Last week my teacher set us the exercise of making ikebana using succulents with 'unconventional material'. The latter is usually taken to mean man-made synthetic material. Below are works made by my class mates. The first is by Mrs Gillian Zaks who used a tube of gauze material in the arrangement.

In the next example, Mrs Joan Norbury created an 'S' shaped tube out of wire mesh. 

Mrs Jan Webb used plastic tubing and black plastic off-cuts in her first work.

In this second work she used a ball of extruded red plastic.

Mrs Euginia Chudacek used black plastic off-cuts in her two arrangements below.

Mrs Sandra Gawthorpe also used black plastic off-cuts.

This next example, made in class, is by me. I have interpreted the exercise a little by using red painted sticks assembled into a free-form structure as my non-conventional material and agave as the succulent. This lead me to explore the difference between a cactus and a succulent using google

The ikebana I created in class also turned out to be a good demonstration of the fact that if you try to re-create ikebana a second time, even from the same material, it will not be the same. The photo below is of my preliminary practise of the exercise at home before I went to the class.

Greetings from Christopher
23rd November 2013


  1. Dear Christopher, Lovely arrangements as usual. Thnaks so much for sharing such great Australian Sogetsu talent every week. Such a great history there with teachers passing on wonderful skills. Love the pop of yellow the lemon gives in your arrangement. Best, Michael

  2. Dear Michael, thanks for your comment. The Melbourne Sogetsu Chapter celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. We are blessed with great teachers and a rich history.
    Regards, Christopher

  3. There are all so beautifully and interesting. Unconventional materials and abstract design just what I have to learn. It 's such an inspiration! Thank you!

    1. Dear Lynn, thank you for the comment. I must say I was surprised at just how well the succulents went with unconventional materials. I think it is because of there strong sculptural qualities.
      Regards Christopher

  4. Those are some beautiful pictures. I love when "weird" materials are used in Ikebana. I'm also a big fan of Dale Chihuly. He was originally a glass blower and has created many beautiful Ikebana arrangements made out of blown glass. Definitely worth a google image search :-)