Sunday, 11 September 2016

Hello All,

The exquisite flower in the above photograph is a tree peony and measures 18 cm in diameter. It was given to me by my student Aurelia Dong. She and her partner recently moved into their new home, in the garden of which was growing a shrub they could not identify. It had a bud that grew and grew until it flowered and revealed itself to be a tree peony. They, of course, are quite delighted, as am I to be given such a treasure.

It has been a busy ikebana week. On Monday, we had the Sogetsu meeting and workshop, which was organised and run by Joan Norbury, Eugenia Chudacek and Margaret Wilson. The theme was 'Random Encounters" and the brief read as follows: 'Unconventional material will be provided to create a moment of confrontation with the unexpected. This is discussed by Sofu Teshigahara in Kadensho p. 23, wherein he claims 'All of ikebana is about random encounters which are given meaning'.

The girls went to a great deal of effort to collect all types of man made materials, then put a selection in a plastic bag for each participant. They were all different and we had no idea what we would be getting. We were instructed to bring along a couple of containers and some fresh material to complete our arrangement.

Knowing my tendency to make large arrangements, the girls gave me a small bag with few and small materials to challenge me. Below is my creation in a container, which coincidentally, was given to me by Margaret Wilson. My fresh material was two calla lilies.

In marked contrast, Lucy was given a large bag with a lot of different types of material, from which she chose only two. And to complete her smart arrangement, she used one aspidistra leaf.

I started my previous post with the flyer for the Ikebana International exhibition, which is running currently and will be until the 16th September. The large, collaborative works are to stay for the duration of the exhibition but the individual pieces will be taken down and replaced by new ones. This will happen twice, giving many people the opportunity to exhibit as well as keeping the exhibition fresh.

Lucy and I put up our arrangements on Monday and took them down on Thursday. Below is Lucy's piece, in which she used Haemanthus coccineus leaves and one calla lily.

You will be able to see photographs of the rest of the pieces on our II website, after the conclusion of the exhibition.

In my piece, below, I used variegated aspidistra leaves and a fine wisteria vine, which I spayed red.

To have enough aspidistra leaves of similar size and direction for the above piece, I had to 'sacrifice' a great number of leaves. However, this embarrassment of riches gave me a rare opportunity to 'play' with the leftovers and, below, are just two arrangements I made.

This container is one of two that I made when I went to the Sogetsu kiln in April.
With the aspidistra leaves, I used several calla lilies and two umbrella grass stems.

I leave you with this class arrangement with the theme 'With Branches Only'

Prunus elvins, stachyurus and Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum
Bye for now,

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