How is your September going so far?
If you could go back to, or continue, your work or activities, you are lucky. Whether you are a parent, an office worker, working remotely, or retired, the global pandemic has disrupted our schedules and forced us to examine our lives and make sustainable, meaningful changes.
As I informed you last month, our Ikebana classes resumed on September 10th. For two hours, you can empty your mind from all the worries and stress and just focus on creating something beautiful. It is like a meditation.
For everyone’s safety, we hold each class in a large room with good air circulation and keep the class size to a maximum of 5 students. Since the students can keep enough distances, they can mutually agree to take masks off while working with flowers at each spot.
Few students who are parents cannot come back yet because their children are taking online classes at home. But we have new students, including a professional florist who wants to learn a different style to work with flowers.
I regret to report that buying flowers was not the same joyful experience this time at the New York flower market. Many smaller wholesale companies are gone, a few people I knew died of Coronavirus, the quality of flowers decreased, and the prices were up.
Despite the situation, I make sure to provide my students with plenty of flowers and branches to work with. Most flower arrangement schools give the same set of a few flowers and components for each student. It is economical for schools, but I don’t do that.
I was lucky to have been taught by a generous teacher who provided a wide variety of flowers, branches, and even containers, and let us choose the materials that spoke to us. Her practice encouraged us to use our imagination and creativity, so I want to continue her way in my classes. I believe that the resulting work is more original.
Last week, my students were able to select their materials from the followings:
Crab apple branch
Chinese pistachio leaf
Grape leaf anemone
Am I crazy to offer so many different flowers and branches? It is true that only about half of the flowers and branches are used in classes, but I like to give extras to each student so that they can practice at home, too. The rest is for me to practice.
To my delight, I had two trial students last week. It is so interesting to watch which branches, flowers, and containers they select. The fresh perspective of a new student never ceases to surprise me, and I learn from them, too.
Here are examples of students' work. Aren’t they stunning?
We still have limited space left in each class. If you are interested in joining, please contact me.
Due to COVID-19, Ikebana International NYC chapter 7, a non-profit organization that I belong to, will hold a free zoom Ikebana demonstration each month. I will inform you about it on this website and on our Instagram account. Stay tuned!