Return to Raku / by Alexander Evans

It has once again been a busy couple of weeks but amongst all the travel and work I've been doing for lessons and so on, I've been keeping things interesting at Raku Dining with two more sets of arrangements. It is such a wonderful opportunity to provide ikebana for such an esteemed restaurant although not without it's unique challenges. One needs to work quickly, and tidily, casuing minimal disruption to the restaurant but also produce interesting arrangements that capture the moment in time and the right feeling for that week. Then there is also the great challenge of photographing and recording the work for posterity and so that I can post it here. The restaurant setting is tricky as there are so many things going on in a visual sense that it is hard to keep the image of the ikebana as the principal focus in the picture. This is something that I am still working on improving and so as time goes by you'll see me try different things with the photographs to try and keep the main focus on the arrangement. Some will be more successful than others I am sure! I welcome any feedback folks may have on good approaches or improvements I might make in this regard. 

Week 2 at Raku Dining

 Arrangement in the private function room - use of water and space

Arrangement in the private function room - use of water and space

 Arrangement near the entry - focus on mass and dynamic line creating movement and space

Arrangement near the entry - focus on mass and dynamic line creating movement and space

 Arrangment at corner of kitchen bar - vertical focus

Arrangment at corner of kitchen bar - vertical focus

Week 2 at Raku I chose to really make a focus on a colour theme of green and pink/purple. Being the lead up into the festive season I wanted something exciting but also fresh feeling and cooling given that in Australia it's very much summer time. I used water and open space in various ways along with the colours to help the restaurant feel as inviting as possible.


Week 3 at Raku Dining

 Arrangement in Private Function Room - Use of unconventional materials (origami cranes)

Arrangement in Private Function Room - Use of unconventional materials (origami cranes)

 Arrangement near main entrance - Use of unconventional materials to create mass (baubles and origami sonobe balls)

Arrangement near main entrance - Use of unconventional materials to create mass (baubles and origami sonobe balls)

 Arrangement at corner of kitchen bar - Use of dried or painted materials (giant fig leaf, wisteria branch & smoke bush) and unconventional materials (origami sonobe ball)

Arrangement at corner of kitchen bar - Use of dried or painted materials (giant fig leaf, wisteria branch & smoke bush) and unconventional materials (origami sonobe ball)

Week 3 at Raku takes us right into the Christmas festive season and all the way through to new year. This weeks arrangements required quite a bit of extra thought as they needed to not require water due to me being away in Brisbane for New Year Celebrations. With being away I would not be able to update the arrangements after only a week and so I needed to make sure they would last and feel festive even in my absence. This was tricky but fun! I really enjoyed the challenge of making these arrangments and thinking my way around bringing a festive feel but in a very Japanese way. Needless to say that my origami skills turned out to be invaluable!