In Ikebana the vase is just as important as the plant material you use. Each Ikebana piece is a unit formed of flowers and vase. The form, color, dimensions, and texture of the vase are all considered when selecting appropriate greenery and materials.
In principle, anything containing water can be used to create a floral piece in Ikebana. The challenge lies in harmonizing flowers and vase so as to create a fitting piece each time. The most common materials used to make vases are glass, clay, plastic, lacquered materials. In Europe you find a large range of glazed vases. However, these are often not suitable for beginners when creating traditional Ikebana pieces.
Cleaning up the Blog and thinking about some subject to write I found some topics in concept that were forgotten. The following arrangement is made last year somewhere between spring and summer.
One of the subjects from study book 4 is a variety of materials. When students finish their study books, most don't try it again because they find it to wild, stressful and messy.... all excuses for not trying it again.
But I think because of the recent nice weather Monique was inspired to try one of the subjects she finds difficult, and I think she did a wonderful job.
The Sogetsu Study Group of Belgium and the Sogetsu branch of the Netherlands often cooperate. For the workshops sometimes teachers from Belgium are invited to the Netherlands to give a workshop or vice versa.
A few weeks ago, Ingrid Van Tilburg and I each have given a workshop in the Netherlands . In the Netherlands they are very passionate about Ikebana.
Ingrid's theme was, create with lines a three dimensional shape. She had brought original material. Dried roots of bamboo. (Is what we think because the label said nohan sticks but no one had heard of) With nine of so sticks and beginning with a triangle, was the intention to create a three-dimensional object .
On the website of the Dutch branch, you can see the results of this workshop, Click Here
In the afternoon it was my turn. I had chosen Bamboo as material. you can use bamboo as a container for an arrangement but the purpose of this workshop was for the bamboo to split and warp. With saw, hammer, drill, bamboo splitter,.....we all went to work.
The results of this workshop can also be viewed on the website of the Dutch branch, Click Here
Some of my Ikebana students sometimes need a little encouragement to practice the subjects ( they think) they like less. If I tell them to make arrangements out of their comfort zone they tend to have a little panic attack and tell me they are not up to the task. Yesterday two of my advanced students broke through their own boundaries and made arrangements they didn't think they where able to make.
They had a mix of material and because of the nice weather (very exceptional of late) some of the material came out their own gardens. One of the students had cut very beautiful long viburnum branches ( The viburnum bush was in need of a major pruning). I encouraged her to make a big arrangement in order to make full use of the long branches. After a cup of coffee and a long examination of her branches the arrangement you see in the picture came a life. It doesn't show on the picture but it's a large arrangement.
Arranging without a kenzan is also a difficult task but Monique did nicely with the azalea and clematis branches from her garden.
One of the themes when you study in Sogetsu Ikebana is making an arrangement with unusual materials in combination with green material. Most of my students find this a difficult theme and postpone this lesson until last. With a little gentle persuasion some students made very nice arrangements and lost there dread of working with unconventional materials.