Lectures, workshops, demonstrations

Why do the programs of congresses not include suiseki workshops or demonstrations? Let us refer to bonsai: both for workshops and for demonstrations, the tasks usually consists of taking a totally or partially unworked tree and transforming it in a period between 2 and 6 hours into an object that can be recognized to have some ‘bnsai’ characteristics. Is this also possible for stones? I consider the answer to be IT IS NOT, if we consider:
- The stone can not be modified
- The stones should be clean before the workshop or demonstration (the cloud of dust that a cleaning produces can not be described)
- The typical task is to build a stand (‘daiza’), but it is to noted that craftmanship of a stand usually requires over 20 hours and, furthermore, it produces dust and often chemical gasses (stains, varnish, waxes, etc.)
- A workshop or demonstration would very often require to use power tools.
- Tasks other than cleaning of stones or building of stands are efimerous.

According to my experience, the best way to afford workshops is in curse format, with at least one session per month; in each session the work done is revised and the work to do for the next session, set.

When considering a congress or alike, it is suggested to choose on or more of the following options:

- Lecture
The guest gives a lecture or makes a presentation on particular aspects of the art of viewing stones, supported on schemes and graphics (photos, drawings). It is suggested to avoid the typical theme of “introduction to suiseki”, as this is something any hobbyist already knows.

- Conference – Demonstration
The guest uses different elements (stones, tables, auxiliary elements) to show particulars of the art on real objects, instead of on photos or drawings. It is specially recommended in relation to the selection of stones, choosing front and angle and final display.

- Demonstration – Workshop
It is similar to the previously indicated, but now the elements are provided by the hobbyists participating, to whom advice and suggestions on their own material would be given.

- Advanced workshop
It is aimed to work on specific phases in the preparation of the stone (customarily, cleaning or a step in the crafting of the stand). ‘Handling’ of the dust, electric power and chemicals must be taking into account. Regarding stands, it is required that first steps of the crafting - carving of the vase, separation of the rough stand and first sanding of it- had already been completed.

- Exhibition critique
According to my experience, this is one of the most rewarding activities: the guest walks along the exhibition, typically in the companion of the exhibitors and comments pros and cons of the individual displays; in order to keep the program, most times is necessary to concentrate only in a selection. So, in the case of contests (exhibition with awards), the critic is usually one of the judges, who first pays attention to the awarded items and then, according to the time available, to other items on request (by its exhibitor). This expert guest (but only he/she) is allowed to touch and handle the items on critique.
This actitivity is also organized for visitors sometimes. It is important to plan the number of attendants, which makes necessary prepare a list previously. These guided visits may be assigned to an experienced organizer or exhibitor. The exhibits should not be touched nor handled.

Once again, if you are interested in getting my co-operation for any of these activities, please feel free to contact me; the sooner, the better.