Last Monday Mrs Lara Telford, one of the teaching members of the Victorian Branch of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana conducted a workshop on the theme 'The Oriental Concept of Five Elements'.
I chose to make an ikebana with 'wood' as the subject. I created an assemblage of short lengths of silver birch, that I joined together using doweling, and was particularly interested to show the cross-section of the timber, not just the beautiful bark.
I first cut the birch into short lengths and graded them from short to long. I then made three assemblages arranging the pieces irregularly but graduated from short to longer pieces. I think this has given them a better form and made them look more stable when arranged with the longest pieces at the bottom.
Once the largest assemblage had been secured to the vase I then balanced the smaller two on top. For contrast only, I have added a spray of three small red single-roses given to me by my ikebana friend Emily.
More images from the workshop can be viewed by clicking on the highlighted text: Victorian Branch Workshop. This includes four demonstrated works by Mrs Telford and a slideshow of some of the participants' ikebana.
The Japanese version of the five elements concept include: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Void or Spirit. Wikipedia has an interesting article about the different versions of the five elements concept according to different traditions.
Greetings from Christopher
17th November 2013