And the ikebana classes continue. I LOVE them! Since my first introductory lesson, though, I’ve been so excited to get to the lesson on the nageire upright style. My sensei demonstrated it in that first lesson and it was just so delicate. And whimsical. And elegant.

In the moribana style, one uses a kenzan (or “frog” as my grandmother called them) to position the flowers. In nageire, the stems are fixed without a kenzan using one of three methods. The first lesson, the vertical type fixture (called tate-no-soegi-dome in Japanese) was demonstrated. For my lesson yesterday, I learned the cross-bar fixture (jumonji-dome in Japanese). And the third type of fixture is just called direct fixing (jika-dome) which is typically use with and kind of transparent container or vase.

**Please excuse the quality of the photos…I was using my old iPhone (my other battery died) and apparently, the camera on it has some issues.

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So, the cross-bar fixture is pretty amazing. Using just two thick stems or thin branches, you can create a fixture strong enough to lift the vase itself. In fact, that’s the way to test whether your cross-bar fixture is secure. You actually grab onto it and lift the vase. And once it’s secure, you get on with the arranging, which requires quite a bit more precision in cuts and attention to the weights of the flowers when compared with the moribana style.

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One of my other favorite things about my classes is finding out what materials my sensei has for me. I never know what’s going to be there. Well, this week I was absolutely delighted both because I learned nageire and because I loved the materials (well, two out of three, anyway): dragon willow and roses. The feverfew I could have lived without and, as it turned out, I ended up hardly using when I recreated the arrangement at home. They don’t travel very well.

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