Antiques & The Arts

Basic Ikebana Flower Arranging – Family Plot

Ikebana. What is Ikebana, I’ve
heard the term before, of course, a lot of time,
but what is it exactly? – It’s an art form, it’s
a Japanese form of flower arranging that’s quite different
from the American style, and it’s much simpler,
a lot of open space, and in Japan they often put
their arrangements in a little alcove, and they use it as a
form of meditation even when you’re creating your design. So like when there’s a class
in Ikebana that’s offered at Memphis Botanic Garden, and when
we go to class we try to remain quiet, so you can listen to
what the flowers want you to do. – You hear that Mr. D.? We’re listening to the flowers. – That’s not like
Master Gardner class. [Chris laughs]
– Right. Alright. – So we have, what I want
to do is show you some of the more primary,
basic designs like you would learn in a beginner’s class. And there’s different
schools of Ikebana. And I have been
going to Ichiyo Ikebana. – (Chris)
Ich-i-yo? – Ichiyo, in Japanese I’s
are pronounced like E’s. So that’s why
Ikebana is eek-a-bana. – (Chris) Gotcha. Getting a good lesson here. – And one of the first ones
that we always started with was, this is called a
Moribana or a Suiban. A low, round bowl,
or it could be a low, long rectangular size. And most people, now I
also want to emphasize, now I’d love for y’all to try it
at home because you can really just take any
kind of pan at home, and do something with it. You don’t have to have
expensive containers, and so I thought I’d
show you how to do that. You start with this. Your next item you will
use is called a kenzan. It can be shown
as a needle-point. A lot of people have them
from their grandmother’s time. It’s quite sharp. And you can get
them in different, the needles can
be further apart. You would place the
kenzan, never in the middle. You would also
place it to one side, up front, there’s a rule about
summertime it’s in this end of it, so you don’t have
to put it in the middle. Because this is going
to be very asymmetrical. It’s not what you’re used to. But the thing about it is,
you can buy three flowers, and pick some
greenery from your yard, and that’s it. So you can buy an
expensive flower by stem, and it would work just fine. – (Chris)
Ok. – I’m going to work
towards, facing me, and then I’m going
to roll it around so you can see how I do it. And the first thing I’m
going to use is my hydrangeas. – Those are
beautiful, by the way. – These came from my yard. – Look at you! – I had a quite a few of them,
and I’m really pleased with the way they came out this year. – You should be,
those are beautiful. You are a Master
Gardener though, right, that’s to be expected. – Ok, you would always put
your largest one on the bottom, so we’re going to try
and find the best top one. Most all the time you
remove almost all the leaves, because there’s
beauty in the stem itself. – (Chris)
Beauty in the stem, ok. – So, this might
be too long, but, I’m going to use three
flowers and make a triangle. And you want the
first one to be as long, certainly as long as
your container is. And then the next one
should be three-fourths the size of this one. And then the next one should
be three-fourths the size of the second one. So, sometimes you have
to trim and work with it. So I’m going to
place this first. I like this one, I need to
trim it off just a little bit. I don’t want it nearly as tall. Get rid of some of these leaves. You also like to lean… and with a kenzan you
can cut them at an angle, and then place it
and lean it somewhat. Now my largest one,
this is pretty large, I’m going to cut it quite
short, and I want it to face me. – Ok. – A lot of times you can do a silhouette,
like this one to the side, so you can appreciate all
forms of the flower, not just the front facing,
but the side of it. – How ’bout that. Ok. – Now I’ve got some aspidistra. I love this variegated–
– That’s a beautiful leaf. – Uh-huh, it really is. I’ve started to collect
things in the garden that I can actually use in
flower arranging, so I’ve been conscious of buying
things that will work for that. Now your aspidistra,
or your greenery, should be, there should
be one between these two, one between these two,
and one between these two. And you would
again have a tall one. Whoops, see how that happens? You have to push it down hard,
and you can hurt yourself on those needles. – (Chris)
They are sharp. – (Mr. D.) You wouldn’t want to just leave those laying around. – (Chris)
Don’t do that. – No. I kind of collect them. You can find them
in antique stores, in some stores,
but you certainly can go online and find them. [scissors snap] – (Chris)
Ok. – Now this one, I’m
going to make it quite low, and just for variety, I’m
going to fold it under, and stick it under the
kenzan, just to hold it a bit. So that you have a
little bit of variety. Let me roll this around so
you can see what I’ve done. And I only used one kenzan. The other part of Ikebana is we
always use a mat of some kind. And this is just
like a little bamboo, you can use a
placemat, you can use… I’m going to use
greenery here in a minute, but you would place this,
not in the center of the mat, but to the side. Because once again,
it’s asymmetrical. So you’ve got something
that’s, I think is lovely, but it’s very simple. If you don’t like
your kenzan showing, which you can see it, you
can put small rocks in there, and you’ll have, I
don’t have water in this, but you would. And it adds to it. Some people will actually
take a leaf and add to it to hide the kenzan. Also, we use a lot of driftwood,
a lot of dried materials, you mix dried and fresh. And you could just lay
it in there like that. – (Chris)
How ’bout that. – So it looks, it’s
simple, but it’s interesting. And the point is,
you’ll notice so much space. Nothing is touching each other,
and it shouldn’t be in this particular kind of arrangement. So it’s fairly easy. The containers in the
summertime, you use a lighter container, in the winter you
might use a darker one. There’s, chrysanthamums are
a very Japanese Ikebana look. Especially like a spider mum, you know that
open up really big. So you could do
several easy arrangements. And you would put this,
probably against a wall. When we work in the
class, we have a background, which is tri-fold like
kids use on their reports. – Ok. – And you get a black one, or a blue one, and it, you can
really see how it pops out then. And you can re-arrange and
critique your own design. – Well look Miss Mary, we
definitely appreciate the basic, this is the basic form, right. – Yeah, right. So people will
actually go try you know. I have elaborate
containers and stuff, but nobody has those. So I wanted to
get something that people could possibly relate to. – Well look, we
appreciate the demonstration. – Thank you.

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