My return to my Sogetsu Ikebana classes tonight after a brief summer break was a delight. I didn’t have to go cut flowers, or go buy them, I just went to class and had them handed to me. The hard part about that is trying to work with a combination that you are given. The container I brought is one from the school and is shaped like a cone with an opening on the side, I’d never used it before so tonight was a chance to give it a try. Because of the shape and the postion of the opening it is tricky to use, but that just makes me want to use it more. The flowers I received from my sensei were all very straight line materials, so I thought that the way to go would be to do a vertical composition. I placed some dark burgundy/red safari sunset protea in the kenzan, and trimmed lots of leaves off, added an interesting crocosmia pod to the right of the safari sunset. Then another shorter crocosmia to the left, and a rover chrysanthemum down low. My sensei suggested adding a second safari sunset to strengthen the vertical movement of the composition. In a vertical compostion you want the movment to move form bottom to top in a vertical motion, it doesn’t have to be totally stright up and down , it just needs to give the feeling of upward motion( as if it were reaching to the sky). My feeling aobut this arrangment is mixed, as always I feel that I can make a better arrangement and that is certainly part of the learning process. I have lots of left over flowers, so I will think for a while about what I can do with them next.