Small Successes in my Ikebana Studies in Tokyo 3

4—[14] Keeping in Mind the View from Below

  • Asparagus fern and mauve Phalaenopsis orchids in a three-throated, cream-coloured, tubular vase.

Some arrangements are placed above eye level and the composition must reflect that point of view. We don’t always get asparagus fern. Luckily this day we did because it drapes wonderfully and has natural depth. However, I also emphasized the line and depth by pruning dense parts and adding branches in the back.

The fern’s airy nature softened the heavy container which I chose for its interesting shape and in order to ensure stability in the arrangement. In addition, the three narrow throats in the container allowed me to insert the pliable orchid stem deep into the tubular vase in order to counter the effect of gravity on the heavy blossoms.

I removed all but three flowers from the stem and bent it into a curved line before inserting it into the neck of the vase. This was one of those arrangements which came together in a few minutes. I agonized over that while waiting for the evaluation. It’s difficult to trust something which seems too quick and easy.

Sensei and others in class loved it. It was also one of the heart breakers. At the end of the hour it was wrenching to tear it apart.

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