Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Poetry of Leaves

Working with large leaves last week, I revisited one of my favorite ikebana books: The Poetry of Leaves: Creative Ideas for Japanese Flower Arrangement by Norman J. Sparnon. I bought this 1970s book on eBay a couple of years ago and I love it. It contains 107 arrangements focusing on leaves in different ways, from very modern sculptural works to classical Narcissus and Aspidistra ikebana arrangements. Most of the pictures are black and white. On the second hand marked this is a quite expensive book. Mine is an ex-library copy, not as fun as a nice book from a private collection, but surely cheaper.

Norman Sparnon from Australia lived in Japan for 12 years where he studied both classical and modern ikebana. One of his teachers, Sofu Teshigahara of the Sogetsu School of ikebana, talked very highly of Mr Sparnon who for many years was considered the best-qualified master of Ikebana in the western world.

In the introduction Sparnon writhes:
"Harbingers of both spring and autumn, with their vivid colors and delicate patterns, leaves are one of the miracles of nature and are considered by the Japanese to be one of the major elements of flower arranging."

by Norman J. Sparnon
Walker/Weatherhill; 1st edition (1970)
ASIN: B0006C07HS

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