To continue the theme of last week's posting, below are photographs of my Geelong students' work at the final class for 2018.
The class was held in the home of Ellie, one of the senior students in that class. Again the students were challenged with having to make an ikebana arrangement to suit the location that they were allocated, using an unfamiliar vessel.
Tess's location was on a side-table in the front entrance of the house. Her particular exercise from the curriculum was 'An arrangement using one kind of material'. She had brought some cypress branches with interesting curves that she emphasised by pruning away many of the smaller side branches and leaves. The lines are emphasised by having the curves cross and flow in opposite directions.
Helen M set her arrangement on a bedroom dresser. She had brought a large branch of dried eucalyptus which she had spayed lightly with bronze paint. The lines in the branch were curved, but symmetrical. So one side had to be removed to emphasise the remaining lines which swept across the top of a tall celadon glazed vase. Fresh materials were introduced by placing some green fruit and gypsophila at the mouth of the vase.
In the living room Maureen arranged some tall, curving prunus branches with yellow oriental lilies and gypsophila. She chose a wide mouthed bowl that created a sense of open space at the base of the arrangement. The tall lines curved toward each other embracing the lilies.
Christine's location was on the top of a bookcase making the arrangement slightly above eye level. She has used pine that cascaded slightly forward and to the left. Her two intense, red focal flowers were from an epiphytic cactus.
Ellie was allocated the opposite end of the same bookcase. She also used pine which she teamed with a very large white dahlia and a bud, somewhat obscured behind the pine branch. Her vessel is a large circular basket that has a water tube in its centre.
Helen Q had brought along a bunch of pink marbled lilies and some red grapes. She was delighted to find this creamy pink bowl in Ellie's collection, in which she created a massed arrangement. It was set on a desk allowing a slightly elevated viewing point.
In the same room, a study, Jo arranged a cascade of long curving stems of rosemary in a glass cylinder. At the mouth of the vase she created a mass using agapanthus and two other flowers in the blue-purple range. Her exercise was an arrangement of materials 'In the same tonal range'.
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At home, two weeks ago, I was pleased to see that irises I was given by Emily a couple of years ago were about to flower again. This provided a rare opportunity to make a traditional iris arrangement as taught in the Sogetsu School. I was able to gather enough leaves to have five sets, sufficient for two flower stems.
Above is the beginning of the process with the flower stems, in bud, placed between the sets of leaves.
Later, when I came to place the small jushi leaves of acacia baileyana, I realised that the tips of the leaves were the same height on each side of the tallest bud.
Here is the final arrangement, with asymmetry restored, and the second flower having opened. The tallest point of the arrangement is the unopened bud. These are such transitory flowers it is a delight to be able to make this arrangement. Irises are traditionally arranged for Boy's Day, now called Children's Day on 5th May. In the southern hemisphere our gardens are out of sync with the traditional festivals of Japan.
Greetings from Christopher
9th December 2018.