I’m always intrigued when I see creative artistic expression in forms unfamiliar to me. Last week, I was browsing Pinterest and happened across a series of floral arrangements in the Japanese style of ikebana.
Ikebana dates back many centuries in Japan. It is the meditative art of arranging standing stems into an asymmetric floral sculpture. Density, line, color, and flow are the elements to consider when forming harmonious ikebana arrangements.
I find ikebana so lovely because of the minimalist and sculptural aesthetic. I gathered a group of botanicals and gave it a try this week, and I was delighted with the result.
The kenzan is the key to the ikebana arrangement, it is a metal floral tool that is weighted and spiked and they are available in different sizes. The flower stems sit atop the spikes and the kenzan is immersed in water inside the vessel.
I bought this black kenzan on Amazon, you can find them there, or online at different floral sources.
I rarely buy a mixed bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, but for this kind of arrangement the mixed bouquet is perfect. I bought my seasonal autumn hues bouquet at Trader Joes.
To create an ikebana arrangement you need a variety of flowers and branches, a kenzan, a vessel for it to sit in, and scissors for cutting the stems.
I arranged my store bought bouquet from Trader Joes inside a ceramic vessel glazed in matte black that I made at my pottery studio. I made this simple sculptural creation using fall stems.
I found removing most of the leaves creates more negative space and allows the standing blooms to be the focus while the stems and branches provide movement. Not bad for my first attempt!
Below are a few more examples of ikebana floral designs, notice the colors, movement, and use of negative space in each one.
via studio bicyclette
design by nature
kate osborn photography
paper thin moon
I added this book to my collection, it guided me along in creating my first arrangement and I’ll use it to make more as the seasons change.