Friday, June 30, 2023

The Many Talents of Angelica Ramirez - Bonsai Time Podcast Ep 15-17

            Angelica Ramirez is a bright new face in the bonsai scene. As Kevin and I learned in our interview, Angelica is a uniquely driven person with expertise in music, helicopter piloting, archery, painting, bonsai ceramics, and more recently she is set on learning bonsai to the highest degree possible. Angelica has been an apprentice at the Chicago Botanic Garden's bonsai collection and this year she is the new National Bonsai Apprentice at the US National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington, DC. It was a pleasure documenting her story and we look forward to watching her bonsai skills and career grow!

            Angelica has a great website where she documents her many pursuits. You can find it at the link below.

            Also, Angelica maintains a database of active bonsai ceramicists around the world. You can use it to find local potters in your area at the link below, or contact her through her website/social media to get yourself added!

The podcast version is available here:

The video version is available here:

Parts 2 and 3 will be uploaded and linked below on Friday, 7/7/23 and Friday, 7/14/23. Also, read on to see pictures of Angelica's work in bonsai!

I. Angelica Interview Parts 2 & 3

IA. Angelica Interview Part 2

Part 2 Podcast version:

Part 2 YouTube version:

IB. Angelica Interview Part 3 (Bonsai Brainstorm)

Part 3 (Bonsai Brainstorm) Podcast version:

Part 3 (Bonsai Brainstorm) YouTube version:

Bonsai Brainstorm Pictures
Closeup of tree #1 - Drew's Japanese Black Pine

Wide view of tree #1 - Drew's Japanese Black Pine

Side A of tree #2, Eduardo's Japanese Black Pine

Side B of tree #2, Eduardo's Japanese Black Pine

Ryan's native (graybark or frost) grape yamadori at the dig site.

Ryan's native (graybark or frost) grape yamadori at the dig site.

Ryan's native (graybark or frost) grape yamadori at the dig site.

Ryan's native (graybark or frost) grape yamadori at the first potting in a large training pot.

II. Angelica's Background

Angelica was a professional musician before getting into bonsai and still teaches music part-time.

Angelica was very competitive in archery and even made it on the USA archery team!

Angelica and her very supportive dad!

Angelica later went on to flight school but professionally it is very costly to complete all the training needed which is part of what made her change paths, as we discussed.

Angelica is also a skilled painter. Bonsai has been a big influence on her style of painting also.

More badass paintings by Angelica, this time on stringed instruments!

III. Angelica's Bonsai work!

As discussed, Angelica started her bonsai training in Florida in the gardens of Feng Gu and Dave Cutchin. She also studied early on with Peter Chan in the UK.

Here is Angelica's first major bonsai which she discussed in the interview. This tree was in Feng Gu's garden for some number of years. Angelica learned under Feng for a while before he let her buy the tree! This picture is from when the ficus tree was displayed at the EpCot bonsai show at the time Angelica had owned and worked on the tree.

Angelica was so determined to buy that ficus that she TRADED HER CAR for this van just to bring it home.

Angelica's first bonsai styling contest at the Bonsai Societies of Florida convention.

Great work Angelica! She won second place in the BSF Scholarship styling contest.

Here is a more recent picture of Angelica, alongside the famous Goshin forest planting originally made by John Naka. This is one of many trees Angelica has the honor of maintaining for the US National Bonsai & Penjing Museum's collection during her apprenticeship this year.

IV. Angelica's "Discover Potters Database

As mentioned in the interview, you can access her database here. Angelica did mention she could use volunteer help on maintaining this and expanding it long-term if anyone was interested!

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