Saturday, 15 May 2010

Bring on the Girls

Since I've recently posted flowers for Boys' day I might as well go on with the festivals and give all the girls some flowers too. Girls' day, or Hina Matsuri, is celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. The flowers of Girls' day, peach flower and field mustard, symbolizes femininity and a good life with many children (the mustard seeds). It works fine with anything pink and yellow, so I've used pink Peonies and yellow plastic mesh for my Hina Matsuri arrangement. I'm not a fan of gender stereotypes so I'll let you all choose if you prefer the braveness of Boys' day or the gentleness of Girls' day. Pick the flowers that suites you best.

Pink Peonies, yellow plastic mesh and pink bamboo sticks in a pink glass vase.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Flowers for Boys' Day

Yesterday, the 5th day in the 5th month, was the day of the yearly boys' festival in Japan. Every festival has its flower, and the flower of boys' day is the proud blue Iris. With its sharp leaves it symbolizes strength and bravery, reminding of the edge of a Samurai sword.

It's not the season for Iris in Norwegian flower shops yet, but I found a picture from a couple of years ago of a classical ikebana arrangement using Iris as its main material. This is not a typical boys' day arrangement, but I think it shows the character of the Iris in a nice way.

Iris and Maple in a water and land arrangement.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Ohara Demonstration Video

I'm kind of fascinated by the large scale ikebana shows that creates a dreamlike world of beauty on the stage. This video that I found on YouTube is a clip from a demonstration conducted by Hoki Hara, professor of the Ohara School of ikebana. In this video professor Hoki Hara demonstrates the use of the shippo flower holder in a very long rectangular suiban, typical for the Ohara moribana style invented by the founder of the Ohara school in 1897. The demonstration was held in Melbourne Australia in 2008.

If you like this video you should go to YouTube and have a look at the other video clips from the same demonstration.

The Reshaping of a Tree

My ikebana teacher takes a lot of her materials from her garden. Earlier this year she had to cut down a large hanging birch tree. I got a large branch from this tree and thought I should try to use the size of the branch as it was without cutting much away. Hanging birch has very long soft branches that are easy to bend, so I decided to create a new shape by intertwining the long hanging dark brown threads. I was amazed by the change of character from hanging to a more vine-like appearance as a new and distinct circular shape grew out of the material.

A branch of hanging birch and yellow roses in a high ceramic vase.
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