Last week, Morikami staff and volunteers sat down to a display of flower stems, bright green stalks and a puzzling diagram of shapes and dashes – a blueprint for ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement. Cheiko Mihori, Founder and Director of the Florida Branch of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, would guide us in making our own.
Ikebana is all about angles, we learned. The three main elements of the arrangement stand at three different angles from a straight imaginary line down the middle. But of course, we’re dealing with three dimensions; each element – a leaf, a branch, a flower – leans towards the front, the person making the arrangement or the one admiring it.
…and then two more flowers – not too close but not too far from the first, leaves facing up but not down (a happy flower versus a sad one, naturally).
We used our leftover stems and leaves to cover the container base, or stick wherever we saw fit, a more daunting direction, at least for this amateur, than trying to get a flower to lean at something like a 75 degree angle and stay put.
Mrs. Mihori critiqued and corrected ours one at a time with a quick scissor snip, a sad flower turned happy, or a stem shifted two degrees towards the ground or the sky. You might think you can’t tell the difference between 10 and 12 degrees by sight, but somehow, it just looked better.
Did you know Morikami offers ikebana classes? Who wouldn’t want to bring home a beautiful handmade flower arrangement for the next four weeks? Our last class of the season starts May 1, and there are just a few spots left. Learn more and sign up here.