is it possible to grow a japanese maple from a cutting if so how
Yes it is possible to root cutting of the broad-leaf forms and I have done so in the past, evidently the cut-leaf types are very difficult. Semi-hardwood cutting are taken in early summer as the wood begins to lignify. Rooting hormone and high humidity are essential. Professional growers use misting systems that are beyond the scope of most hobbyists. I have had luck keeping the cutting under glass. I have used a one gallon jar up-ended over the cutting/s although this obviously limits the number of cutting you can keep.
Brent Walston also states elsewhere regarding this species that:
Young vigorously growing trees produce the best wood. You want a nice fat strong shoot. Old trees with tiny leaves and internodes are nearly impossible to root.
So if the donor tree is older perhaps an air layer would be more appropriate, it certainly would produce faster results as far as a mature bonsai is concerned.
Another article to take a look at:
Concerning the Sage Brush, I don't recall reading about anyone working with this species but that does not mean that you cannot try.