Working with nageire (ikebana in a tall vase) is a lot like the woodwork I remember from the boy scouts. Cutting kubari sticks, splitting, tying, and making a firm construction.
When teaching my ikebana class I start with the morbibana (ikebana in shallow containers) lessons using a kenzan, making sure everyone gets the basics of lengths and angels before moving on to nageire. Getting the techniques wright and everything in it's proper place is stressful enough when you're familiar with the different ikebana styles.
I'm borrowing a room at a center for religious dialog for my ikebana class. This week two of my students offered to leave their arrangements to delight the people working at the center, which also gave me an opportunity to take some photos for the blog.
These nageire arrangements are made with drops stick kubari with a crossbar komi at the top. Knowing how difficult it is to get the positions and angels wright as a beginner, I'm very satisfied with their result. Looking at the peaceful arrangements after the frustration of trial and error is very rewarding. Breathing out. Lowering the shoulders. And experiencing what ikebana is all about.