There is something of the artist in each of us. Some of us find expression in painting, poetry, or sculpture, some in landscape gardening. With talent and facility, expression in these art forms is Satisfying. And this is true also of flower arranging, an ancient art that can express a thought or mood and in a sense combine the expression of severnl other media. Yet special talent for flower arranging is not essential. The 'feeling' for it is engendered by the practice of it!' With these words Ellen Gordon Allen begins the introduction to her eminently practical primer of Japanese flower arrangement, which is here being offered in a new revised edition. As a certified teacher (Oharn school)
and a very successful one, Mrs. Allen is well qualified to present her subject.
The purpose of her book is fourfold: to increase the skill of all who love to arrange flowers to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the Japanese art of flower arrangement; to help students when no teacher is available; and
to provide a medium of instruction among the many, often confusing, schools of Japoncse flower arrangement. It is Mrs. Allen's hope that the primer will serve as a practical handbook for beginners and that it will dispel the aura of
mystery that seems to surround the subject. To this end, she has made her instructions as elementary as possible. The few fundamental rules of Japanese flower arrangement and the various techniques are presented in a simple manner.
Wherever possible, English equivalents have been substituted for Japanese terms. Each lesson sketches, photographs, and diagrams which clearly show the student what to do in working toward completion of the arrangement. Although Mrs. Allen teaches principally the methods of the Ohara school for the moribana and heika styles and the methods of the Saga school for the seika style, her book is also a compilation of information from the Sogetsu, the Ikenobo, the Sho-fu·ryu, and other famous schools in Japan. She has selected what she considers most practical for use in the American or other foreign setting. By using the slep-by-step methods outlined in the 14 well-organized lessons, the Rowerarrangement
student will not only be able to learn rapidly but will also experience the pleasure of making genuine progress in an art that provides an endless source of enjoyment. And, as Mrs. A1len expresses it, «it is the enjoyment of making flower arrangements that I want particularly to stress. Learn the fundamentals
and you will enjoy their application, sharing your pleasure with others who will marvel at your skill in arranging flowers.»