I often recommend to my friends outside Japan to use pots and bowls for Ikebana. Shallow vases or containers for this purpose are not that easy to findunless you are an Ikebana student or practitioner who has access to different schools or groups. A few weeks ago, I tried to share my Ikebana with a friend who is living in Europe at the moment. I sent her a set of instructions on how to make the basic upright Moribana arrangement. It is an Ikebana arrangement using kenzan or a pin holder and a shallow container with wide opening. While she was browsing through the instructional material, one major concerned came up. She does not have a kenzan or a wide vase for this arrangement. I realised that this could be a typical concern if ever I want to teach Ikebana outside Japan in the near future.
To solve the issue, I asked her to use any shallow container with wide opening that she can find in her house such as bowls, dish, or even old pots. And as a replacement for the kenzan, I told her to use a floral foam or oasis. As for my part, I now try to use containers which can be easily found inside the house particularly from the kitchen. Last week, I found a white deep bowl from the second hand shop normally used for serving soups or rice. Using this bowl, I made an arrangement using Eucalyptus leaves, lavender Caspia, dark pink Carnations, and light pink Rose. The Eucalyptus and Caspia were arranged keeping in mind that the vase is part the space of the whole arrangement and of the location where it will placed.