Thursday, October 15, 2009


In modern western floristry, floral foam is a commonly used medium for holding the flowers in place, typically camoufloaged in an opaque container such that the oasis is not visible. For eastern arrangement like ikebana, a metal floral frog is used.

Yet natural botanical material and other industrial materials can be used to create structures to hold the flowers in place, and the mechanics used to hold the flowers together can be a design element in itself. Hanakubari is the precise art of this technique. One of the modern ikebana school in Japan, Mami Flower Design School, extended this concept and introduce it to a greater general public.

I recently attended a workshop conducted by one of the master teachers from Mami Flower Design School, Keiko Okada, and observed her magic in making hanakubari.

A wire frame topped with thin black bamboo segments as flower holders.

Segments of horsetail are bounded together to create a floating structure in the flower container. Because horsetails have a hollow straw-liked structure, flowers can be then added to the horsetails.

Another closer look at the horsetail hanakubari. This floating structure will turn with wind, making the entire arrangement dance with air movement.

Disposable chopsticks are attached to the rim of a martini glass vase by the use of tension of these chopsticks before the two halves are separated. Vine materials swirl around beautifully to finish this design, best appreciated from bird's eyes view.

Another look of the details, this martini glass arrangement is approximately 18"-20" across.

Split branch technique is frequently used in ikebana. If you ever wondered how a branch is held at a certain percarious angle in a vase with the opening much larger than the branch diameter, this is one of the few popular ikebana techniques utilized.
Noticed that the branch is splitted twice, one time to secure the branch to the rim of the flower container, and one more time to hold the blades of foliage and the flower.

No comments: