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March 28, 1993|ANNE KLARNER

Line, color, space.

The trick in the Japanese art of ikebana , or flower arranging, is to apply these three elements to natural materials to create a unique work.

That trick will be demonstrated today by teachers from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, Los Angeles branch at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum in Arcadia.

" Ikebana , especially our school, Sogetsu, is more living structure," teacher Haruko Takeichi said. "It's not like some of the other schools, which are very traditional. You're using native materials to create something more like a living structure with your own creative ideas."

Takeichi has been studying the ancient art of arranging flowers, branches, rocks and other materials into balanced, living sculptures for 13 years and teaching for five.

"It's very challenging to use nature's material to create your own expression," she said. "If you (have) pine branches, when it's in

nature, it's pine branches. When you cut the branches, it's not pine anymore. It's your material, the color and the line. It's up to you to create the space."

Takeichi says materials do not necessarily have to be Japanese in origin. In fact, in her school, there are very few limits.

"One limit is water. Plants need water," she said. But you can use "any material, any space, any occasion. Any person can do it."

In fact, because teachers and students are essentially studying the same elements, "when you start something to create ikebana , even students can make beautiful arrangements. The only difference is the teacher has more experience."

The demonstrations start at 1 p.m. at the arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., and are included in the admission to the arboretum, which is $3 for adults, $1.50 for seniors and students, 75 cents for children ages 5-12. Youngsters 4 and under are admitted free.

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