Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Misei Ishikawa sensei with her Celebratory arrangement
Hello all,

Last weekend Lucy and I, together with another 6 Victorian members, flew to  Sydney to attend Textbook #5 training plus workshops run by Master Instructor Ishikawa Sensei . It was an intense couple of days with lectures, demonstrations by Sensei and workshops.

The NSW members worked tirelessly for months, resulting in the very smooth running of this event. We, visitors, were very well looked after. Containers, kenzans and materials were all provided, so we just had to pack our hasamis and go. Lunches were provided to all who had pre-ordered them and there was an unlimited supply of cakes and baked goods provided by the members. On the Saturday night we all went to dinner, where we relaxed and socialized.

We came away feeling inspired and much more confident about teaching the lessons in Book #5. We, also, enjoyed the social aspect of the event. Meeting up with old acquaintances and forming new ones was an added bonus. For me, it was a particular pleasure to see Ishikawa Sensei again. I first met her at Headquarters in 2016 where she worked in the classroom and, with her excellent English, was very helpful to me and the other students.

On the Saturday Sensei conducted lectures using a power point presentation and demonstrated 9 arrangements, an exhausting day's work! On Sunday, some more demonstrations and then it was our turn. In the morning the theme was 'Two approaches to branches' and, for this each participant was given a bunch of dry branches. Also Sensei requested that we all use some camellia branches in whichever quantity we wanted. Once we created a structure with the branches, Sensei critiqued it and then we selected containers, flowers and leaves provided by the committee to complete the arrangement. For photographs of Sensei's work, I recommend you go to because it was difficult for me to take good photographs in that environment.

My arrangement using hydrangeas, Asiatic
lilies and aspidistra leaves

Lucy's Arrangement using hydrangeas and strelitzia

For the Celebratory arrangements sensei wanted to know which event each one of us intended to celebrate with our arrangement. There were a surprising number of different and interesting ideas. Mine was going to be a simple Christmas arrangement for which I had bought an unusual white sheet of some synthetic material, which had glitter on one side. Unfortunately this doesn't show in the photograph, below. As the arrangement 'evolved' it took a shape of its own and I decided that it was a ' Christmas Celebration on a Sailing boat on Sydney Harbour'

Asiatic lilies, aspidistra, sprigs of camellia and mizuhiki, provided
by Ishikawa sensei
Lucy's arrangement, in her own words, was the celebration of a non-gay person of the success of the 'Yes' vote for marriage equality.

Camellia branches, hydrangeas and gold paper
Ishikawa sensei was also able to demonstrate Japanese iris thanks to Yoshiro Umemura, who provided the iris and leaves.
Ishikawa Sensei with assistant, Sandy Marker demonstrating
Japanese iris arrangement.
Finally, I would like to thank Margaret Hall, Sandy Marker and all the other Sydney members for hosting this event so successfully and for their warmth and generosity.

Bye for now,

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