The LAB Session 2: The Site of Bonsai | Focus: The Vessel & Tree-potting at the Pacific Bonsai Museum


Session 2, happening Saturday, April 6, 2019, shifts the focus of Pacific Bonsai Museum’s LAB experiments to the bonsai container and spring potting season. The LAB artists will reconvene at the Mary Lund Davis-design Wollochet Bay house in Gig Harbor, WA to reveal new works in the experiments. Ceramicist Ron Lang will present two new pots: one in response to Austin Heitzman’s stand from Session I and one for Ryan Neil’s styled tree from Session 1 (which Neil will pot on site). Heitzman will reveal a new stand made in response to Lang’s container from Session 1. A select group of art- and design-minded luminaries will be gathered to examine and discuss the new LAB works.

Live video streaming will be available to the public from 2 to 4 pm PDT so they may watch the artists reveal their work, listen to the group discussion, and ask questions via moderated chat. Viewers can get their tickets ($25 USD) to watch the live stream in advance at



The LAB is Pacific Bonsai Museum’s four-part, multi-year-long experiment investigating

1) the influence of inspired architectural settings and

2) the effect of collaboration resequencing on the art of bonsai. The overall goal of the project is to advance innovation and artistic expression in bonsai.

Key participants in the project are prominent artists Ryan Neil (bonsai artist, Bonsai Mirai), Austin Heitzman (stand maker, Austin Heitzman Furniture), Ron Lang (ceramicist, Lang Bonsai Containers), and Aarin Packard (moderator, Pacific Bonsai Museum). Tests in the experiment are being run concurrently in the studios of the three artists and at a series of live events held at architecturally-significant homes of the Pacific Northwest. Click here to learn more about the LAB Project


At the LAB Session 1, Spaces of Liminality: Enter the LAB, August 2018, the artists and guests converged on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Chauncey L. and Johanna Griggs House in Lakewood, WA. Before a live audience, they revealed a pot and a stand made in response to the house, and bonsai material was live-styled under the influence of the architectural setting. Dr. Kevin Nute, a subject expert in the influence of Japanese culture on Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, gave a presentation on Wright’s life and design sensibilities. The audience and artists participated in a thought-provoking, moderated discussion around design innovation, collaboration, and the tectonics of bonsai.

LAB Workflow diagram.jpg


Session 3, August 17, 2019 | Focus: Tree styling (architectural location TBA)

Session 4, Spring 2020 | Focus: Display and final reveal (architectural location TBA)