Ongoing studies - Suiban no kenzan & Floor position / by Alexander Evans

My first class this fortnight was a challenge, but a pleasant one. I quite enjoy making arrangements in Suiban without kenzan even though this is one of the more difficult arrangement styles to become proficient in... Presently it is the first few days of Autumn here in Australia but the feeling in the garden is still very much of the summer heat. With this in mind I wanted to create a sense of shade over the water in the suiban to capture stillness and coolness hence I chose to use a prostrate form of leptospernum as the branches gave a nice structure to work with as well as retaining quite a canopy of small fluffy grey/green leaves that create almost a feeling of clouds. I chose the gerberas for their simple stems and nicely contrasting colour. 

Initially I kept the flower at the bottom quite full but achieved a slightly different feeling once I had plucked it a little to reduce the number of petals and the overall size of the flower.

I think that one of the most important things with this kind of arrangement is to demonstrate the skill of being able to make the arrangement stand on it's own without having its legs pushed into the corner between the base and the wall of the container and at the same time to avoid it becoming too conical or looking like a tee-pee. It is truly challenging and takes a lot of practice and meditation to get it right.

The second class for the fortnight was to create an arrangement to be positioned on the floor. I had overheard another teacher at one point saying it should have a sense of "rising" from the floor which I thought to be an interesting thing to keep in mind. My aim was to create a feeling of upward movement that would not only suit a floor position but also give that sense of "Rising".  I made two different arrangement for this exercise as I was doing well for time.

As a bonus exercise my teacher asked me to make an arrangement that utilised bulrush and was inspired by architecture in some way. So I looked at my materials and thought it would be interesting to create an arrangement that featured canteleavering. My challenge here was not only an aesthetic one but also a technical one in terms of fixing my materials so that they would occupy a position in space horizontally distant from my container!