Monday, 11 May 2015

Hello all,

I'd like to start by congratulating Sandra Marker from NSW Sogetsu branch, who has just been awarded the Norman and Mary Sparnon scholarship. I'm very happy for her, and, knowing what awaits her, I'm also a little envious.

Melbourne is beautiful all year-round but Autumn is my favourite season here. The colours are extraordinary, ranging from golds to deep burgundies and every other colour in between. The only drawback is that it's dangerous when I'm driving because I am distracted by the bright, beautiful colours. I need to keep reminding myself to concentrate.

My own garden provides me with plenty of autumnal material for ikebana with the most showy trees being the persimmon, gingko and the very large elms on either side of my back yard. Below are some examples of my autumnal arrangements.
Using five different types of materials

Dahlias,hydrangeas, vibernum stems, and
persimon fruit and leaves.

This is 'Maze-zashi' with autumnal colours, theme set by my teacher, Elizabeth

At our recent Sogetsu workshop, Helen Quarrell demonstrated on the theme: Focusing on Water. She provided a number of excellent examples and I direct you to the Sogetsu Website under the heading Recent Workshops for photographs. I used squiggly grass to depict the ripples of water around the two rocks.

For my last class, one of the themes was 'Vines' so I prepared a couple of examples.

A very old wisteria vine sprayed white, amaranthus, chrysanthemum and alstroemeria 

This glorious ornamental grape vine in the bamboo required no flowers
There were also the themes 'Spreading Arrangement', 'Floating Arrangement' and 'morimono' as per the next set of photos


Yucca leaves and Nandina Domestica 
branch with berries
Gyamea leaves, cotoneaster berries, mahonia flowers and wisteria vine
Cotoneaster and my first  Kamo honami camelia 

The long neck pumpkins for this morimono were given to my green 
grocer at Tunstall Fresh, who didn't know what to do with them, 
so he gave them to me, much to my delight.

For the senior students  I set them the task of selecting fresh and unconventional material, which they swapped, then chose a container from my shelves. I, also, took part in this exercise and the first photo below shows the material as it was given to me and then my arrangement using that material.

Newspaper, strelitzia leaf, amaranthus and beefsteak begonia leaves

The beefsteak begonia leaves are at the back of the
arrangement, thus not visible

 This stunning flowering gum required very little work on my part to showcase its beauty.

I still have a lot of bamboo from the recent exhibitions and, whenever I can find some time, I play with it. It is physically very demanding to split and bend the bamboo but I managed to do some and the results are below.
This sculptural piece stands 2.1metres tall, making it difficult
to photograph

Split bamboo, nandina domestica, and chrysanthemums

I leave you with this next arrangement, which I dedicate to my granddaughter, Hermione, who found the large flowers when she was 'lost in the jungle' (the sprawling Monstera Deliciosa plant in my back yard). She helped me to arrange the very heavy flowers and was very proud of the end result.

Bye for now,