WHEN Patricia Wilson became an ikebana teacher she was given the name Seisui, meaning clear water in Japanese.

The name reflects her tendency to use water in creating the ikebana flower arrangements she's been perfecting for more than 18 years.

It's a Japanese art form Ms Wilson says involves a lot of careful consideration and planning.

"You always have to think about the depth of the composition," she said.

"We pay attention to which way we want the branches to go when we put them in a container and we find that by looking at a tree.

"There are some very mathematical principles that underlie the whole art and it is mainly based on the scalene triangle, which has three unequal sides."

Ms Wilson said the basic principles involved line, mass, depth, space and colour.

Lessons are held once a month for the Lismore Ikebana Chapter members.

But Ms Wilson said members learn nearly as much from each other as they do from formal classes.

"Really it is not that hard to do as long as you are willing to put the work into learning the underlying principles," she said. "It's like learning the piano. If you don't learn your scales you're not going to be able to play the piano very well."

Lismore was the second place in Australia for ikebana to blossom.

Beautifully crafted flower arrangements will be on display at the Ballina Art Society exhibition from Friday, April 11 to Sunday, April 13 at the Ballina RSL.

About ikebana

Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement

In post-Second World War Japan in 1956, the wife of an American general founded Ikebana International in Tokyo. Its motto "Friendship through flowers" expresses its aim of fostering international friendship through the study of ikebana.

There are many chapters and study groups throughout the world which hold meetings, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions.

The Lismore chapter will have an exhibition at the Ballina Art Society Annual Exhibition in April at the Ballina RSL.

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