Category Archives: Demonstrations

2018 Ron Brown Demonstration & Workshop

Article by Susan Hoe

The “oohs” and “ahs” coming from the audience was in response to the creativity of Master Teacher Ron Brown’s dynamic Sogetsu demonstration. His expertise thrilled the ikebana enthusiasts at the Palo Verde Room in the Maricopa Cooperative Extension this past Saturday, October 6.

Working with materials that ranged from large monstera leaves and bright yellow sunflowers to the delicate and bright orange Mexican bird of paradise (a favorite of Ron’s), he deftly created eleven beautiful arrangements using a variety of flowers, leaves, palms, and dried materials. Some were ordered from Hawaii (including monstera leaves, red and pink torch gingers, birds of paradise, and pale-colored anthuriums), while others were gathered from the nearby yards of Retta Marconi-Dooly and Carol Brecker, with local florists filling in the rest.

Since the art of ikebana focuses not just on the floral materials but how well they harmonize with the container, Ron selected a wide array of vessels, some traditional (such as a round, low suiban), others modern, and still others wholly original.

With an uncanny talent for turning mundane simple objects into exciting new receptacles or accents for ikebana arrangements, Ron’s ability was front and center as he used unique containers that he had constructed out of living as well as inorganic materials. One uncommon container that he featured was made from a very pretty lace placemat.

Another original creation that excited the audience was a trio of bamboo “vases” Ron created by partially splitting lengths of black bamboo and connecting them together to form a set of linear vessels. The small hollow bamboo opening at the top of each structure was filled with water so he could arrange a colorful spray of floral materials in each one to cap off the tall slim stems of the split bamboo.

Ron also created three miniature arrangements in tiny glass bottles, which he loosely wrapped with colored bendable wires for interest. He placed a single blossom (including a yellow mini pom, a purple mini carnation allium, and an orange Mexican bird of paradise) in each bottle, which he feels “forces” the viewer to look closely and appreciate the delicate features of each single bloom—an experience they may miss when the same flowers are used in bunches on a larger arrangement.

In contrast, his largest piece was a spectacular five-foot structure that was built upon a metal frame (made by artist Ping Wei). Selecting diverse materials that ranged from dried brown palm tree bark to succulent green fire sticks, red and pink torch gingers, and vivid birds of paradise, the arrangement provided a rousing end to his demonstration.

A light lunch was served, and materials (including horsetail reeds, hala and flax leaves plus a perfect, single anthurium) were passed out for the workshop portion of the program. Attendees created their own arrangements using either an upright or low bowl container. Following the technique that Ron demonstrated, they inserted wires through their hollow horsetail reeds, which allowed them to bend and manipulate the thin reeds into a myriad of new three-dimensional shapes. Hala and flax leaves were creatively added to each arrangement, which was completed by the perfect placement of the single anthurium.

As part of the ikebana study process, Sensei Ron took the time to evaluate every arrangement, tweaking the students’ work while explaining why and how the pieces could be improved—a great learning exercise.

When the day ended, all attendees left with a beautiful arrangement they had each created along with a renewed and profound sense of what is possible in the art of ikebana.t of the single anthurium.

The “oohs” and “ahs” coming from the audience was in response to the creativity of Master Teacher Ron Brown’s dynamic Sogetsu demonstration. His expertise thrilled the ikebana enthusiasts at the Palo Verde Room in the Maricopa Cooperative Extension this past Saturday, October 6.

Working with materials that ranged from large monstera leaves and bright yellow sunflowers to the delicate and bright orange Mexican bird of paradise (a favorite of Ron’s), he deftly created eleven beautiful arrangements using a variety of flowers, leaves, palms, and dried materials. Some were ordered from Hawaii (including monstera leaves, red and pink torch gingers, birds of paradise, and pale-colored anthuriums), while others were gathered from the nearby yards of Retta Marconi-Dooly and Carol Brecker, with local florists filling in the rest.

Since the art of ikebana focuses not just on the floral materials but how well they harmonize with the container, Ron selected a wide array of vessels, some traditional (such as a round, low suiban), others modern, and still others wholly original.

With an uncanny talent for turning mundane simple objects into exciting new receptacles or accents for ikebana arrangements, Ron’s ability was front and center as he used unique containers that he had constructed out of living as well as inorganic materials. One uncommon container that he featured was made from a very pretty lace placemat.

Another original creation that excited the audience was a trio of bamboo “vases” Ron created by partially splitting lengths of black bamboo and connecting them together to form a set of linear vessels. The small hollow bamboo opening at the top of each structure was filled with water so he could arrange a colorful spray of floral materials in each one to cap off the tall slim stems of the split bamboo.

Ron also created three miniature arrangements in tiny glass bottles, which he loosely wrapped with colored bendable wires for interest. He placed a single blossom (including a yellow mini pom, a purple mini carnation allium, and an orange Mexican bird of paradise) in each bottle, which he feels “forces” the viewer to look closely and appreciate the delicate features of each single bloom—an experience they may miss when the same flowers are used in bunches on a larger arrangement.

In contrast, his largest piece was a spectacular five-foot structure that was built upon a metal frame (made by artist Ping Wei). Selecting diverse materials that ranged from dried brown palm tree bark to succulent green fire sticks, red and pink torch gingers, and vivid birds of paradise, the arrangement provided a rousing end to his demonstration.

A light lunch was served, and materials (including horsetail reeds, hala and flax leaves plus a perfect, single anthurium) were passed out for the workshop portion of the program. Attendees created their own arrangements using either an upright or low bowl container. Following the technique that Ron demonstrated, they inserted wires through their hollow horsetail reeds, which allowed them to bend and manipulate the thin reeds into a myriad of new three-dimensional shapes. Hala and flax leaves were creatively added to each arrangement, which was completed by the perfect placement of the single anthurium.

Student Workshop Photos

Christmas Demonstration & Workshop

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015

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Holiday Workshop by Retta marconi-Dooley, Sogetsu School

Location: Kate Secrest’s Clubhouse
Stonegate Clubhouse

The Christmas demonstration by Retta was fabulous as always. Lots of beautiful flowers were provided for the members and guests to work with and enjoy. It had a Western Christmas theme. The first five photo’s are from Retta’s Demo and the rest are some of the members creations.

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Professor’s Demonstration & Luncheon 2015

A fantastic demonstration by Professor Makoto Fujii and a superb luncheon was had by all. He lives in Kyoto. It was the Professor’s birthday on Thursday, so there are a couple photos included with his demonstration. The smaller photos at the end are the actual arrangements and are taken from the Ikenobo Chapter files.
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March 7th Demo & Lunch

Friday, March 7, 2014
Demonstration by Visiting Ikenobo Professor from Japan.  We are pleased to announce that Ikenobo Visiting Professor, Mr. Yoichi Mizutani, will be presenting a demonstration for us.   As always, it will be a privilege and a joy to watch this talented Sensei from Japan, creating works of art.   Professor Mizutani began his study of Ikenobo ikebana in 2004, and in 2011 he graduated from the Advanced Course at the Ikenobo Central Training Institute, Ikenobo Headquarters, Kyoto. He has since completed the Special Advanced Courses in Shoka at the Ikenobo Central Training Institute. In 2011, the professor presented a “Reishiki- ike” ceremony and ikebana demonstration during the Ikenobo event in the Taipei International Flora Exposition, Taiwan. The same year, he visited China as a member of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths Programme. As a staff member, he participated in the Special Demonstration held at the Tokyo Forum in 2012 celebrating the Ikenobo Ikebana 550th year of recorded history.

Professor Yoichi Mizutani lives in Shimotsuma City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, and teaches ikebana at his own classroom. In addition to his teaching and study of Ikenobo, Professor Mizutani enjoys music and playing classical guitar.

Ron Brown Sogetsu Demo & Workshop 2013

Our October meeting was both a demonstration and luncheon followed by a hands-on workshop. Ron Brown, who holds the rank of Jonin Somu in the Sogetsu School, will be coming from Sonoma County, CA to present our first program of the year. He will do a demonstration of Sogetsu designs starting at 9:30 am, including one or two complete arrangements for our raffle.After lunch Ron Sensei will be giving a workshop from about 1:30pm to 3:30pm, using unconventional materials. Ron Sensei is a wonderful teacher and lots of fun to work with. It was a wonderful treat to have him with us.

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