Thursday 30 April 2015

Two Groups in Two Ways

Goat Willow (Salix caprea), Eustoma, Spirea.
Kabuwake freestyle.

Did you ever notice that branches of Goat Willow can have a quite strong colour? I was so surprised by the shiny yellow and red branches coming up from the base of an old tree, that had been taken down. The shape of these young branches varies from straight to slightly bent and elegantly curved.

I used these branches together with some other spring materials to illustrate the difference between the basic style Variation no. 5 and Free style kabuwake. The word kabuwake, meaning 'separated groups', is used for Variation no. 5 as well. In both styles the materials are divided into to distinct groups. These kind of arrangements build on the traditions from very old Rikka arrangements, that were splitt in the middle with two shin (main) lines, or just two groups allowing water two flow in between them as a fish path.

Variation no. 5 moribana kabuwake is a basic style with fixed rules for the lengths and placements of the branches. The two groups represents an arrangement that have been taken apart and divided into two parts, that are incomplete without each other. The open water surface between the two groups is the most important feature of this arrangement. The kabuwake freestyle is a freestyle arrangement that has been developed from Variation no. 5. The expression is freer and the arrangement more vertical. The open space on the water surface continues up between the branches, and creates a powerful open space full of energy.

Goat Willow (Salix caprea), Eustoma, Spirea.
Variation no. 5, moribana.

Saturday 25 April 2015

Girl Power

Forsythia and Calla lily 'Flamingo'.
Without kenzan.

The typical flowers for Girl's day, or Hinamatsuri on March 3rd., are pink Peach blossoms and yellow Rape flowers (Brassica napus). Pretty and humble, they are symbolizing youthful beauty and fertility. This festival is also called Momo no sekku, the Peach festival. In less traditional arrangements any pink and yellow flowers are acceptable.

In this contemporary ikebana arrangement without kenzan, I wanted to move away from the expectation of being pretty and humble and rather focus on girl power. At the flower market I found a bunch of  unusual pink flamingo Calla lilies with powerful vertical lines - perfect for what I was aiming at.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Curved Lines in Basic Styles

Alder branches, Tulips, pine.
Variation no. 2, slanting moribana.

It's fun to play with curved lines in freestyle arrangements, but the energetic curves of springtime can also be expressed in basic styles, meaning styles with rules for how to place the branches in relation to each other and the vase.

In these two examples I've used the same branches and flowers as in one of the freestyle arrangements in my last blog post. Alder branches have naturally strong curves and also a nice variation in the texture of the material.

Alder branches, Tulips, pine.
Variation no. 8, combination arrangement.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Lines of Springtime

Curved lines.
Linden branches, Muscari grass, Hellebore.

In the Spring season it is still so much easier to see the  lines of tree branches, than when the leaves have sprung and the tree crowns turns into a mass of green. Emphasizing straight and curved lines is important in Sogetsu school freestyle arrangements. Curved lines in the Spring are showing the increasing energy in nature, starting with a discreet bend and erupting with full power as it is getting warmer. When straight and curved lines are combined they are arranged so that they accentuate each other.

Straight and curved lines.
Alder branches, Salix branches, Tulips, paper bag.

Friday 10 April 2015

The 49th Spring

Birch, Hydrangea, bamboo vases.

first spring morning
my 49th year
of blossoms

Haiku by Issa, 1811

Sunday 5 April 2015

Holiday Cinema - Revealing the Full Potential of Flowers

I found a really nice ikebana video that I want to share with you. If you can spare 30 minutes of your time, it well spent in my holiday cinema.

This video takes us to Kyoto, the old capital of Japan where traditions are handed down from generation to generation. You'll meet a nice mixture of people, all related to ikebana. At the Ikenobo school of ikebana you're welcomed by Yuki Ikenobo, headmaster designate, get a glimpse of the Ikenobo Research Institute and the remake of a huge Rikka arrangement made after a 400 years old description. You'll also meet a Kyoto pottery specializing in ikebana vases, an experienced  florist visiting a client to create ikebana at a tea house, a blacksmith making ikebana scissors, and finally Ryuho Sasaoka, the young third generation headmaster of Misho-Ryu Sasaoka.


Friday 3 April 2015

Happy Easter

Linden branches, Daffodil, Hellebore, Thuja.
Variation no.3 (fan style) slanting moribana.

Easter gives hope for tomorrow, as after the winter comes spring.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Guests for Easter

Japanese Fantail Willow, mini Gerbera, Blue Thuja.
Ukibana, floating arrangement.

Easter is a big holiday here in Scandinavia. It marks the beginning of spring after the long winter and is a very happy occasion. Traditionally, since it is also the end of a religious fasting period, Easter is associated with an abundance of food and a cheerfully decorated table. Yellow Daffodils and Birch branches with fresh spring leaves spreads joy and new energy.

Although Easter has nothing to do with ikebana, making Easter ikebana makes sense in this special context. I've made two Sogetsu style table top arrangements designed to welcome guests to the house. In this season anything yellow will be recognized as bearers of Happy Easter greetings.

Japanese Fantail Willow, mini Gerbera, Taxus.
Shikibana, spreading arrangement.

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