Saturday, 15 November 2014


Members of the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International and their guests were pleased to welcome Shihosai Uematsu, the Iemoto designate, of the Shogetsudo Koryu School at the meeting held on Tuesday 11th November. In the morning Mr Uematsu gave a demonstration of ikebana works focusing on the Seika form and in the afternoon he lead a workshop, which was attended by 44 members from all schools of the Chapter, on the subject of 'Ryureika', a modern form of Seika.

Above Mrs Chieko Yazaki, Melbourne teacher of the Shogetsudo Koryu School of Ikebana, and Mr Uematsu. 

The  photo above shows Mr Uematsu explaining the principles underlying the Seika form.

Below are other works created by Mr Uematsu for the demonstration

As Tuesday was Armistice Day Mr Uematsu created a commemorative freestyle ikebana for those who gave their lives in war and at 11.00am a minutes silence was observed by all present.


Below some of the 44 members of the Melbourne Chapter who participated in the workshop.

Click on the coloured text to see other photos from the Shogetsudo Koryu demonstration.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The marriage of ikebana and haiku

November promises to be an lively month in Melbourne for anyone interested in ikebana.

Visiting master from Japan, Mr Shihosai Uematsu

The Shogetsudo-koryu school in Australia is small, but growing rapidly.
This school of ikebana was established by a Buddhist monk, Ichiro Zeshinken, 250 years ago. It was named for Eison Shogetsudo, a thirteenth century Japanese philosopher, whose teachings are a reference point for the school. It established the Seika style, which embraces the principle of Yin-Yang balance and the five elements of the universe.

Mr Uematsu is the son of the current head of Shogetsudo-koryu school in Kyoto and will shortly take over as the 13th headmaster. He will showcase the school's style at the general meeting of Ikebana International on November 11, demonstrating both traditional and contemporary arrangements.
Everyone is welcome to attend and the meeting is free of charge.
There will also be a workshop in the afternoon with Mr Uematsu. This is for members only and booking is essential. Contact Mrs Chieko Yazaki on for more

A reminder about the

Ikenobo demonstration and workshop on Sunday 30 November, 1.30-2.30, at Rippon Lea, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick. Rippon Lea House and Garden is currently running a Spring Garden Festival with a wide range of talks and displays. More details are available on the National Trust Victoria website
Cost: $25 or $20 for members of the National Trust.

 A similar workshop was also held last month and as can be seen from the photo below the old mansion and its garden provided a wonderful backdrop for flower-arranging.   

 At the Sogetsu school meeting Monday October 21 Lara Telford presented the theme of Haiku and Ikebana. Both arts are minimalistic, offering an economy of essence.
Free-style arrangements accompanied haiku verses, both ancient and modern, were selected by members.

A modern verse....European food -/every blasted plate/is round

  Nothing there but/the whorl of a fern/this floating world. Kawabata Bosha

And a personal note:
This is my final blog for the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International. When Pat Hetrel, raised the suggestion of starting a blog two years ago I agreed to take on the task of shepherding it through its infancy, although I could offer no relevant experience! It has been a steep learning curve and I have greatly appreciated assistance from many people, especially Rosemary Parry-Brock and Christopher James. Everyone who helped by sending photos or information, as well as those who patiently held backdrops while others took the photos have all contributed, for which I am very grateful.
Christopher James is the new blogmaster and I urge all members to keep in mind the potential of the blog to advertise our activities and showcase our work. The potential is, as yet, largely untapped. Jennie Stuart

Sunday, 19 October 2014


On 29 September a simple, but elegant, service was held to farewell Carlyne Patterson, who died after a long battle with motor neurone disease. Many present had known Carlyne as a Sogetsu teacher and others knew her as a colleague. She trained with Norman Sparnon and three of her students have been awarded the Norman and Mary Sparnon travelling scholarship!
Phillip Keon's arrangement of anthuria, white roses, chrysanthemums and a profusion of other material lay on top of the coffin during the service.

Some pictures during preparation......

At the general meeting of the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International on 14 October children's author, Tetsuta Watanabe gave an enthralling talk, alluding along the way to the similarities between his stories and ikebana, especially the key ingredients of simplicity, narrative and visual impact. He lives in the Dandenong ranges and many of his stories (in Japanese) are about the Australian bush.

He later wrote to say how much he had appreciated the kind and enthusiastic audience. And if you missed the occasion there will be other opportunities to meet Tetsuta at future workshops and exhibitions, as he is a Sogetsu student of Lara Telford's.

Many members made arrangements with the theme of  children in mind......

Some diary dates :

The next general meeting on Tuesday November 11 at
Toorak Uniting Church Hall, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak, will start promptly at 10 (note the earlier starting time).
There will be a demonstration by several members of the Shogetsudokoryu School who are visiting from Japan, led by the iemoto-designate.
A free-style workshop in the afternoon is for members only.
For further details please contact Mrs Chieko Yazaki :

On Sunday November 30 , 1.30 -2.30, there will be an ikenobo demonstration and workshop at Rippon Lea House and Garden, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick, led by Mrs Yukako Braun. It is part of the Spring Garden Festival of the National Trust, Victoria.
Everyone is welcome so tell friends and family.
Cost : $25 or $20 for National Trust members. 
For further details:

Friday, 26 September 2014

Spring fever

It has been a busy month......

Firstly, at the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne, Mrs Chieko Yazaki made an arrangement for the opening on September 1st of Aftershocks, an exhibition commemorating the Great Kanto Eathquake, which devastated Tokyo and Yokohama on 1st September,1923. 120,000 people died and millions became homeless. It irrevocably changed the landscape and the society.

The exhibition will run until 8 March 2015  
On September 4, Professor Hirotaka Furukawa, Ikenobo master from Kyoto, gave a wonderful demonstration of his art and skill at Rippon Lea mansion, using material from the garden. The delicacy and power of 'less is more' was clearly shown.

Then, on September 6 there was an Ikenobo freestyle workshop, where Professor Furukawa encouraged all participants to use their material to express a personal response.

At the general meeting of Ikebana International Melbourne Chapter on 9 September we were feted by Sam Ito, Japanese chef, who prepared a beautiful platter of sashimi garnished with herbs and flowers for us to enjoy. If flowers are added to the dish, he said, they should be edible, such as, nasturtiums or chrysanthemums.

Some of the arrangements made by members for the meeting......

Diary Dates:

The next general meeting of Ikebana International Melbourne Chapter will be held on Tuesday October 14 at Toorak Uniting Church Hall, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak at 10.30 am. Children's author, Tetsuta Watanabe, will be the guest speaker.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


In the evening of Tuesday 12th August 35 members and friends celebrated the opening of the annual exhibition at the Gasworks Arts Park in South Melbourne by Mr Yuji Furukawa a Consul from the office of the Consul General to Victoria.  

Mr Fukuwara and Mrs Helen Gray (I.I. Melbourne Chapter 29 President)

Members from the five schools of Ikebana International participated in the exhibition that took place in two exhibition spaces at the Centre. Below are three photos of ikebana works from the exhibition. 

On Sunday 24th a class for children was lead by Lara Telford. Ten young people enthusiastically created ikebana from an unexpected variety of vegetables, flowers and pasta! You can see their pleasure on their faces.

Click on the blue text to see:

Saturday, 16 August 2014


At the meeting on 12th August members created arrangements using willow with traditional and modern interpretations.

Demonstrations were given by the Shogetsudokoryu, Ohara and Sogetsu Heads of School.
Below Chieko Yazaki (Shogetsudokoryu) and Elizabeth Angell (Sogetsu).

This is Aiko Nakada (Ohara) who used silver painted willow, dancing lady orchid and irises.

The photos below are of the finished demonstration works. First the Shogetsudokoryu school...

... the Sogetsu School...

...and the Ohara School.

This occasion was also the Annual General Meeting of the Chapter. In her report the President Helen Gray thanked the many members who created arrangements at the monthly meetings. She also thanked Sally Wilkinson who manages the Chapters' financial dealings, the website and keeps the member list. Special thanks to Jennie Stuart for her management of the Blog over the past two years.

Highlights of the year included:

- Annual Exhibition last September 2013 at Gasworks Arts Park Albert Park. Thea Sartori (Exhibition Coordinator) was interviewed on local radio which brought an influx of young people to see the show.

- Melbourne Now at the NGV: on December 16th 2013, all five Schools took part in a new summer program, with live ikebana demonstrations and performances.

- Maree Ong was Exhibition Coordinator working with Heads of Schools to set up a joint exhibit in April 2014 for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens. All five Schools demonstrated.

- Last weekend (August 3rd 2014) the five Schools set up floral exhibits at St Michael’s Church in Collins Street in memory of Hiroshima Day.

Click on the blue text for: 

Additional Photos from the meeting and President's Annual Report.

Don't forget:

September 2014 Professor Hirotaka Furukawa will be visiting from Ikenobo headquarters. 

He will give a demonstration on Thursday 4th Sptember from 7 - 9.30 pm in the ballroom at Rippon Lea, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick. $25

On Saturday 6th September he will run an Ikenobo free-styleworkshop at the Tivoli German Club, 291 Dandenong Road, Windsor. All ikebana practitioners are welcome, $20

Contact for further details and to book.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sogetsu workshop

Mr Yoshiro Umemura, visiting from Sydney, gave an inspiring Sogetsu workshop on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July. Four themes were chosen from the current curriculum :

Workshop 1: Intertwining plant materials

Workshop 2: Repeating similar forms or shapes.

Workshop 3: An arrangement showing lines at the base.

Workshop 4: An arrangement designed to be viewed from all angles

And in between, dinner at Geppetto's  restaurant, in Kew, gave some light relief from the hard work.

See the Sogetsu website for more pictures from the weekend

Diary dates :

Don't forget there are two very interesting events on the horizon for all devotees of ikebana.

The annual exhibition of the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International will feature arrangements from all schools, as well as demonstrations....

And in September 2014 Professor Hirotaka Furukawa will be visiting from Ikenobo headquarters.
He will give a demonstration on Thursday 4th Sptember from 7 - 9.30 pm in the ballroom at Rippon Lea, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick. $25
On Saturday 6th September he will run an Ikenobo free-style workshop at the Tivoli German Club, 291 Dandenong Road, Windsor. All ikebana practitioners are welcome, $20

Contact for further details and to book.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Built by hand....

Ikebana International Melbourne Chapter is having an exhibition next month. It will be a wonderful opportunity to see arrangements by members from Ichiyo, Ikenobo, Ohara, Sogetsu and Shogetsudokoryu schools, as well as invite friends and family to enjoy demonstrations. See full details below.
And last, but not least, there will be a children's workshop on Saturday the 16th August. Kids love working with flowers in a new way and will be able to take their arrangements home.
Also on Saturday 16th August the monthly Gasworks market will be in full swing from 8.30 am until 1pm. Entry is free but you need to bring your own bags as it is a plastic-free event.

At the General Meeting on Tuesday 8th July Jane Sawyer, studio potter, told us about her two year apprenticeship in a Japanese pottery, Shussai-Gama, in the mid 80's. She trained in Sydney with Andrew Halford and later did a Masters degree in Melbourne with Prue Venables. Her work still centres on functional, everyday ware, such as platters and bowls. Her web-site is worth browsing for information about Jane, pictures of her work and details about the classes which she has organised at the Slow Clay Centre in Collingwood.

Ikebana International members brought arrangements in favourite containers, some by artisan potters and others which they had made themselves.....

Toula Karanikolopoulos made this container herself, with her interest in ikebana uppermost....

Tricia Nicholls rescued this hand-made container from an op shop and has given it new life.

Other events on the horizon include an ikebana display in the hall of St Michael's Uniting Church, on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets, Melbourne, on Sunday 3rd August as part of the commemoration of Hiroshima Day.

The next meeting on Tuesday August 12 will also be the Annual General Meeting. Following the meeting the Head of each School will prepare an arrangement using willow, a traditional material..
Toorak Uniting Church Hall, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak (west side of the church), 10.30 am.