Monday, December 21, 2009

Bamboo basket

(1) Recently, I bought this bamboo basket, thought it would be good for a morimono arrangement.

(2) dwarf pomegranate

(3) a cluster of small button mums would be better here.

Wood branches

Same woody branches from yesterday's post.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Large scale arrangement

It's not always easy to do a large scale arrangement. There are so much more space need to be filled. One of my neighbors trimmed their fig tree from their backyard. I picked up a few large branches and did this study.

I cut off small branches from main branches. The first decision to make is to use a tall or a low vase. Moribana is out of the question. The main branches are pretty heavy. I need a large container. After I set the main branches across the top of the container, the only choice I have is to make this arrangement upright. The flowers are left over from my ikebana class. This is a pretty traditional arrangement.

I may try a different arrangement with the same materials tomorrow.

130cm x 90cm x 80cm

Container: 14"(h)x6"(diameter)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

small metal sculptures

(1), (2) Size: 19"(h)x17"(w)x4"(d)

(3), (4) Size: 30"(h)x8"(w)x8"(d)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another tea pot

More decorative than functional, though I used it today for tea after the ikebana class in the morning.

metal sculpture

After learned how to use MIG welder, the real fun starts.

Matt black finish

(1), (2): triangular form, steel wire, 16"x10"x10"

(3): V-shape container, 46"(H)

(4): repeating form, 57"(H)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

In memory of Peter

Sculpture and ceramics

(1) "Ascending", Wood, stain and wax finish.
My very first wood sculpture project.

(2) "Wave", ceramic, Glaze: Satin white with a light spray of pearl black. Clay: B-mix, cone 10 reduction.
Inspired by the wood project. Clay is very forgiving. If the measurement is a little off, it's easy to fix. Wood requires more precision, it's more complicated. Maybe after a few years of experience, I will gain more confidence working with wood. It's definitely fun to work with different media.
It was supposed to be a sculpture piece. But I planned to use it in ikebana, I cut two openings for nageire.

(3) My first teapot attempt. I like geometric shape.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mixed media--Teapot

Wood, paper. Size: 25"x13"x7"

Time changes. Tea is forever.

Tea is an important part of Chinese culture. Friends gather for tea (not coffee), at any location, in any situation. Visiting Chengdu, having tea in a park is a must. Having tea also takes time. There's no rush, nor urgency. Sit down, brew tea, let it cool, while you are waiting, chat with friends. Do you see the point here? Tea is not just another beverage. It's the medium for people interacting.

For centuries, teapots experienced the change of time. When you look closely, every teapot can tell an unique story.

That's the idea I had when I tried to put a finishing on a wood teapot. I used an old magazine of Chengdu to dress the teapot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slide show of basic upright nageire

A step by step arrangement of basic upright nageire.
Also available on youtube

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Quick Study

Haven't done much in summer. When classes are back to normal schedule and everyone comes back from summer away, I hope I can do some more ikebana study myself.

The materials are left-overs from Friday's class. Two NZ flax leaves in different colors. I split one in to narrow strips. Arranged in an angular way parallel with one edge of the container.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ryan's haiku and his calligraphy

(Impression of Arizona Desert)

Tea colored sea,
Dry as bone,
Wave of sand.

Experience Chinese Calligraphy

This summer has been hard on me. My life partner Peter passed away. Couple of weeks ago, our nephew, Ryan, came visit. We met the first time. He's a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in Japanese and computer science. We had a great time together. We shared our common interests in Japanese culture. We had great fun practicing calligraphy. I asked him to write a haiku, so he can write on rice paper. He did a nice job, both with haiku and calligraphy. I will post his work later. Here are my calligraphy.
The first character is "Heart". We love somebody with our hearts. We need to put our hearts in when we are doing things, such as Ikebana. From heart, we love.
The second character is "longevity". Chinese way of blessing. Longevity requires good health. Good health yields longevity. Good health requires you taking good care of yourself. I cannot say Ikebana leads to longevity. Sure it helps you to reduce daily stress and maintain good health.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Queen Palm Flower Spikes

It's the time of the year when palm trees starts to produce flowers, which is usually very annoying. When their seeds drop and get rooted on the ground, they form weeds called "nut grass". I'm more interested in its form and color. It's definitely unique.

I spotted a flower spray from my queen palm this morning. I was glad I could reach it by my ladder. It looks pretty, but quite messy. A lot of pollen. It's quite heavy. So I use it in a nageire way. I just made/got this ceramic container yesterday. A quite good match. Because in this kind of arrangement, you need a good heavy container.

The size of this arrangement is 30"(Length)x20"(Height)x20"(Depth)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Showing the lines at the base

Showing the lines at the base, what really happens is at the top part. When I walk around my neighborhood, I see a lot of bushes and trees are trimmed that way. So, when you pay attention what's around you, you can always get inspired.

As long as there are no leaves or small branched to distract at the base, you can arrange the stems in one bundle, or split them apart. It all depends on what material you use and their character.

Here, I use pussy willow as line materials. I thought the top part needs some green. I added two palm leaves. Asiatic lilies gave the color for focal point.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Colors of the Desert

It's hard to let people believe that our desert (Arizona) is colorful. From time to time, I want to do arrangements featuring only desert materials, trying to tell the story of the colorful desert.

In late Spring and early Summer, palo verde is blooming, with mass of small yellow flowers covering the whole tree. Looking closely, you can see the tonal variations all way to brilliant orange red color spines. Bouganvilla blooms year round. It also provides the mass of magenta or bright pink color. This arrangement features palo verde and bouganvilla.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Repeating form or shape

Repeating similar form or shape

Repeating similar form or shape in visual art is equivalent to music motif in opera or theater. It's important to repeat what you want to say. In ikebana, repeating similar form gives the single form a total different look.

The single form here is just a triangle structure. I made about 30 triangles from dry sticks. When I mass them together, no other wires are used. They just lean and balance against each other. Again, the flowers can be replaced by any flowers available. I use bouganvilla, which is from my front yard, just for convenience.

The second arrangement was the group effort of my students. It was fun to see them taking the challenge to place and balance the sticks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bamboo split

I've kept the bamboo splits for a few years. They are too thin. It's hard to use them individually.

Today's ikebana lesson was about massing lines to form a surface. I thought it was a good practice for me to put these thin bamboo splits together. I used a simple weaving technique and made three parts, each with 10, 12 and 15 bamboo splits to give some variations. I sprayed them long time ago. Not quite an even spray. But the variegated tone suited better here. An even spray would be too strong.

I chose the container I made with the split top, so three groups of bamboo splits would easily be placed. When I was satisfied with the structure, I added a few honey suckle branches (from my front yard). Sensed I needed some focal point, I added some bouganvilla (also from my front yard. I really didn't spend extra for flowers and branches.)

I feel there's something missing at the base. It was a too clean cut between top and bottom parts, and the top part was heavy. The reason I post this study is hoping someone can give me some advice how to fix the problem.