Monday, November 17, 2008

A day at the studio

It was a tiring day under the spotlights - for the carnations, lilies and chrysanthemums!  Our star performers were the models for photography students training at Shashikant Photography

For us, it was a fascinating day, to see what a backdrop and different lighting can do to an ikebana arrangement, as a work of art.

For each of these arrangements, the students would take almost half an hour, to organise the lighting, change the backdrop, shoot from different angles.  So we saw lights that hang overhead, spotlights that go on the backdrop, side lights, bottom lights, etc etc!

Unfortunately, I only had my camera phone with me, and these are all the pictures I could muster!

Sorry about just will not straighten!

The agency has a six month photography programme, and flower photography is just one of the themes they cover.  They also have a lovely Flower series, stock photos that you can purchase from them.

A tea ceremony and the Ohara school

It was my first experience with a Japanese tea ceremony here in Madras, and quite an event it was!

Organised at the Japanese Consulate, it may have been sniffed at by the purists, but for us non-Japanese, it was a whiff of their culture, zen thought and philosophy.

So much care, silence, the trickle of water, the appreciation of the tea cup, the deliberate cleaning of the serving cup and other implements....

All for a cup of tea you may ask?  Its not the end that matters but the process I guess!
Take a look at all the implements that were involved. We were told that the whisk (that you see in the foreground) is ceremonially consigned to the temple fire, once a year in a special ceremony.

Then there's a cloth to wipe the ladle, another to wipe out the guests' cup...all in all very complicated!

One must make the time to relax, meditate, and calm the mind before having the energising tea!
Above is the container holding the cool water.  This is poured deliberately into the boiler, pictured below.  During the process, one hears the soothing sound of the water trickling.

And the tea is accompanied by these various Japanese sweets.  Some were gelatin-based, others were redbean, and still others had a biscuity texture!
Then there was an interlude, followed by a few arrangements put up by the Ohara ladies, led by Sherry.  (I hope I have spelt her name correctly?)
This lovely landscape arrangement was placed outside, with coconut saplings forming the major part.
A no-kenzan arrangement above, and a miniature landscape below.

A delightful and aesthetic arrangement with vegetables on a banana leaf

Qumqat branches and Asia lilies - subject and object.

A composite arrangement with several vases.

A refreshing morning indeed!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Hello Group

Does any one one our group have Vase of these colours. If yes, would you please be kind enough to lend it to me during the Exhibition - If you do not plant to do an arrangement in it?? I dont need the exact shape, but the colour combination somewhat matching this will do. Thanks a lot.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sensei & Sensibility

Sensei Malathi has added the following comment on the "No Kezan Workshop" -

"Every time I see the report I feel the photoes are more gorgeous than what I saw with my own eyes, they seem as done by master of the art. Keep it up ladies and gentlemen..". Thank you so much Ma'am for such a big complement. It inspires me to become a Master of the Art. And I am sure, it does the same to others of our group.

While browsing Keith Stanley's beautiful Ikebana website, I saw a blog titled "Sensei and Sensibility" and that prompts me to write the sensibility of a Sensei. I brought a Vases - a square mouthed with the 4 sides having the following : A pathway and a door, a street light, some calla lillies growing on the hedge, just a brick wall and some calla lillies . I liked the vase very much, but I was a bit taken back when I heard comments like "This is too picturey-picturey.." "I dont like it.." "I like cylindrical shaped vases only..." And so on and so on.

But when I showed it to Sensei Malathi, She looked at all the sides for some time, and then slowly gave her comments.

"You can display all the 4 surfaces nicely. "

"This surface shows a door... You can do an arrangement that says WELCOME. You can use welcoming colours like Pink.."

"This surface shows just a street light and some calla lillies. You can do an arrangement depicting a "Street Scene"

"This surface has a brick wall and lots of calla lillies. So you can use lots of greens and do an arrangement.."

That was some sensibility from the Sensei. I learnt a good deal from this. We can always focus on how to use a container/vase most effectively, than just looking at the unwanted part and rejecting the whole idea of using it :) :) That is what Sogetsu is about, isnt it? Anything, Anywhere, Anybody ??????????

Ma'am once again I express my joy that I am able to learn the beautiful art of Ikebana from you. Thank you for being there for all of us. I am adding a picture of an arrangement of Akane Teshigahara.

It is described as "..Paphiopediulum serves as a single accent for this light oncidium arrangement that resembles a nest of sparrows. Container: Ceramic vase"