In July of 2015, I made a blog post about The 3rd National Juried Bonsai Pot Exhibition, in which I had made some kusamono in the pots of some of the previous years winners. One of the kusamono I made was an Iris cristata ‘Tennessee White’ in a pot by April Grimsby.
A few months later in October, I was surprised to find an email in my inbox from April Grimsby. Here is what it said:
My name is April Grigsby. I wanted to share a story with you...
Way back in 2002, I had entered 2 pieces in The Second Annual Juried Bonsai Pot Competition. One of my pots received a second place award. The other one did not. For some reason the non winning pot was never returned to me, but I wasn't concerned because I felt it had a very good home at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum!
I am so honored to know that you chose that little experimental pot to create a beautiful Kusamono... and that it was chosen to be on display at The 3rd National Juried Bonsai Pot Exhibition and Kusamono.
Not long after the 2002 competition, I began to pursue other artistic endeavours so I haven't actively worked with clay for many years. I have been working as a faux finish artist and muralist. I also do pet and animal portraiture. But, I have always felt a strong tie to the world of bonsai and working with clay...My major in college was ceramics and I've loved bonsai since I was a child.
I would never have known about any of this, but the other day I received a phone call from a gentleman named Frank from Northern California. He was inquiring about my bonsai pots and was particularly interested in one he saw online that had been planted as a kusamono. I really wasn't sure what he was talking about ... I had made bonsai pots, but it was so long ago. I didn't know what pot he was referring to or how he had gotten my name. I decided to Google "April Grigsby bonsai pot" and followed a link to your website where... to my surprise and joy, I see a beautifully planted kusamono creation in the "other" pot that I submitted.
You are a very talented artist, Young and I have so much enjoyed finding your website and seeing your work. Even though I've been away from bonsai and my clay studio for a long time, the passion is still within me. As an artist, this has brought back a lot of deep emotions. Although I haven't worked with clay in over a decade, I find myself yearning to feel "mud" in my hands again... and all because of your choice to use my pot for one of your kusamono creations and the gentleman from California who searched me out!
Thank you so much for taking time to read my "story". I look forward to "following" your work on your website. And thank you for putting a very big smile on my face!
Here is an update on this kusamono, which was in bloom at the National Arboretum at few days ago.