Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Modified Ikebana-style Flower Arranging

Modified Ikebana-style Flower Arranging ~Mamo

Gathering material:

Don’t think you must limit yourself to flowers. Any objects can become the “blossoms” of these arrangements even pinecones on sticks, seed pods, peacock feathers, in fact almost any found object your eye can see in an arrangement. There are myriad free fresh or dried grasses, seed heads, small flower clusters, etc. to use as “fillers” Live moss, used Easter grass, or Sphagnum or the like can be used to cover the base when arrangement is done. Consider “recycled items” as containers such as old mugs, baskets, tin cans, watering pots, glasses, sugar bowls, boxes, in fact anything that gives the impression it could have held water. A little used oasis for real blossoms or sahara for dried or fake should be on hand. There are proportional rules in classic Ikebana Flower Arranging but this is, for us, just a guideline. However we will stick to 3 “blossoms” or items.

They are called “Earth” (the lowest in the arrangement E);

“Man” (the middle height M), and

“Heaven” (the highest subject H).

H is 1 ½ the height (or width for low, flat containers) of the container; H’s tip is over the base, pointing up. M is against and to the rear, pointing up and is 2/3 height of H. E forms the base of an isosceles triangle (never use an equilateral triangle) and faces forward, tip up. It is 1/3 to 2/3 of M. Comes from base of H & M; curves outward. In this modified method, first secure oasis or sahara in bottom of container, try not to allow it to be seen over top. Next, measure the height (or width for flattened styles) of the container. Cut the stems according to proportions, you don’t have to measure; or at least short, medium, long. Placement:H is tallest, points upward, often smallest material size, even a bud, always off center of container, forms apex of isosceles triangle, usually to rear...place this item first. M is somewhere between H & E (connects heaven and earth), 2nd shortest, may be largest item but usually middle sized, points up or out, most eye-pleasing at 2/3 length of H. E is lowest placed item, may be longest but not highest, especially in low containers, may be largest item to “anchor” the arrangement; may point up, out, or down. Find the imaginary center line of your container and extend it upwards. With the 3 items, make an imaginary isosceles triangle, being sure no item is on the imaginary center line and that H is highest, M is somewhere between H & E’s placement, and E is lowest. Breaking tradition, a long flat container can look best if H is upright placed at one end and E is long and at bottom position, it can extend past end of container. After placing the 3 items, follow the triangles lines with “filler”;( do not fill voids of imaginary lines), retain the isosceles triangle. Cover the base “mechanics” with moss or grass. Components of Floral Arranging Here is a list of components that I have found in studying flower arranging. 1. PATTERN: crescent, S-curved (Hogarth line), round/circle, triangular, oval, vertical, horizontal, fan 2. TEXTURE: spiky, lacy, rounded/smooth, irregular. Profile (front & back placement) material to container; related or contrast. 3.CENTER OF INTEREST: from which the different lines radiate 4. BALANCE: Appearance (visual) does it look top-heavy or one-sided? Balance of color larger, darker toward middle; smaller, lighter nearer edges (group small, dark toward middle) Symmetrical same on both sides of an imaginary vertical axis Asymmetrical not same on either side of an imaginary vertical axis. 5.PROPORTION 1 ½ times height of tall containers; 1 ½ times width of low ones (exception: heavy brass/tall containers could support 3 times light, airy branches). 6. RHYTHM repetition of form and color that makes the lines of the arrangement flow into each other and leads the eye from the center of interest through the arrangement and back to it again. Solid forms <> larger from center out. 7. SUITABILITY OF MATERIAL TO CONTAINER formal to formal, “country” to “country” etc. Unsuitable examples: cactus in watering can; daisies in Grecian Urn. 8. SCALE OF MATERIALS TO CONTAINER match size of material to container size. Poor examples: violas in 2' vase; full-size sunflowers in coffee mug.9. COLOR Light/Dark; Cool/Warm (strong); Contrast = exciting, Blending (soft pallette) = calm; transition, don’t make placement spotty. Note: yellow/green radiates, therefor use foliage; purple/yellow fluoresces. 10. FORM 3 basic typesA. Line arrangements; linear material dominant, voids used to emphasize B. Line Mass arrangements; same as above plus more material added to support the original line but not obscure it.C. Mass arrangements; solid mass of material (bouquet).
See pic 1

This is picture container with floral foam in it.
See pic 2

Next cutting your flowers.
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Add flowers and water.
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Now add your stone in the bottom of the conatiner. This is the finshed container. Now I know that Mamo has a ton of ideas and this is really her baby. So if you have any questions please ask her.Thank youI hope you enjoyed this.
See pic 5

Thanks for starting it. You certainly caught me unawares! I do wish you had been able to get with somuchtodo and get it scheduled as a tutorial. I'm glad you enjoyed learning this method and you did fine. I hope others will enjoy this almost fool-proof floral arranging method!!!! Yours is one of the simple versions with no filler...very oriental looking and elegant. The principle is to make floral arrangements with only 3 main "blossoms" and filler in a T2T container using a modified Ikebana style...that means using the above mentioned triangle pattern. It saves on money, supplies and I have never had but one student goof it up and she refused to follow the basics of the triangle scheme. It really is SIMPLE, honest! I mostly work in artificial flowers so don't have the problem of vases that hold water and they're permanent. Besides, you can get flower heads of those and add your own stems really from trash. And don't forget to look around for "other-than-blossoms" to make up one of the 3. As to the above arrangement, what I do is add filler as per the instructions above BUT only following the lines of the triangle made by the "blossoms". In otherwords don't fill in the spaces between the flowers.. That filler for me is usually T2T dried grasses from nature, or even small branched twigs. I often make the stems less upright and more to the sides in a more open "triangle" pattern; especially if you are using a flat container like here. Another look entirely (not better, just different) would be to make the triangle short and wide, following the lines of the container. Note, as above, you can use almost any T2T container, those Mason Jars ya'll love, empty tea kettles, old chipped mugs, used Easter Baskets, just anything you have around that you don't really want to throw away but won't hold water anymore for the dried arrangements. Oh, and use Sahara or crushed wire mesh for that instead of Oasis. Want it smaller and say for a baby shower? Use empty babyfood jar and 3 clusters of tiny flowers with "Baby's Breath" filler (or free, pearly everlasting) and in wit the filler, use a pick of a tiny plastic baby charm like a rattle or baby shoe. This is my "Red, White & Blue" arrangement...patriotic without being overt about it. As you all can see, the highest blue poppy is "heaven", the middle blue poppy is "man" and the Queen Anne's Lace is "earth". I purposely, for this tutorial, chose an unusual isoceles triangle to work with. "Man & Earth" being close together and "Heaven" further away. I've followed the isoceles triangle with the fill so that the arrangement is a "regular" filled one. Different, not better or worse than the "spare" one of Penmac's. Note the spaces in between are bare. I spray painted the T2T plastic vase. I spray painted free native grasses; the tiny white clusters are native dried "Rabbit Tobacco" or "Pearly Everlasting" depending on where you live, I think it's the same plant. Their dried leaves have a very herbal smell which I think adds to the arrangement. The tiny navy-blue cat-tails were storebought and leftovers as were the tiny garnet and gold clusters(silk). Just to show up a different T2T cover for the "workings" I used a striped rock. BTW, the turtle is a clay project I did in the 60's I believe.

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