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Ikebana Class - 1 type of material only

Ikebana Class - 1 type of material only


In class week, we will be working on the topic: 'One type of material only'. 

The exercise shows you how creative you can be with just one thing, and you aren't limited to your materials, just your imagination. 

One of my most pleasing classes with my teacher Sandy Marker in Sydney many years ago, was where I turned up, entirely unprepared, with one lonely protea stem to class. I managed to spend many hours disassembling and re-arranging the individual leaves, parts of the stem and flower petals to create new shapes and arrangements. I am pleased to say my teacher was very impressed and I received top marks for using my imagination. I haven't been able to find that photo unfortunately. 

In the meantime I've rounded up some other images of my previous arrangements where I've used just one type of material only along with some tips to consider.

1. Use as many much or as little as you like so long as it's the same plant. There is no limit on the amount of stems. My arrangement below features only tulips in a simple moribana arrangement.

Tulips Ikebana arrangement

2. Different parts of the plant can be featured eg, stems and leaves can both be used if they are from the same plant. See how both the stems and the flowers have been used from the sunflowers in the arrangement below. 

Sunflower ikebana arrangement

3. Any shape vase can be used or multiple vases. Consider how your vase and your material compliment each other in size and in shape. The below miniature arrangement uses only the dahlia buds in simple white ceramic vases.

Dahlias ikebana miniature arrangement

4. See if you can use the same material to make multiple arrangements. 

Wattle ikebana arrangement

5. Decide what are the most interesting, unique things about the material you are working with and try to highlight these. For example, is there a beautiful curved line in the branch you find unique. How can you best showcase this line? Are you trying to showcase the wildness or the personality of the plant? 

And always, consider how you would answer the question: "Why have you arranged it in this way?"

If you'd like to learn more about ikebana - please join our weekly online study group. Learn more.