Thursday, 7 December 2017

Ornithogalum, acacia aphylla and mizuhiki

Hello all,

I made the arrangement, above, for our last Ikebana International meeting. Usually, the mizuhiki is used as a final accent on a celebratory arrangement. However, I wanted to make more of a feature of it, using it as an unconventional material. The glass vases are such a striking red colour that I only use them for Christmas arrangements. For more photographs of that meeting please go to

In my last post I wrote about the training for Book 5 and workshops in Sydney. Misei Ishikawa Sensei demonstrated the correct way to arrange Japanese iris (Hanashobu, Iris ensata) and explained that in Japan the leaves of this iris are more expensive to buy than the flowers. And now I know why. I have a number of pots with this iris growing very successfully and, when I returned from Sydney, they were in full bloom. One of my first tasks was to cut and arrange them but, when it came to cutting the leaves, I found that most of them grow curved sideways or are quite floppy. In my arrangement, below I wanted to create a pond-like arrangement using three kenzans and three different groups of iris with leaves. As you can see, the leaves are not standing as vertically as they should.

Last Tuesday, was the last meeting of our Sogetsu chapter, after which, I ran a workshop with the theme - 'Ikebana using Fabric.' I had suggested to the members to treat this as the theme 'Fresh and unconventional material' using the fabric as the unconventional material. It was a day of great weather extremes with the Bureau of Meteorology warning people to avoid unnecessary travel for fear of possible flooding. I was quite relieved to see the 13 members who braved the elements to attend. Once there, we had fun exploring this new material and the feedback I got was all positive.

I had set up the three arrangements, below, as examples and I demonstrated  the fourth. For more photographs of the workshop please go to our Sogetsu blog.

Thai silk, cymbidium orchids and alstroemeria leaves
In ceramic vase
Sculptural aluminium stand with two different
obi fabrics and one gymea leaf

Silk chiffon, strelitzzia nicolai and kiwi vine in two glass vases
Red silk velvet, gold pleated fabric and mahonia leaves in two ceramic suibans
Recently I agreed to make an arrangement for an exhibition by artist, Beau Emmett. His exhibition ran for five weeks and I was to maintain the arrangement for the duration. However, after replacing the original material in the first week, I felt it would be more interesting to make different arrangements each week.

'Xanadu, an installation by Beau Emmett, explores the idea of the home and the tensions implicit in the universal quest and desire for comfort and stability in amongst shifting, precarious and at times volatile circumstances.  Emmetts collection of found images, soundscapes and obsession with ghost houses and a particular volcano come together to reiterate the concept that the home is a psychic space where consideration must be given to spirit of all things—animate and inanimate.'

The exhibition space with the ikebana arrangement in front of the screen and the
foam sculpture representing volcano
Japanese maple, roses and ornithogalum. Of course, when in situ, the maple draped
over the edge of the pedestal, unlike in this photo, where it touches the floor

Nandina domestica and strelitzia reginae flowers in ceramic vase

Dogwood, hippeastrum flowers and red coloued wisteria vine in ceramic container

New Zealnd flax and strelitzia reginae flowers

I leave you with this fun arrangement made last night by my student, Guy Pascoe, who is only in Book one of the curriculum but, who has studied fine arts and works as a florist for a large hotel.

Stems from unknown succulent and my first gloriosa
lily with vividly coloured plastic.
Bye for now,

No comments:

Post a Comment