This week I attended three days of workshops run by the Auckland Branch and lead by a Senior Instructor from the Sogetsu School in Tokyo, Mrs Sanae Maeda. The first day of teaching took place at the home of Mrs Takako Martin where we were taught how to make sculptural forms using A4 sized sheets of acrylic board.

Firstly we made paper models.

Then we sawed straight lines into the boards then, using improvised ‘ovens’ over gas burners, we molded them after they had become soft and rubbery. The sheets were only pliable for about four minutes until they cooled and hardened again. 

These forms were then used to create small sculptures to which we added some botanical material. I deliberately used the white and clear forms at the base of the work so that the blue piece would have a more floating appearance. Sensei Maeda said I should only use a single leaf that contrasted with but did not dominate the sculpture.

I used a New Zealand plant that had a delightful silvery under surface.

This turned out to be a work that could be viewed from all angles.

In the afternoon of the second day we created three large structures using lichen covered branches and added long bunches of dried grassy material. 

Next the acrylic forms we had made were added to the larger structure.

Next week I will include some images from the third day of the workshops.

Greetings from Christopher in New Zealand
18th February 2012

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