At Iemoto's Hana So Exhibition in April, apart from the spectacle of the 'mirror ivy leaves' and large arrangements in the stone garden, there were, also, cabinets with miniature arrangements. Photographing them was difficult as they were behind glass. I found the tiny hand made vases exquisite and when used with plant materials to create arrangements, they were an absolute delight.
Miniature ikebana is now part of the Sogetsu curriculum as a lesson in the new Book 5. It was first introduced as a style by Kasumi Teshigahara, the second Iemoto. Several tiny arrangements are usually placed on some sort of display board or base.
In class, as we are continuing to work through Book 5, we found making miniature arrangements enjoyable but, not necessarily, easy. Because of their size, the viewer is forced to look at them very closely, thus noticing every imperfection. So, great attention needs to be given to every detail and principle of ikebana.
|I enlarged this photograph of my arrangements so that the tiny details can be better seen.|
Its weight was the first difficulty to overcome and, after trying a number of large and heavy containers, I settled on one I made many years ago. The wings or buttresses help to support the aloe when placed with the weight distributed over the buttresses. In fact, it became quite stable.
|Fan Aloe, cane begonia, amaranthus and hydrangeas|
Unfortunately, I could not capture in the photographs the silvery patina that appears on the leaves when they are submerged under water.
The two arrangements, below are Vicky's and, it's obvious, she had the same idea with the aloe.
|Fan Aloe and Oriental lily bud|
|Aspidistra and rose hips|
The two arrangements, below, are by Bredenia.
|Strelitzia juncea leaves and contorted|
|Gymea leaf and a very early flowering japonica|
Lucy showed versatility by going very modern and very naturalistic.
|Strelitzia nicolai leaf and camellias|
|Strelitzia stem and beefsteak begonia leaf.|
Nicole, who is nearing the end of book 4, did this 'Arrangement with Plants on a Wall' and hung it next to the woodblock print.
|Contorted willow, New Zealand flax and flowers from a succulent|