I am presented with rhododendron and small white spray roses and a shallow bowl. Ilse reminds me, again, to use my whole body to place the stems at correct angles, and also to think of them in relation to each other. It is like a little world in a dish…and deciding to snip a single leaf, or add one, can make a big difference.
Across the table, Monique, an advanced student, is working with plant material and vases that she has brought to class. Today, she will construct three completely different arrangements (in the span that I struggle with one) that feature a vine.
She deftly constructs the first two arrangements, but the last gives her a bit of a struggle and Ilse steps in to assist. Together they realize something that has a beautiful tension as the wild vine soars dramatically upward from the vase but the intensity of the roses brings the eye back down to complete a curl that is at once striking and comforting.