Contemplating Zen floral design

 

 

Master-class-with-Professor-Masafumi-Ikenobo-Isivata--

Professor Masafumi – Ikenobo Isivata school

 

 

Flower-arrangement-by-Junko-Toshima---Flickr-Andy-Atzert

Floral arrangement by Junko Toshima — Flickr – AndyAtzert

 

 

Between the spaces – the Tao of Ikebana

 

‭When it comes to Ikebana, I prefer the simpler styles like the early Kuge or Shoka that only employ up to three botanical elements mixed with a lot of space and minimalism. If I can feel the spaces breathing, I’m more content with what I see. This usually occurs with the more simple arrangements. Ikebana is a meditative genre and the spaces are where the yin and yang merge, to create a balance. Just like in meditation, the space between the inhaling and exhaling breaths is a focal point to connect with inner harmony.
The Zen artists approached their sumi-e brushwork art by first contemplating the inherent nature of the aesthetic object and understanding its inner qualities before executing any brush strokes. Ideally its eternal nature could be expressed with purity, spontaneity and an economy of strokes. Similarly, most ikebana arrangements aspire to presenting the design elements with a sublime simplicity and harmony.

 

Flickriver--Otomodachi-Ikebana-flower-arrangement-with-Hydrangea

Flickriver–Otomodachi Ikebana

 

‭Some skillful ikebanists can create busy pieces with less spaces that still maintain balance and graceful expression, but this is more challenging, because extra importance is loaded onto the overall form and composition to realize any transcendental qualities. It’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of movement in a floral design can build an underlying stillness that exists by virtue of counterpoint.

‭Flowers seem to respond to tasteful arrangements and have their beauty enhanced in the process. The choice of the display vessel is of importance and can influence the direction of the design. A heavier, more horizontally inclined vessel of warmer colours will be more yang in nature. A grounded yang vessel will allow a greater yin expansiveness of the flowers and design. If the vessel is overwhelmed by too many vertical (yin) flowers, the top heavy design leads to loss of harmony. Horizontal lines and curvature and even diagonal lines within the design, help to ground a piece.

In the philosophy of Ikebana it was emphasized that the cultivation of a transcendent feeling while creating ikebana would be absorbed by the flowers and design and later reflected through the art. The Taoists alluded to this with the statement ‘Keep the fire beneath the cauldron’. What this meant was to avoid being too hyper cerebral when creating a piece. Cultivate awareness from your tan tien (navel), which translates as “elixir field”, rather then from the mid brain. Grounded, relaxed awareness can be attained more easily with this practice, which allows spaces in your mind to manifest, that give more room for inspiration to surface and in some instances create beyond the limitations of coherent logic. ‬Even in the planning stages, if a sketch is made, this was also encouraged.
I have assembled a diverse assortment of pieces that represent the ikebana aesthetic and some vessels that would be a natural fit for the refined ikebana arts.

 

2013-Ikebana Master-class-with-Professor-Masafumi-Ikenobo-Isivata

Rikka Shimputai –  Professor Masafumi, Ikenobo Ishiwata

The Rikka form originated from the Ikebano school of flower arranging in the 15th century

 

 

Toshiro-Kawase--ikebana

Toshiro Kawase

 

 

 

japanese-green-glaze sculpture-ikebana-vase

Green glaze modernist ceramic vase

 

 

Omen-2013-Calendar---Catalog Catherine White vase

Vase by Catherine White – Omen AZen Calendar 2013

Photo – Warren Frederick

 

 

 

julia-kepeslapkuldo.bloglap.hu elegant ikebana arrangement

Elegant Ikebana

julia-kepeslapkuldo.bloglap.hu

 

 

Kamaka Pottery Hanaire with Interned Top by Estelle Martin

Estelle Martin ceramic vessel

 

 

Keiko-Takano-ikebana-workshop

Ikebana display at Professor Keiko Takano workshop

 

 

JOANNA-CONSTANTINIDIS-(British,-1927-2000)-AR-Early-Bottle-Form,-circa-1970

Early Bottle Form – Joanna Constantinidis

1970

 

 

cherry blossom ikebana

Ikebana cherry blossom

 

 

Misudo-Sasaki

Matsudo Sato

 

 

 

Professor Keiko Takano-ikebana-workshop-2015

Keiko Takano ikebana

2015

 

 

Kokedama---Japanese-moss-balls - a Japanese variant of bonsai

‘Kokedama’ — Japanese moss ball

 

 

 

Jiyuka-by-Nadezhda-Kuznetsova-Style-Dziyuka

Freestyle Ikebana (Jiyuka) by Nadezhda Kuznetsova

 

 

 

Infinite ikebana - ecoledupaysage.com

‘Infinite’ ikebana

ecoledupaysage.com

 

 

 

 

Isamu Noguchi-ceramic sculpture

Isamu Noguchi ‘s ‘Lonely Tower’ – Shigaraki stoneware with thin ash glaze made in 1952 – with ikebana by Teshigahara Sofu

 

 

Pats-Ikebana flower display

Display from Pat’s Ikebana

 

 

 

 

Professor-Keiko-Takano at a workshop

Keiko Takano

 

 

 

Ruth Duckworth-ceramics-2010-Cowans-Auctions

Ruth Duckworth

 

 

 

 

Elena-Dendova-Jiyuka-Ikebana

Elena Dendova – bold contemporary ikebana

 

 

SookjaeArt-etsy---Ikebana-ring-vase with pink blossom flowers

Ikebana ring vase – SookjaeArt-etsy

 

 

Stig-Lindberg;-Glazed-Stoneware-Vase-for-Gustavsberg,-1960s

Stig Lindberg; Glazed Stoneware Vase for Gustavsberg

1960s

 

 

Jiyuka-(freestyle) ikebana

Ikebana Jiyuka

 

 

Toshiro-Kawase-flower-one-day

Toshiro Kawase simple ikebana

 

 

 

Charlene Ho ikebana display

Ikebana Rikka Shimputai – Charlene Ho

 

 

 

Ashraf Hanna Small Angular Carved Vessel

Ashraf Hanna contemporary carved vessel

 

 

 

 

Shoka-Shimputai ikebana arrangement

Shoka Shimputai ikebana

 

 

winter-solstice-2014--Catherine White

Catherine White – winter solstice 2014

 

 

 

Ekaterina-Minina ikebana workshop

Ikebana arrangment –  Ekaterina Minina

 

 

Yasuhisa-Kohyama ceramic vessel

Yasuhisa Kohyama ceramic vase

 

 

 

yoko-komae’s-clay-work.-bird’s-breath

Yoko Komae ceramic bottle

 

 

 

-summer-solstice-2014---Catherine-White

Catherine White – summer solstice 2014

 

 

 

Catherine White _hyacinth_bean collage

Catherine White creates collages combining hand-drawn images, seasonal garden plants, and other materials, as a method for interpreting nature. These are assembled and captured on a flat screen scanner.

 

 

 

 

2013---Tania-Rollond ceramic bottle

Tania Rollond

 

 

 

2015-Shoka Shofutai by Tatyana Lohova - Ikebana Ikenobo Russia

Shoka Shofutai by Tatyana Lohova – 2015

 

 

 

Kawase-Toshiro japanese ikebana floral art

Toshiro Kawase

 

 

 

 

Shoka-Shimputai-by-Ekaterina-Minina

Shoka Shimputai by Ekaterina Minina

 

 

 

Jiyuka-freestyle-ikebana with contemporary vessel

Jiyuka ikebana

 

 

 

Steel-grass,-Allium-purple-rain,-Azalée---Thai-Mai-Van-Thomas

Steel grass, Allium purple rain, Azalée —Thai Mai Van

 

 

 

 

Ikebana arrangement-by-jajasavage-on-Flickr

Ikebana arrangement by jajasavage on Flickr

 

 

 

Arte-floral-japonesa-~-ikebana-by-Celso-Yamachita

Floral Japonesa  –  Celso Yamachita

 

 

 

atsum-izumi white ceramic tri footed contemporary vessel

Atsum Izumi tri footed contemporary ceramic vessel

 

 

 

Becky's ikebana art-by-hoto2-on-Flickr

Becky’s ikebana art arrangement

hoto2-Flickr

 

 

 

Black-lily-and-wild-cherry-tree-flowers-Gloaming

Black lily and wild cherry tree flowers ikebana – Toshiro Kawase

 

 

 

Catherine White - Ikebana_#3-summer-solstice-2014

Catherine White

 

---Ishii-Naoto ikebana - hirama-mario.com

Ishii Naoto ikebana

 

 

 

Jomon-ware--japanese-old-pot-5th-century

5th century Jomon Ware pot with ikebana display

 

 

 

Carolyn-Lewis---pinterest

Ikebana arrangement – Carolyn Lewis, Pinterest

 

 

 

Catherine-White---#9-summer-solstice-2015

Summer solstice 2015 – Catherine White

 

 

 

 

e-art-of-Ikebana-Ikenobo-Isivata-with-Professor-Masafumi.

Rikka Shimputai with professor Ikenobo Ishiwata Masafumi.

 

 

 

 

Ikebana-exhibition-of-the-Ikenobo-school,-Kyoto

Ikebana exhibition of the Ikenobo school, Kyoto

photo – Stephanie Giraud

 

 

 

Haiku-by-Cynthia-Decker - digital art

‘Haiku’ – Cynthia Decker

 

 

 

Persimmon-bonsai-tree----mt-satsuki.tumblr.com

Persimmon tree bonsai

 

 

 

Ikebana-by-Atsushi,-Japan

Atshushi ikebana

 

 

 

 

Ikebana-Odette-Nguyen orange flower display

Odette Nguyen

 

 

 

Ikebana-Jeroen-Vermaas-by-jeroenvermaas-on-Flickr

Ikebana by Jeroen Vermaas

jeroenvermaas Flickr

 

 

Ikebana-flowers Sogetsu-di-Pasqua

Ikebana @ Sogetsu di Pasqua

 

 

 

Ikebana-sublime-Master - Baiko

Contemporary ikebana – Master Baiko

 

 

two-Maiko-(Apprentice-Geisha)-seated-next-to-a-bamboo-vase-with-a-Chrysanthemum-Ikebana-arrangement-nordic-lotus

Two Maiko (Apprentice Geisha) seated next to a bamboo vase with a Chrysanthemum Ikebana arrangement

nordic-lotus.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Zhang-Zhengyu ceramic vessel

Zhang Zhengyu

 

 

 

Traditional Japanese Ikebana - Toshiro Kawase

Toshiro Kawase

 

 

 

Horst_Tulip-with-Anthurium,-Oyster-Bay-NY-1989

‘Tulip with Anthurium’ – Horst P. Horst

Oyster Bay NY 1989

 

 

 

Iekabana-japanese-flroer-display---Mario-Hirama

Ikebana flower art by Mario Hirama

 

Sogetsu-Ikebana-display with blue and orange flowerrs

Sogetsu Ikebana

 

 

 

Japanese-Chinese-Wooden-Karaki-GARDEN-TUB-Flower-vase-stand-Ikebana

Japanese Wooden Karaki Flower vase stand

 

 

 

Bonsai-Colonel-Lao-Tsu

Bonsai – Colonel Lao Tsu

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Mardi
    Posted January 3, 2016 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to thank you for this blog – it’s such a rich source of inspiration and information for me as a beginning/aspiring ceramic artist.

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  1. By Ikebana nirvana - Japan floral arts on December 1, 2015 at 1:38 am

    […] See more Ikebana on this Veniceclayartists post – ‘Contemplating Zen Floral Design’ […]

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