ZOOM class with Katayama sensei

Written by Sandy Marker

A wonderful opportunity was offered by Ikebana Dojo (Melbourne) to join a ZOOM class with Katayama Sensei from Headquarters, Tokyo. Sandra Cottee, Alexander Evans and I jumped at the chance to participate.

We were asked to submit an image of our work plus a question pertaining to the work or any other subject we had a query about. Our work could be any subject or draw inspiration from Katayama sensei’s work. After the ZOOM we were asked to send through our ‘corrected work’ so there is a before and after versions displayed.

Sandra work was based on a basket arrangement with a twist, working with it upside down. The comments where maybe the basket could have been a little more tilted and higher plus some stronger material or branches added to make the work more powerful

Sandra Cottee – before critique
Sandra Cottee – after critique

Alexander’s arrangement consisted of Dahlias, aged Eucalyptus branch, Viburnum and weeping Mulberry. The container is silver in colour. Katayama sensei’s comment was very positive but said the Dahlias would create a stronger impact is grouped together. Alexander’s question was “Should I trim the top line of the branch and leave only the strong main line or is it ok like this?”. The answer was no because is great as it is.

Alexander Evans – before critique
Alexander Evans – after critique

My arrangement was in a Tsubo container with a large piece of weather Eucalyptus branch and Arum lilies. Again, like the others my work was praised, and Katayama sensei commented how he remembers me from classes at HQ (lovely to be recognised). The correction for my work – the front leaf was overpowering and you could not see the junction of container and wood. My question was “I learned from my first Sensei that driftwood has a strong ‘heart’ – How can we soften this in our arrangements?” The answer was there is no need to soften the driftwood because it is a beautiful element in itself.

Sandy Marker – before critique
Sandy Marker – after critique

I enjoyed the ZOOM and found it very informative. You can view it on YouTube – Ikebana Dojo with Mr Katayama