Sensei Nobu Kurashige has spent over 50 years teaching ikebana! And we were very privileged to have her teach our Relief workshop direct from Japan. She has the expertise, the creativity, and the sense of humor to make a class full of ideas and fun. (While critiquing our relief arrangements she said: Be sure to save something for the sensei to critique. Do not make your arrangement perfect the first time.)
“A picture is very flat. A relief needs depth and you can’t add depth to the back. (There’s wall there!), so you must add it to the front with flowers.” The flowers should be very colorful to add to the brightness of the arrangement, but don’t use too many.
Before critiquing our individual arrangements, sensei showed us some of her own arrangements which gave us so many ideas about the materials we could use to create the background and containers for the flowers. Her examples for backgrounds included picture frames, pieces of wood, corkboard, lanterns and many more. Containers can be anything from orchid holders to small plastic boxes. Even the method for hanging the relief on the wall can add to the creation…maybe wire, maybe ribbon, maybe even a necklace.
There is only one way to really appreciate the variety of possibilities for a relief and that is to marvel at the sensei’s and the workshop participants’ creations. You will be amazed!