Michael Hagedorn’s art background ranges from painting and drawing to ceramic sculpture and installation. He made bonsai containers for nine years in upstate New York and Arizona. But before all that, he was already into bonsai; a Sunset Book triggered a passion for bonsai when he was only sixteen. During his years as a potter, Michael studied bonsai with Boon Manakitivivpart of California. In December 2003, surrendering to a rare opportunity, he traveled to Nagano Prefecture, Japan where he apprenticed for several years under bonsai master Shinji Suzuki. Seven trees that he wired were accepted into the Kokufu Show in Tokyo, two in the Taikan Ten, and one in the Sakafu. Michael was also honored by Mr. Suzuki to do the wiring on two trees that went on to win a Kokufu Prize and Prime Minister Award.
The lunacy and revelations of apprentice life are detailed in his forthcoming book, Post-dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk.