Monday, January 18, 2010

living with ikebana a teacher

first form built of curly green willow branches
red twig dogwood
red twig dogwood designed to fit in a low triangular vase
green curly willow to fit this hand built Japanese ceramic vase

The past two weeks Keith has been working to begin teaching Ikebana lessons. His goal to be a Japanese Ikebana teacher began with many years learning the schools arrangement forms and parts. His instructor has been filling up a work book full of checks to prove to headquarters in Tokyo he has learned all the rules and forms. Now he has reached a new phase of his training in which he has repeat them all again building them from behind the arrangement, presenting them backwards as a demonstration is done for a class. Over the past two weeks he got to teach these sculpture forms to three classes. Culminating in the region's Sogetsu School workshop for twenty advanced Ikebana arrangers. It was very nerve wracking stuff for a guy who is a little shy. I know his work is strong and he was confidant in what he was doing and he did very well each time building up his nerve and experience. He was proud of his accomplishment and happy to be done Saturday when he returned home and unloaded his materials.
I got up today and decided I wanted to show off what I have been watching develop these last couple weeks. I built a make shift seamless back ground on the chilly porch studio table and shot these bar bones images. They are built to have flowers worked in between the sculpture branches. The sculptures are a sort of support and cage to enhance the flower arrangements. There is a third one that I didn't get to shoot because it was outside in the trunk of stocky cherry branches about 1.5 inches thick nailed together. These in my pictures are held together by tape covered wires that blend in so as not to distract the eye. I am very proud of my partner Keith and his achievement. I asked him to take his flowers and rebuild the arrangements because he didn't have time as instructor to make any pictures during his workshops. I excited to see how all the parts pull together to make the final designs. Join me in hoping he will post some pictures of his completed arrangements in the coming days to his blog and pages.

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