Category Archives: Workshops

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

2016 Holiday Workshop

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The Holiday workshop, held at the North Mountain Visitors Center, was a great way to wrap up 2016. Tasty snacks were shared, while creative juices flowed. Carol Brecker lead the workshop, using aspen branches, pine, red lilies, red and silver roses, amaranth and baby’s breath to create arrangements that expressed holiday feelings and wishes.

Continue to see a sample of arrangements.

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Ikenobo, Honored Guest 45th Headmaster SENSEI IKENOBO

RECENTLY A NUMBER OF OUR MEMBERS ATTENDED THIS WORKSHOP AND REALLY ENJOYED IT.
Ikenobo, the origin of Ikebana, was established 600 years ago. It has established over 100 chapters worldwide. The San Diego Chapter celebrated their 38th Anniversary with Honored Guest 45th Headmaster SEN-EI IKENOBO on October 25th, 2014 at the University of San Diego.

Here are a few photos of the exhibition as well as works of art performed by SEN-EI IKENOBO.

Continue reading Ikenobo, Honored Guest 45th Headmaster SENSEI IKENOBO

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.

Continue reading Ron Brown Sogetsu Demo & Workshop 2013