Monday, 10 July 2017


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.
Lucy Papas

Vicky Kalokathis
Bredenia Raquel
A couple of lessons ago, Vicky brought me this large and quite heavy Fan Aloe (Aloe Plicatilis) and said she couldn't wait to see what I was going to do with it. Quite frankly, I'd never used this material before, so I had no idea what to do with it.

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
Two lessons later, I had set the theme from Book 5 'Glass Containers'. Although the rest of the materials in the above arrangement had died, the aloe was still very green and fresh looking, so I decided to use it in a different way. I separated the two fans and placed them in one large and one smaller glass container. Then I thought they could, also, be displayed together. I tried placing a flower in the arrangement but it looked too much like decoration, so I left it out.

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
hazel branch

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.
Aurelia worked very hard with the mechanics needed to support the very heavy orange and lemon branches in this arrangement with the theme 'Fruit Bearing Branches'. She, very wisely, chose a heavy ceramic vase with a thick lip. The result was quite delightful.

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
Bye for now,

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