February 2013 Newsletter

by on 31 Jan 2013

Dear Ikebana Members,

Happy New Year, everyone. I trust you have been enjoying some of Wellington’s summer weather. It is a long time since we last met at our festive morning tea last year, so I’m sure members are looking forward to catching up with old friends at our February meeting next week.


Our first meeting for 2013 will be a workshop lead by Sogetsu teacher Satomi Takahashi and will be on the theme of Valentines Day. The Chapter will provide mizuhiki cord in red/white or gold/silver and you may like to bring red flowers.

(Mizuhiki is an ancient Japanese art form that uses a special cord. The cord is created from rice paper that is tightly wound, starched to give it stiffness, and then colored. The ways of coloring include brightly colored Mylar, thin strands of silk, or simply painted.)

The black and white plastic containers that we made for Master Kasuya’s demonstration last year will be available for members to use and / or purchase at this workshop. The containers are nageire, so there is no need for a kenzan. You are encouraged to use one of these containers, but bring your own if you would like to work with something special. You will also need flower scissors and your plant material.

The workshop will be held at 10.30am on Thursday 7 February at our usual meeting place, the Japan Information and Cultural Centre on the 18th floor of the Majestic Centre. I see that the coffee shop at the top of the escalators has moved down to street level, if you would like to bring a hot drink to the workshop.

This will be a good workshop to introduce friends to ikebana, as the mizuhiki and containers are provided and Satomi is an excellent teacher. There will be a $15 fee for non-members who wish to take part.


At our March meeting Chapter member Carol Toner will show us items from her extensive collection of Japanese goods. Carol and her husband have visited Japan many times and import goods for their business, “Made in Nippon.” I’m sure Carol will have some interesting stories to tell us.


Elizabeth McMillan and Nanette Kwok did an impressive ikebana arrangement for the Embassy of Japan’s celebration of the Emperor’s birthday. A large crowd attended this event held in December at the Wellington Club.


It is still a few months until our Chapter AGM in May, but it’s time to start thinking about next year’s officers. In accordance with our Constitution, nomination forms for the Chapter Board will be available at our meeting on 7 February and also at our March and April meetings. I am hoping that the current Board members will stand again, but new committee members are always welcome.


We are fortunate to have 5 of our teacher members offering lessons in different parts of the Wellington region this year:

Elizabeth McMillan in Seatoun and Waikanae Ph 380 9545

Brigitte Takenaka-Proctor in Lower Hutt Ph 565 1488

Sandra Hurnard in Khandallah and Martinborough Ph 970 6809

Satomi Takahashi in Seatoun Ph 388 8204

Helen Wareham in Mount Victoria Ph 970 9573

All the teachers are from the Sogetsu School. Please feel free to pass these contact numbers on to any friends who may be interested in ikebana studies.

Sadly one of our newer members, Tam Chandrtri, is leaving Wellington this month as the Embassy of Thailand has transferred her husband. We have enjoyed getting to know Tam and wish her and her family well in their new posting – hopefully there will be an Ikebana International Chapter there.

Yours in friendship through flowers,

Helen Wareham (President)

Back to Newsletters