiting for “god’s soul to descend from heaven.”
  • 3305: Mediterranean Species (Aug 2022)
    3305: Mediterranean Species (Aug 2022)
    RSVP Closed
    quinta, 04/08
    04/08/2022, 10:00 – 15:00
    For many of us living in city flats with large bright windows and perhaps balconies, growing many semi-hardy Mediterranean species in-doors or on balconies has become quite an interesting possibility.

What our students say!

I have approached the bonsai world around 3 years ago, since 2, I decided to follow a course because my interest was becoming bigger. After a couple of experiences I met Mark and I have to say that I found the perfect person. He driven me through the beginners an then to the advanced course with the simplicity and professionalism that just few people have. He's not just a lovely person, he's also a really prepared bonsai teacher. During the Mark course You find yourself surrounded by so many lovely bonsais, result of so many love and knowledge for the bonsai's world. Alessandro De Maria.

One of the things I like the most about MaKe bonsai is the family atmosphere that can be enjoyed there. While sipping a nice coffee and indulging on the myriads of bonsais Mark has in his nursery, I learnt about the basic techniques every bonsai enthusiast need to master to be able to improve his/her collection. Mark is very friendly and his passion for bonsai makes him a great teacher as well as a fun person to chat with.

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