April 10, 2008

Ilena's First Attempt at Ikebana

Today was Ilena's much awaited first Ikebana class. We mentioned it once before, but since it's been a while, here's a quick refresher. Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement. Now it's quite interesting that it is called an art, because during Ilena's lesson, she kept getting the sense that it was much more a science than an art. It seems that there is a right and a wrong to the choice and placement of the flowers, and most of the time Ilena's first guess was wrong. Good thing she's got a year to get a handle on this.

Tokai-sensei, the teacher, is an expert in the Ohara school of Ikebana. In Ikebana, its very important that the flower arrangement be viewed only from the front. So it's equally as important to find the right spot to place it in the home. When doing the arrangement, there is a subject - the focal point of the display. All the other flowers are subsequently arranged as the objects surrounding the focal point. Check out Ilena's masterpiece and see if you can guess which flower is the subject. Once the subject is fixed in the kenzan, the remaining flowers should be placed so as to give the appearance of a "dome shape."

To top it all off, it was clear that there were going to be extra carnations and greens after completing the main arrangement. Sensei said, "Never throw out any extra flowers; make another arrangement." So we did. And here it is. Again, average flowers, but simply beautiful. (If we do say so ourselves!)

After spending two hours attempting the arrangement of these beautiful, but still ordinary flowers (lily, allium, carnation, and greens), it certainly makes you appreciate the time spent on detail here in Japan. Back home we take a bouquet of flowers, open it up, and stick it into a vase - spending a couple minutes trimming the stems if we have time!

3 comments:

J & S said...

Both flower arrangements are works of art. How many classes will you be taking? It sounds like fun. Hope you are enjoying the opportunity! You will certainly use what you learn as you work at the craft!

The Stover Family said...

And I thought that putting the ferns at the BACK of the vase of daisies was arrangement...you definitely have a stem up on me! What a cool skill to have! Now you can make Mike cool flower arrangements instead of buying him gifts. Because...he will know just how much time it took! Aren't you glad she is in this class, Mike? (But seriously...very beautiful artwork Miss Ilena!)

David said...

Do you do weddings?