I was inspired to try this technique after seeing a beautiful arrangement by Ping Block at the workshops I recently attended in New Zealand. Ping had used one of the vases for visitors that I had coveted. When I saw her work I realised what she had done was much more beautiful than my arrangement would have looked in that particular vase. (I think there is a lesson in here for me.) The technique is creating a mass from leaves at the end of a smaller branches on a longer branch. It requires some judicious stripping of leaves and much manipulation of the branchlets. I spent an hour creating the mass illustrated below and was fascinated to discover that the branchlets became more pliable the longer I worked them. Below is the first version.
I subsequently tightened up the mass and added a single red anthurium for contrast placed in among the leaves. The anthurium is in a plastic water phial.
This is how it looked on the side board. I felt it worked rather well with the red and green being highlighted by an overhead halogen spotlight. The busyness of the back of the sideboard makes this a difficult location for most ikebana, so I rarely place them there.
The ceramic vase is by Graeme Wilkie.
Greetings from Christopher
14th April 2012