The art of Ikebana, or Japanese flower arranging is one I’ve studied for several years. There are set rules and parameters for this creative craft. To the casual eye of the viewing public, an Ikebana piece seems almost alien. There are the abstract lines of design rooted in peculiar appearing containers.
There are certainly reasons for the appearance of these Japanese artforms. The first is cultural. In that the art is based, in part, on the discipline of Zen Buddhism. Secondly, the materials are products of Japanese civilization. The crafting of ceramics, metals, or bamboo and wood are, themselves, high art-forms.
With these facts in mind, I decided to relax the rules in the spirit of adventure and experimentation today. I set about to create some arrangements based upon the crazy wisdom aspect of spirituality with a nod to American materials readily available in my culture.
The styling is inspired by Japanese design, but the red Royal Hager wallpocket vase is of all-American Ohio manufacture. I kept faithful to traditional design elements, but used a few more of them in order to maintain an American sensibility.
It’s a shame that the double well containers that some yummy Greek yougurt is sold in is disposable. I don’t favor contributing to the terrible plastic waste crisis in the world, but when I do indulge, I try my best to recycle or reuse the containers. The conservation spirit is expressed in this double well mini-Ikebana. There are many approaches you can take with this idea. A person can make two harmonious arrangements, or one well can be used for an arrangement with the other used as the base for an appropriate accent item.
In this case, I used a miniature Pagoda, fastened with modeling clay to the small yougurt topping well. It is framed in a small flower branch. The larger well features the main, formal themed arrangement. For a more conventional appearance, the product label can be removed and the container can be spray-painted an appropriate color.
In a bow towards American car culture, I present the Cadillac Ikebana. A product line of these cars was manufactured for the Teleflora florists’ chain. In addition to the Caddy, is a Thunderbird, and a Corvette. I’m still looking around for the ‘Vette vase.
In this instance, I wanted to emulate the appearance of motion and speed. I coupled this feeling with an energetic red theme. Of course, a car needs a driver. In this case the chauffeur is a solo bird of paradise bloom.
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you feel a bit unorthodox today, too.