Each spring I like to play with arum lilies by bending their stems and creating interesting curves. The above arrangement was made with such curved stems in my self made container.
Last Saturday I ran a workshop for our Sogetsu group with the theme 'Tsubo vases' from Book 5. A tsubo vase is described in the book as being a vase which has a narrow opening and wider, round body. The book describes three different techniques for fastening branch material in a tsubo vase without the use of a kenzan. I demonstrated the techniques and had three examples ready. In the first arrangement I used the Fixing by crossing' method but, since I only had one stem of the wisteria, I used a stick to cross with the wisteria stem and cut it short, thus hiding it in the vase. It held up the wisteria very securely. I fitted the rhododendron stems in between the split stems of the wisteria. The vase is a self made one.
In this next arrangement I used only two branches of the white lilac and fixed them together by the 'Fixing by crossing' method. The smell of lilacs transports me back to my childhood in a little village in Greece. Outside the front door of our very humble home was a lilac tree which flowered around Easter time. Mum knew how much I loved lilacs so went out and bought me one about 20 years ago.
The tsubo vase exercise lends itself best to naturalistic arrangements because branch materials are used that require splitting in some way. I challenged myself to find a way to make a more modern arrangement in a tsubo vase. Below is the result. I used the 'Fixing by crossing and nailing' method to hold the main stems of the Siberian dogwood with which I had created different sized triangles. I, then, fitted the smaller stems and the arum lily leaves in between. The solid blue coloured vase worked well for a modern arrangement.
Jenny Loo made the next arrangement. She used apple branches, strelitzia reginae flowers and marmalade bush (Streptosolen jamesonii) In a glass vase. Photographed at home.
Vicky's arrangement, below was very wide and difficult to photograph at the workshop, so she photographed it at home. She used Siberian dogwood and Asiatic lilies.
When I brought my arrangements home after the workshop I set them up again but did not have surfaces free for all of them. So I reworked the one with wisteria into a wall arrangement.
Jenny used just strelitzia reginae flowers and their stems in a beautiful Paul Davis vase.
I made three arrangements with this theme because, quite frankly, sometimes I don't know when to stop. The truth is that I have wonderful material and feel compelled to use it.
As I'm looking at the photographs of my arrangements, however, I realize that I have used self made vases in all three. This was not intentional.
Having done two naturalistic arrangements, again I wanted to try something modern. I used umbrella grass stems only and not their flowers. I had been quite strict with the students, insisting that they don't use leaves and flowers of the same plant but sticking to only one part of the plant. Naturally, I had to follow suit.
Bye for now,