Sunday, October 16, 2016

A factory visit!

October 15th

 Our October meeting, just before Deepavali, was an interesting one. No flowers, but a workshop on something sweet! Our member sensei Trishala arranged for us to visit their food factory., Megafoods, in the Ambattur Industrial estate.

The fruits - papaya, guava, black grapes, apples, bananas and pears - had been bought, washed, cut and pureed, in order to save time.

Twelve members were present, (as also young Shivani, who kept us all entertained!), and after a briefing by Mr Amit Vaishnav on the processes, controls and quality checks required for a food unit, we were taken down to the unit, to see a small batch of mixed fruit jam and eggless mayonnaise be prepared.
Members with our hairnet caps!

The small size of the batch meant that the heating was done on a regular gas stove, and not
in one of the larger steel cauldrons that lined the room.

Mr Vaishnav explaining the ingredients - pectin, sugar, citric acid, colouring and
flavouring that goes into the jam.
As the fruit puree bubbled and boiled, we moved to the mixer/grinder where the mayo preparation was beginning.

The eggless mayo uses milk protein instead, and while all the dry ingredients are first given
a mix with water, the oil is added in a steady stream as the mixer blends, in order to give the consistency. 

The finished jam is actually liquid while hot, and only attains the "jam" consistency on cooling to
 room temperature.
It is therefore easy to pour and bottle.  For larger batches, there is a mechanised bottling line as well.

Pepper mayo, bottled and ready for us!

And the mixed fruit jam as well!
After a sumptuous lunch hosted by our gracious hosts, we returned to the factory, as the members had ordered various other sauces, jams, squashes and pickles to try!

It was late afternoon by the time we all departed, a morning well spent!

Our sincere thanks to Trishala and Amit for organising this and answering our innumerable questions, patiently!

A Happy Deepavali to all!

A wonderful afternoon with Mr and Mrs Minagawa

October 1st 2016.

Mr Minagawa and Mrs Lan Minagawa were on a personal visit to Chennai, and the Study Group were happy to meet them over lunch.  Friends of Ikebana and the Study Group during their stint at the Chennai Consulate, we have warm and happy memories of them, and it was good to renew our friendship.

The afternoon was marked by smiles, laughter and warm exchanges.  Friendship through flowers, indeed!

An award for Malathi sensei!

The Chennai Sogetsu Study Group was delighted to learn that our Chairperson Sensei Malathi will be honoured by Iemoto Akane with the Overseas Award, at the Ceremony to coincide with the 90th anniversary celebrations of the school, in April 2017!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Worskhop - September 2016

 8th Sept 2016

The Study group met at the ABK hall once more for their monthly demo, workshop and friendship.  Eleven members were present.

Molly sensei began proceedings with demonstrating using the lesson 6 in Book 4.  In the December floods of 2015, she had lost all her textbooks, along with many other things, including her beautiful garden.

Her composition contrasted the thick, lichen-covered branch below with the thin lines above, and the red jerberas complemented the vase, to create a beautifully balanced composition.  The composition was appreciated by all of us.

We then moved on to the technique of "plaiting", which sensei Trishala demonstrated.  She had used it in her arrangement in the last month's workshop on surface and mass.

She had brought various palm leaves with her to show us different methods of plaiting.

Trishala mentioned that she was taught this by her household help, and many people even today use these palm to form the thatch for their roofs.

She began with showing how the fronds have to intertwine with each other

and then showed us how to finish and work the loose ends.

Two different designs - single side plaiting and double-sided.

And another method.
 It was a learning experience indeed, and many members tried their hand at plaiting, and it is definitely wortwhile having a separate workshop for this.

The workshop on Rhythm

We then moved into the workshop.  The theme for the session was "Composing with Rhythm".

Malathi sensei  worked with various rhythms unifying into a beautiful melody!   The strong rhythm of the BOP dominates the upper space, and the rhythms become weaker and softer, as we come down to the soft murmurs of the gypsopihilia!

Sensei Molly created a basket of curved lines that were in rhythm with the curve of the vase, and the arrangement of the petals in the carnations, reflected this rhythmic pattern as well.

Sensei Prerana - The rhythm of the V shaped white vase is replicated by the V shaped dry branch. The subtle mauve of the chrysanthemums have a rhythm of their own and the white limonium adds a sombre effect to the arrangement, resonating with the vase to create a pristine effect.

Sensei Meenakshi looked to to follow the shape of the container with lines of umbrella plant

Chitra Thiagarajan established a rhythm between her vase and the material, the trimming of the palms and looping them into circular shapes, working well with the circular shape of the vase.

Janaki sensei established a rhythm between the black suiban and white ceramic cups denote rhythmic phases of the new moon and full moon, day and night. Also the cups itself denote jal tharang, a percussion instrument.

Chitra Rajan - created this evocative rhythm of snakes dancing in a bush!

Bhuvana demonstrated the rythm by using the same type of flowers and greens in both the arrangements

Ambika sensei carried the linear rhythm of the vase into the stick end of the fan, while creating a separate circular rhythm with the edges of the fan, which were mirrored in colour in the pink Guzmania flowers.  The lovely circular arrangement of the eucalyptus fell in with this rhythm.  The vertical lines in the palm leaf of the fan created another rhythm, carried upwards by the orchid and the eucalyptus.  

Sensei Trishala worked with the circular rhythms of her candle stand containers.

Dalley sensei created a dramatic rhythm with the bold lines from her apple trees in the hills, while the strelitzia created a vertical rhythm.  

The meeting closed with a discussion on the 90th anniversary celebration of our school at Tokyo, understanding the itinerary and the sessions.

Friday, September 2, 2016

August workshop on Surface and Mass

August 11th 2016    
Thirteen members of the study group met at the ABK centre, for a workshop on surface and mass.   The idea was to explore the implication of surface of the container, surface of leaves and surfaces made by massing of lines,  on a composition.

We started off with a demonstration by the two new sensei, Divya and Janaki.  They approached the subject in different ways and demonstrated two different effects on composition.  With confidence and freshness in their demonstration, they were widely appreciated by the group.

Sensei Divya demonstrated with creating a surface by massing lines

Sensei Janaki demonstrated the effect of massing of material

The two senseis with their arrangements

Bhuvana used her arrangement to also reflect the colours of India,
which celebrates its Independence Day in August!

Chitra Rajan used local materials for this arrangement

Sensei Dalley created a mass with line, 

while sensei Malathi created a mass with leaf and another mass with flowers to provide colour

Rupa massed the flowers,

as did Shailaja, bunching up the jerberas.

Sensei Trishala on the other hand, created a spectacular surface by weaving the palm.

Sensei Meenu worked with creating several masses along a line. 

Sensei Molly exhibited surface with the dramatic tropical leaves, while the flowers and lines worked to
provide depth

Prerana sensei's arrangement is all about celebration. So the mass and surface of the gold and silver Mithai boxes. And of course the exotic orchids is also working as a mass.

Pushkala experimented with the surface of a piece of dried yellow pumpkin and complemented it with a mss of ixora, n a vase from her travels to Bulgaria.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sogetsu demonstration at ABK event

19th March 2016
Sensei Molly, assisted by Chitra Rajan gave a demonstration of Sogetsu Ikebana, and here is the report by Chitra.

A seminar on culture and society of Japan  was arranged at The Raintree Hotel Anna Salai on 19 Mar 2016 by ABK-AOTS Dosokai, Tamilnadu Centre on behalf of the Japanese Consulate to facilitate social inclusion of differently enable people through cultural exchange . 

Molly Cherian gave a demonstration on behalf of the Sogestu school of Chennai. The demonstration was striking depicting the minimalist classical style of Sogestu Ikebana. Three styles were demonstrated

The audience  which included Japanese Consul General Mr Seiji Baba, Japanese embassy staff, ABK staff and students and  differently enabled persons and students from corporation schools watched with rapt attention and were very appreciative

Sensei Molly with her arrangements - Upright Moribana style using yellow chrysanthemum, and umbrella plant  Cascade style with orchids and jasmine branch, and Freestyle in a tall metal  vase with cockscomb and driftwood without crossbar
There were three exhibits of Sogestu Ikebana  by Molly and one exhibit by Chitra Rajan  as well.
Monstera, white lilies in a tall vase - Sensei Molly

Sensei Molly - Pink and green anthurium on a traditional Japanese container
3. Royal palms, Bromeliad, gypsophilia and chrysanthemum on a traditional brass container

Chitra's arrangement- Twin bamboo containers with colocosia, dracena  and various shades of pink chrysanthemum.

All exhibits were well displayed and appreciated.

Sensei Molly received a memento from the Consul General Mr Seiji Baba .  Mr Ranganathan the Executive Director of ABK conveyed his sincere thanks to Mrs Malathi Pandurang for accommodating his request to demonstrate Sogestu Ikebana in spite of her hectic schedule.

Another highlight of seminar was the Origami exhibition and demonstration by a well known artist Mr Shivaram Ananthanarayan.