Saturday, 22 November 2014

Hello all,
I can't believe that two weeks have passed already since my last posting. It seems time is accelerating at such a pace that I can hardly keep up, especially heading towards Christmas.

We recently had an interesting theme for class. My student Aurelia Dong brought in four paintings made by her mother, Shijing Zhao, an accomplished artist, who worked with calligraphy brushes.  Some of my senior students and I made an arrangement each referencing one of the paintings. Unfortunately, because of the glass on the frames, the photographs do not show the true beauty of the work. 

Working with such beautiful works of art was an enjoyable and inspirational experience and we are all grateful to Aurelia for making her treasures available to us.

                   Vicky Kalokathis

                                                                                         Lucy Papas


Bredenia Raquel

Margaret Wilson

                                                                                                                                                   Emily Karanikolopoulos                       

Lucy Papas

                                                                                                                                                                                   Emily Karanikolopoulos                                                                                                                  

For my lesson with Elizabeth last week, our theme was 'Roses'. I made this arrangement using two glass containers. In the lower bowl I placed red roses in a circle and in the upper decanter I placed stems with leaves up-side-down. I call it the 'Morticia' arrangement.

Last Monday I ran a workshop for our sogetsu group with the theme 'Ikebana for gift giving'. I made six different arrangements, as examples, using a variety of different containers. For the workshop we all used Oasis (florists' foam) in small, ceramic bowls. We tried to create works that would travel well with materials that would last. Below are my six pieces, which passed the 'portability' test because they traveled safely to the workshop and then back home again. 

You can see more photos from the workshop in a slide-show if you click on our Sogetsu link.

I leave you with a couple of miniature arrangements that I enjoyed playing with.
Bye for now,

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Hello all,

I was very saddened to hear of yet another loss to our little community in the recent passing of Brenda Thorpe, one of our founding members. Brenda contributed a lot to ikebana over the years but most especially during the time that our Ikebana International Group was exhibiting in Daimaru department store. We will miss her.

Julie Alston was another member, who passed away on 12th June 2013. As per her wishes, her funeral was a very private affair, which meant that none of us was able to attend. Recently, her family, very generously, made available to the ikebana community Julie's containers. Those of my students who bought containers and I, thought it would be a fitting tribute to Julie for each of us to do an arrangement in a container that once belonged to her. I believe she would have been happy to see the work that was done in her containers. 

 Janette Fonda
         Monstera leaves and Viburnam opulus          

Helen Novic
Loquats and succulent

Lucy Papas
Strelitzia leaves

                                                          Vicky Kalokathis
                                     Agapanthus leaves and geranium

Bredenia Raquel
Willow and spuria iris

Emily Karanikolopoulos
Stripped conifer, loquats and alstroemeria leaves

The branch that  I used in the above arrangement is the same
one I used in the arrangement on the left, which I did on 28th
August. It was still green when I stripped it to use again.

On the 30th October, I did a demonstration for The Floral Art Association of Victoria. Those of you who have read my last blog can be forgiven if you are a little confused because I then wrote about my demonstration for the Victorian Floral Art Association. They are, in fact, two different groups.

It was an East Meets West theme, with three senior floral artists demonstrating three very different but equally pleasing arrangements as set out below.

Barbara Maier

Norma Bathie

Janet Alesich

Then we enjoyed a delicious, east-meets-west supper followed by my ikebana demonstration of seven arrangements. My student, Nicole McDonald, was my very capable assistant for the evening, fetching and carrying materials and containers. For me, it was a very pleasant evening because I was doing what I love best in front of a very receptive and appreciative audience.

Again, I recreated my arrangements at home for the purpose of photographing them against a blank background, which would have been impossible on the night of the demonstration.

Using two containers - a glass decanter inside a ceramic bowl with two holes. Hippeastrum, watsonia and nandina flowers

Birds nest fern and spuria iris

A single philodendron leaf

An experiment with cutting and re-joining this palm spade. Strelitzia and alstroemeria leaves

Quintessential ikebana - a flag iris arrangement

Stripped wisteria vines and spuria iris

Pine, altissimo roses, iceberg roses and mizuhiki
(A little early for Christmas but I couldn't resist)