I resumed my Melbourne classes recently and my student Marisha created her first Nageire arrangement (basic upright style). We were both pleased with the result.
She has used the Australian native, pomaderis, and two white dahlias in a pale blue ceramic vase.
At home last week I spent a long time struggling to arrange some hydrangeas. The hydrangeas have been splendid this year and I wanted to use them in a mass before they start to deteriorate at the end of summer.
Because the flower-heads are large, I used a big open bowl by the Daylesford potter Petrus Spronk. However, although I was using a large vessel I found that more than 3 flowers was just too big a mass and I couldn't make it work. I came to the conclusion that I needed a contrasting material, with a good line. So, I started again, beginning with a large philodendron leaf that had a beautiful yellow colouring as it aged.
Beginning with the leaf as a shin * (principal line) I found it much easier to use the hydrangeas to form a mass that contrasted and balanced the shin.
Subsequently I made another arrangement by making a mass with the remaining hydrangeas. The one at the back on the left was the most intense of the blue hydrangeas and I liked the way these colours worked with the large vase by Graeme Wilkie.
Some years ago the late Brenda Thorpe, a well regarded ikebanist who was a fellow student with me in Elizabeth Angell's class, made a massed arrangement in a long narrow ceramic trough. She commented that in such an arrangement the vessel became the shin line. I think that idea applies in the case of the arrangement above.
This week Ikebana International, Melbourne Chapter, held its first meeting for 2017. Follow the link to photos taken at the meeting.
Greetings from Christopher
19th February 2017
* The character for shin can be translated as 'true' or 'pure'.