At first glance it looks like a lotus leaf and pod, but that is what I wanted you to see. The truth is that I was really trying to find something to use today and threw out some old fading leaves. But as I was tossing the last leaf out I took a careful look at it, this beautiful leaf of Japanese butterbur that I held in my hand had some promise. So I fished the other leaves out of the trash and combined two to make one big leaf that looked like…..a lotus leaf. I thought it would make a great arrangement and got a dried lotus pod to combine with it and a few vases. A sake bottle was the best choice and I place the materials inside to produce the arrangement you see. The lesson for today? Examine any old materials before discarding them, take a long look at them and see the potential they hold before you throw away a visual treasure.
Archive for September, 2011
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
The mere mention of dried flowers brings visions to some of old fashioned 60s or 70′s arrangements that your mother or grandmother had at home. Filled with various dried fillers and often in colors that just were not natural (nor pleasing) in any way. Often designed in some almost Colonial American stiff formal style, no real freedom or movement. I thought I would take a change at making my own dried ikebana today, not to make a permanent design but a temporary one. My thought was to give dried flowers some energy and movement if only for a little while. It was a good exercise to see if I could use those lifeless looking , muted colored flowers and breath life into them. The combination of hydrangea, bittersweet and pomegrante branch proved to be a success, one my late grandmother would have loved.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Reusing the pomegranate branch from Sunday’s class I made this nagiere arrangement. The branch has been stripped of it’s leaves so that I could give the feeling of a later part of autumn. Bare driftwood, a fading yellow hosta, and some balloon vine are the elements I used to finish the design. Nice movement, and a gentle feel of autumn. I’m feeling a bit lacking on my creativity at this point, and there is an increasing need to re-charge my batteries and do some more inventive work. More inventive work takes more planning and some extended time for execution, and once I am re-energized I can give it a whirl. For today I am simply happy to be able to create something,doingthe daily work has been a big step for me.
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Ikebana using only branches, from my Sogetsu Ikebana lesson tonight. I decided to also tie in another lesson so I did it without using a kenzan. The branches are a combination of oak and euonymus supplied to me by my sensei for the class. It’s a real challenge to be handed some branches and come up with something that works. First I placed the branches much higher and more centered in the suiban, but it was not very interesting and the main branch of oak faced downward. So I started again shortening the smaller branch of oak and moving the balance of the arrangement to the side, difficult to do but it make a much improved design. Success!!
Monday, September 26th, 2011
Everything in this arrangment is from our garden, beautiful begonias and the deep pink sedum. The pink is an unusual color for fall, however sedums are a great flower. Long lasting in arrangements and and blast of color in the fading fall garden. I think it is essential to my current creative growth to find the material and find a way to make it work. It forces me to think about the materials and how to use them, and really does strengthen the challenge of creating every day. Before long I’ll be back to buying flowers at the farmer’s market and the wholesale florist again (not that I have anything against either of those two sources, they’re great!) and with it comes an overwhelming supply of materials. I find having too many choices much harder than a limited supply. My problem is that I tend to start picking things based on what I like and want, and not thinking enough about how to make it all go together and what the end result might be. This will be my added challenge for my daily work, learning to think it through and edit my ideas.
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
My arrangement today is the heika from my Saga Goryu Ikebana class. In the design are pomegranate branches, solidago and rose hips. This is the more clasical school I study and I find it to be a lot more difficult, lots of rules and challenging arrangements. Still it does add to my understanding of basic ikebana and helps expand my own ideas and concepts quite a bit by offering a contrast betwwen the classic and comtemporary.
Saturday, September 24th, 2011
Mass and curved lines are the theme for today, mass is created here by castor bean and craspedia and kiwi vine forms the curved lines. It’s worth mentioning that castor beans are extremely poisonous, so care should be taken to make sure they are placed in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets. Despite their toxic properties they are beautiful to use and bring a different texture to this design, the yellow craspedia has a smoother surface and color
and adds a nice contrast.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
For today’s ikebana arrangmetn I chose to re-use the manipulated equisetum form again, it’s still in good shape today and the inspiration struck. It’s always nice to show variations and how the same materials or form can be used in different ways. I used a different container, and added a single dried aspidistra leaf and yellow billy ball. Fresh aspidistra leaves dry so well and are still fairly pliable, and the pale orange color they turn is just beautiful.
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Every day presents a challenge in getting an arrangement done, some days I am pretty worn out and I am afraid of hitting the wall. Despite the fact that I have had one of those long days I still did it. It’s due to the success of developing a daily habit of creating, and that was my ultimate goal (and I hope to keep at it). This ikebana is done without a kenzan, using the flowers to form a standing arrangement. The crocosmia pods were perfect for this as they have nice long, light branches that can almost be woven together to form the standing bouquet. I added a few rover chrysanthemums to finish the design, the colors of fall standing tall.