Hello and welcome to

David’s Case.

I am David Goscinski and over 30 years ago my heart, mind, life, and home were taken over by miniature bonsai and suiseki...

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A lifetime commitment to excellence in Shohin Bonsai and Miniature Suiseki from around the world

  • That’s when I gave my best friend and now spouse, Jeffery Nikles, a Chinese elm bonsai for his birthday because I wanted one. Elmer, as we named it, is no longer with us but that horticultural experience was the start of a hobby we both have been sharing ever since. Bonsai and suiseki have enriched our lives with so much fun, beauty, and passion for learning more. My training began with formal study under William Breiten, a botanist and one of the US’s first and foremost shohin bonsai artists. Though I have grown all sizes of bonsai, miniature (shohin) bonsai was where I did my best work and really made my pulse race. Even as a child I had an infatuation with the smallest of the small playing with my N-gauge electric trains (the smallest scale then available). The two-inch army men were too big for me, so a tinier 1/4 scale set awaited me under the Christmas tree. I have always been drawn to the magic and beauty of something so familiar but so perfectly scaled down in every detail as if it was somehow done by a laser beam.

  • For me, it was a matter of size. Smaller is more charming and special and, dare I say, cute. It requires more attention in both creating the details and then in viewing them. I appreciate that I can create and display a shohin bonsai quicker and repotting them is easier. Collecting miniature stones allows me to carry out in my pockets the treasures I find. Work smart not hard. And when the artful things you love are small, well, that just means there is room for lots of them. A definite twist of the phrase “less is more”, but what else would an incurable collector like me think? I now understand its true meaning and recognize that I am blessed with so much that I can’t enjoy it all. Some need to be appreciated by a new owner. That’s the purpose of David’s Case. I am pleased to offer suiseki, bonsai, and display accessories from my collection that we are finished enjoying. Some have been with us for decades but this incurable collector needs to make room for the next little thing that catches my eye.

Please enjoy viewing some of my previous work

RABBIT AND THE MOON

What’s with the rabbit and the moon? Well, rabbits are a popular motif in Japanese art and these symbols of peace, gentleness, and cuteness are one of my favorites. Over the years my collection has included many examples of rabbits and I wanted to incorporate their meaning into the website’s logo. When viewing a big bright moon, some see the “man in the moon”, however, East Asian cultures speak of the “rabbit in the moon”. Japan has a popular folktale which explains how the rabbit got there.

  • One night long ago, the Old Man of the Moon looked down into a big forest on the earth. He saw a rabbit, a monkey, and a fox all living there together as very good friends. He couldn’t believe how three animals could be so wise when everywhere people fight and quarrel. He decided to test their kindness and see if they would share their food with a stranger. He wondered which of them is the kindest, so the Old Man changed himself into a beggar and came down from the moon to the forest where the three animals were. "Please help me," he said to them. "I'm very hungry.” Without hesitation they went hurrying off to find some food for the beggar. The monkey returned with an armload of fruit and the fox caught a big fish, but the rabbit who eats only grass couldn't find anything at all to bring. Just then he got an idea. He asked his friends to help gather firewood and build a big fire. The monkey and fox did as the rabbit asked, and when the fire was burning very brightly, the rabbit said to the beggar: "I don't have anything to give you, so I'll put myself in this fire, and then when I'm cooked you can eat me.”

  • With that, the rabbit leaped into the flames. Before the fire singed a hair of the bunny’s coat, the beggar threw off his disguise and the fire disappeared, leaving the rabbit unharmed. The three friends crouched, shaking in fear. The Old Man said, “Don’t be afraid. You all showed kindness to a poor beggar, and I bless you, but you, rabbit, I bless most of all. These two gave what they could spare. You would have given your life. Humans will remember your kindness as long as they have eyes to see.” Then the Old Man lifted up the rabbit and placed him on the moon where he lives today making mochi rice cakes — a much nicer meal than grass! Now, all people can remember the goodness of the rabbit and his reward every time they look up at the moon. This is such a beautiful and inspiring allegory. The self-sacrifice the rabbit showed in this story is also a quality that a samurai was supposed to have. How many of us are described by the monkey and fox — willing to bring to God any offering which costs us nothing; but how few are like the rabbit — ready to present ourselves as a living sacrifice in Divine service. May we all be the rabbit.

AMOS

A Matter Of Size: Twenty years ago I started publishing a quarterly newsletter devoted to shohin bonsai. Each issue contained insights and twists to the world of shohin bonsai with regular features. “Tree Bark”, for example, was a forum in which I barked about species selected for shohin bonsai that ran the gamut from traditional to radical. “Kusamono Korner” was Jeffery’s platform for describing his experiences growing kusamono bonsai, the grass and wildflower plantings used as accents when displaying bonsai and suiseki.

  • AMOS was a great creative outlet at a time before blogs existed, but after several years it proved to be a tremendous amount of work especially on my inkjet printer. Check out an excerpt from AMOS but please forgive me for the 20 year old photo technology! I will be sharing additional articles regularly.

My 15 Minutes

Over the years I have demonstrated, exhibited, and vended shohin bonsai and suiseki at many clubs and conventions throughout the US. My proudest moment was being invited to display in the Nippon Suiseki Association’s 2nd Japan Suiseki Exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum by none other than the Association’s Secretary General and Managing Director Seiji Morimae. While speaking at a bonsai convention here in Sacramento, Mr. Morimae stopped by my sales table to ask me where I obtained a certain Yase-Maguro suiseki. He explained it once belonged to his sensei and famous collector, Dr. Yokoyama Uraku. Then he took out his calligraphy set and kindly offered to write the stone’s provenance on its kiri wood box. Mr. Morimae then selected two small stones from the table and invited me to exhibit them at their upcoming Japan Suiseki Exhibition. Here they are published in the Exhibition’s show book with some kind words from Mr. Morimae.

Karate Kid

This film was the single biggest influence in bringing bonsai to American pop culture and was a major influence for me. This photograph autographed by “Mr. Miyagi” himself hangs in my studio as a constant reminder of where my passion began. I was so happy to acquire it from Pat Morito’s widow.

karate kid