Last week I showed photos from workshops given by Yoshiro Umemura. I really enjoy his workshops and the challenge they provide, as well as the opportunity to experiment, sometimes with unfamiliar ideas or materials. So the results may fall short of my expectations in which case the experience allows me to find out what does not work.
It was only later when I looked at the photo from the first workshop that I realised that the arrangement was too large for the vessel and should have been reduced by about 1/3 its height. Here it is again, in its original form...
...and below with the photo modified to wipe out the topmost elements.
My reason for showing this is to encourage those who go to workshops to experiment with their ikebana, and to explain to others that workshop arrangements are not exhibition pieces.
To return to Mr Umemura's workshops, on the second day the first theme was a combined exercise of: 'massed expression' and 'focusing on water'.
Massed expression precludes the use of strong clear lines, which are usually characteristic of ikebana. So I challenged myself to make a mass out of many small lines. I have used three different kinds of straight line materials to make two masses and then placed them together to make an irregularly shaped mass. Two stems of small begonia flowers provide a colour contrast.
The final workshop combined themes were: 'Intertwining materials' and 'paying attention to the vessel and the place where it is to be set'.
Mr Umemura pointed out that in this type of arrangement, the centre-point of the whole piece is not aligned with the centre of the vessel and, in fact, is usually outside the vessel. I have used New Zealand Flax, courtesy of Lucy and Emily, and cane-stemmed begonia flowers in a ceramic suiban.
There are more photos of the second day of workshops at: Yoshiro Umemura's workshops * in Melbourne.
Greetings from Christopher
23rd April 2016
* Click on the blue text for further information