Flowers and Ikebana

Flowers in a Paper Boat

I have always been a little sentimental when it comes to throwing things in the trash. As much as possible I want to make something useful and creative out of old things first before I decide when it is okay to let go.  Maybe it is just my love for making crafts out of craps.

A few days ago I have been a little preoccupied with the arrangement that I need to do in my recent class. My topic is to combine flowers with unconventional materials. Unconventional in this context means materials which are not normally seen in an Ikebana arrangement like cable wires, plastic straws, Japanese papers, and styro boxes.  I did some web searching to see other people’s arrangements and to fish some ideas. Unfortunately, not much have been posted online.

And so I started to brainstorm with myself (Yes, I do this a lot!).. I wanted to use materials that can be seen everyday in every house. Some things that most people sometimes neglect. I would like to highlight them to see their hidden beauty.  I tried a few things and conceptualized the possibilities. I experimented with clothespins, paperclips, shells, notebook wires, and plastic strainers. My husband suggested using paper fans which were normally given free at train stations or sidewalks. But to no avail until I saw a high pile of newspapers and shopping catalogues in our building’s trash room.

I noticed that a lot of people buy newspapers, magazines, comic books, and catalogues especially here in Japan. And most of the time these papers were thrown away after people finished reading them. Since I am running out of ideas and time, I decided to use shopping catalogues in broadsheets – looks like a newspaper but colored and has a bit glossy texture.

Remembering my napkin folding techniques, I made a swan boat out of my newspaper. My sensei was smiling when I told her that I prepared something for my lesson that day. After having the final touches, I was surprised myself that the idea paid off.

Newspaper swan boat used as a vase


Next mission: To make use of ordinary everyday materials and highlight them in beautiful arrangements!


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