2019 Carolina Bonsai Expo Main Event

This event is no longer on sale.

Saturday October 12

1:00 PM  –  3:00 PM



The Art of Bonsai Pottery

Saturday, October 12

1 to 3 p.m.


This event is sold out. Some tickets may be available onsite. Please check with events and education staff at 12:30 p.m. prior to the event. 


2019 Carolina Bonsai Expo guest artist Ron Lang will present an illustrated lecture about the process of creating handmade bonsai pots and slabs.

By definition, bonsai are never grown in the ground. During its training period a plant intended to be a bonsai may spend some time growing in the ground, but to be a bonsai that plant must ultimately be taken out of the earth and planted in a container or on some sort of slab. The relationship between a bonsai and its container, therefore, is not casual. The choice of container is critical to the artistic presentation of the bonsai that lives in or on it.

In the world of American bonsai pottery, a select few are thought of as being in the front rank of professionals. Ron Lang is always one of the names on that very short list. His career in clay began back in the 1970s, when he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Penn State University. He was a teacher in Wisconsin, and then the Chairman of the Ceramics Department at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Ron’s fascination with bonsai began when he was ten years old, and after his retirement from the world of academia in 2008 he was able to turn his full attention to creating his distinctive bonsai pottery. His containers and slabs are now featured in some of the finest public and private bonsai collections in the United States. Most recently Ron has been collaborating with bonsai artist Ryan Neil in the LAB (Living Art of Bonsai) project, under the auspices of the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Washington state.

Ron’s program at the 2019 Carolina Bonsai Expo will be an illustrated lecture, discussing bonsai pottery in general and his own personal approach to creating it. He will be accompanied in this program by his business partner and wife, Sharon Edwards-Russell, who is a practicing artist and was a college professor for more than 25 years. Her work includes containers for ikebana and herbaceous plantings, as well as distinctive, hand-built bonsai ware. Between them, Ron and Sharon will share two lifetimes worth of knowledge, experience and love of ceramic artistry.

The program will be conducted in the classrooms on the 1st floor of the Education Center beginning promptly at 1 p.m.

The cost of this program is $10 for Arboretum members and $12 for non-members, and the 100 available spaces will be sold on a first come, first served basis. 

  • Online registration is currently open. 
  • Register in person at the Arboretum's Main Administration Offices in the Education Center, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • To register by telephone, please call (828) 665-2492. Ask to register for Bonsai Expo Main Event.

Reservations must be secured by payment, all major credit/debit cards accepted.

For information, please call (828) 665-2492. 



Arboretum Members: Please sign in above in the top right-hand corner before adding this event to your shopping cart. Your member discount will be applied on the checkout pageClick here for membership discount instructions. To become an Arboretum Member and receive discounts on all classes, go to our Membership page.