From Wednesday to Saturday of the past week the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International held an exhibition at the Kazari Gallery. The works were varied being from different schools and looked lovely set against Japanese furniture, artefacts and antiques. Unfortunately, this setting made it very difficult to photograph the works and I can only show a limited selection. 

This first ikebana is my me in a vase made by the ceramic artist Sergio Sill from New South Wales. As you can see I have used the birch branches I demonstrated with in my blog entry on 8th July. I have also used 'Dancing Lady' orchids for the bright yellow that complements the vase and a single green monstera leaf by way of contrast. I think the space beneath the leaf really gives this arrangement a good feeling of lightness. 

This moribana is by Naomi Cullen from the Ichiyo School.

Eugenia Chudacek a fellow Sogetsu School member made this work in an interesting round vase which has a hole in the centre.

This work is by Qui Nguyen from the Ikenobo School.

Glenys Beissel, a Sogetsu School member, made this freestyle using some curled bark and Geraldton Wax Flower.

Jennie Stuart, a Sogetsu School member, made this double shin arrangement.

Eiko Roskam from the Ohara School made this late winter arrangement in a large suiban.

This freestyle is by Helen Novic, Sogetsu School member, using a large blackened branch, red anthuriums and asparagus fern.

This freestyle is by Joan Norbury, a Sogetsu School member, she has used a gold painted branch, Gypsophilia and exquisitely coloured dried lotus leaves in a vase by a Japanese ceramic artist.

Greetings from Christopher
26th August 2012


This week we have had some visitors from Barcelona in Spain. We took them to Bells Beach and to see some kangaroos. The day was really cold (10 degrees C) and felt much colder because of a strong icy wind. In spite of that, the sun was shining brilliantly.

These pictures are for the son of my friend Takako in Tokyo

Here is the wild life, observe the wattle in the background,

 and the tourists enjoying the spectacle. 

I made the ikebana below to welcome our guests. I have used some arum lilies and leaves in a circular blue ceramic suiban. The arrangement was placed on a shelf on the very left hand side of a wall in our living room. This meant that it was viewed from directly in front and from the right hand side. Paying attention to the viewing angle of ikebana becomes very important when it is placed in a room. Below is the direct front view.

This view is when the work is seen from further to the right.

I was particularly happy with the wavy lines on the edges of the leaves and the space that showed between them in the 'front' view. The right hand leaf dips into the water which looked fine in the house but not good in the photos.

Greetings from Christopher 
18th August 2012


This week my friend Heather gave me three beautiful Banksia's from her garden. They are banksia ericifolia, a native plant of New South Wales, that have large orange coloured flowers about 20cms long (see: 

I have taken some close-up photo's to show you a strange feature of the flowers. Their 'styles' which connect to the seed making part are very wiry and hooked like a hairpin. This means they get caught on each other if the flowers are pressed together. Like velcro. It can be an advantage to an ikebanist wanting to make a massed arrangement! 

These two flowers are actually interlocked. 

Here is the arrangement I made with the flowers using a ceramic vase made by Graeme Wilkie.

Here it is again in the entrance of our house.

Greetings from Christopher
12th August 2012

D I Y Vase

Last week my teacher set us the exercise of making a 'vase' out of natural materials. I decided to use the bark of the tree pictured below. It is one of the Melaleucas (M. linariifolia, I think) and grown as a street tree near my office. In summer the whole tree is covered in masses of fluffy white 'bottle brush' type flowers.

I have often noticed the large sheets of bark that are shed from it especially after strong winds. These may be over a metre long and as wide as 400cms.

As you can see it grows in paper thin sheets laminated together that are beautiful shades of pale orange-pink .

I wrapped some sheets around a broad plastic tub leaving one sheet to create a loose loop on the left and curve forward on the right. I made a separate smaller cylinder that I have set at an angle inside the lower cylinder. This gave some additional height and hid the plastic tub. 

To my surprise the vase I had created was visually stronger than I had expected in spite of the lightness of the bark and its pale colour. Because of this I found placing these chrysanthemums low in the vase better than sitting higher above the rim of the vase.   

Greetings from Christopher
4th August 2012