The reason we have travelled north as I mentioned in last weeks posting, at this particular time, is so that I could participate in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Brisbane/Gold Coast Branch of the Sogetsu School. On Monday and Tuesday, along with nearly seventy others I attended workshops lead by Mr Kawana

The exercise in the next two photos was to make an arrangement with only 'one kind of material'. I used a branch of blossom in a spherical vase with an off-centre opening. Kawana sensei's correction of this work can be seen in this close-up photo. It was that I remove the smaller branch that goes into the left side in the vase mouth, as it weakened the flow of the branch from the top down into the vase and interfered with the appearance of the water.

Here is the corrected work.

The next photo is of the same exercise by my teacher Elizabeth Angell.

This work is by my student Helen Quarrell

The next day we made an arrangement to be viewed from all directions. I chose a branch with pink blossom that had some lovely lichen on the stem. As you can see I used alstroemeria with it in a tall vase and because the stem was not in water I removed the flowers and left them on the table top.

In correction Kawana Sensei pointed out that the alstroemeria did not go well with the branch and that only petals fall from these blossoms not the whole flowers. If I were to have some petals on the table top it should only be one or two. Here below you can see his alternative suggestion.

No alstroemeria, no flowers on the table and some petals in the mouth of the vase covering the water. I think this makes the work look much stronger. The angle of this photo is not the best because the branch was wider than the white backdrop.

Greetings from Christopher
in Brisbane
3rd August 2013


  1. Dear Christopher,
    Thanks for sharing. Both the arrangements with blossoming branches are great. I especially like the first one, in the white vase. It is so graceful with the branch going down into the vase. It makes me wonder it a branch can get water in the "wrong" direction, sitting upside down in the vase? Were you able to find out if the flowers kept fresh?
    Best, Lennart

    1. Dear Lennart,
      thanks for the comment. As these arrangements were just for a workshop I didn't get to find out whether they would last. I inverted the branch because it had a good line as well as a lovely strong stem that would have been lost in the vase. Most of the flowers in the white vase on my blog are actually short stems coming from within the vase. Branches with leaves or open flowers should not be used like this.