At my class in Melbourne last week, Kyoko's exercise was an arrangement of 'Massed Expression'. It is an interesting, varied and difficult exercise because the mass must be created by the ikebanist and not simply using  the way the material grows. For example a large hydrangea flower, which has a lot of mass, would not qualify for the exercise. 

Kyoko used an unknown, straight-stemmed, branch material with small, slightly-pointed, elliptic leaves on the left, and four straight stems of 'Pinappple Flower', Eucomis on the right.

Kyoko has successfully cut the leafy stems into short sections and then arranged them so that they make an undulating mass with the leaves pointing in different directions. The mass of Eucomis is composed of four stems which are no longer visible.

For my Torquay students I had set the exercise of an arrangement of 'Autumn Grasses'. All of the students gathered materials growing near their homes. The three arrangements have a distinctly different feel in spite of using similar materials in a naturalistic manner.

The curving line in Val's arrangement reminded me of the Rimpa style of painting. 

Helen has divided her arrangement between fresh material on the left and dry on the right.

Kim created a very open, quite tonal, arrangement with attention to space.

At my teacher's class in Melbourne, I was amused that the exercise was to make an arrangement in a glass vase, having just done so the previous week in the Ikebana International Exhibition. The materials are familiar from last week's posting. However, on this occasion I have used minimal materials and added some cumquats to give a texture and colour contrast.

I placed the cumquats in the bottom of the vase and then braced a spent agapanthus head across the middle of the vase. To extend the design I have placed the second agapanthus stem outside the vase to create a strong line and an interesting space. It was fun to watch the cumquats rise and be held by the submerged agapanthus flower head as I added water to the vase.

On Friday of this week an exhibition of prints by Jörg Schmeisser was opened at the Geelong Gallery. These works on paper are a future bequest from our collection that are being publicly shown for the first time. In fact it is the first time we have seen them all in one space. 

Laurie purchased the first work in 1979 following the year he spent in Nagoya, 1978. They constitute one of the factors that lead me to begin my study of ikebana when we spent 4 months in Nagoya in 1992. If you are near Geelong they are on display until 27th May. 


Greetings from Christopher
18th March 2018

Click the link to Ikebana International Melbourne March meeting.


  1. Dear Christopher, Love the arrangement with the kumquats. Very creative and simple. Thanks for sharing your students arrangements. Quite a talented group. Was wonderful to see yours and Laurie’s artworks on display. Wish we could have seen the, all together in person. Best to you both, Michael

  2. How exciting it must have been for Laurie and you to see his whole collection of Jörg Schmeisser prints displayed for the first time in the Geelong Gallery.