Wednesday, 16 March 2016

If you're thinking I manipulated these
Kniphofias, you'd be right

In this blog I'd like to veer a little from the norm. I'd like to feature the work of Vicky Kalokathis, who is both my sister and my very first student. Vicky always loved the work I did with ikebana but resisted starting lessons, saying that she would only do so when I started teaching. Well, I held her to it and 12 years later, she is still continuing her lessons and has  become an avid gardener as well, just like the rest of us die-hard ikebanists.

Vicky's is a contemporary house with high ceilings and lots of space and light, the perfect foil for Ikebana. There are always impressive arrangements around the house but during a recent visit, I decided I would feature the arrangements that were there at that time. They were photographed in situ, thus the quality is not as good as they deserve. But what a lovely way to decorate an already beautiful home.

Also, something I don't normally do is to feature basic arrangements. However, I'm making an exception with this next one because I was very impressed with the work of this beginner. Her name is Shaneen Garbutt and she had only two lessons before she made this arrangement. In and of itself, it may not seem remarkable but she did it before I had a chance to demonstrate the lesson for her. She simply followed the diagram in the book and the end result required very little correction. Well done Shaneen!
Cotinus and sedum. Of course, as always, the photo
doesn't show the depth

At last week's Ikebana International meeting we were asked to make an arrangement in a 'special container' because our speaker was an expert in the history of ceramics and porcelain. I have many containers that carry some special significance but none more than the one I used below.

I made this container close to 20 years ago and whilst I was working on it on the kitchen bench, my parents dropped in for a visit. My father, who was a soft spoken man of few words, sat and watched me work the clay over a plastic ball, with a very bemused look on his face but spoke not a word. Dad has been gone a long time now but every time I pick up this container, I see him and that look on his face. Please go to the II webpage to see all the other arrangements.

At our last class I had set the theme 'The challenge of the new'. I had attended a class with this theme run by Iemoto in Tokyo, where we are to use containers we have not used before. Therein lies the challenge.

This is my arrangement and, I have to admit, I found it a lot more challenging than I expected.The bamboo containers are very heavy and chunky, so finding appropriate material was not easy. Also, they were designed as candle holders so the knot is high leaving a shallow area for placement of the material and necessitating the use of kenzans.

Marilyn Woodland
Lucy Papas

Robyn Unglik

Vicky Kalokathis
Helen Novic
Bredenia Raquel
You may remember this arrangement
from my previous post. Siberian
dogwood and belladonnas 
With the passage of time, the dead flowers were replaced
with sedum and miniature Japanese iris leaves. But the delightful
surprise was the dogwood that sprouted leaves that look like butterflies

My husband, Sam and I are flying to Tokyo this week and, hopefully, my next post will be from there but I'll leave you now with this playful little arrangement.

Segment of palm leaf and rose
Bye for now,

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