Shapes are as important as choosing materials when making Ikebana arrangements. Under the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, a student first learn how to form an imaginary triangle by properly placing the three major stems (Shin, Soe, Hikae) in the kenzan. After that, he or she will be asked to create arrangements using repeating shapes and curves. In addition to this, there are also lessons that give importance to the shape of the container.
Creating shapes, visible or imaginary, has been my guide every time I make an arrangement. It serves as my reminder on how and where I should place my materials. It also gives me a clearer image of how my arrangement would look like.
For this week’s Ikebana lessons, I made several arrangements emphasising shapes. For my first arrangement, I tried to create a contour of Mt. Fuji using a stem of yellow Sansuyu (Cornus fruit flowers) accented with light yellow Sweet Pea flowers in time for welcoming spring. Sansuyu is very similar to Forsythia especially from far distance because of its color. However, it has very small flowers which is only about two (2) millimeters long. In South Korea, these flowers are celebrated every mid-March in Gurye. The branch of Sansuyu is a bit brittle that is why I was so careful when bending it. In order to form the peak of Mt. Fuji, I made two small mid-cuts on the stem. In this way, it was easier to bend the stem.
For my second arrangement, I highlighted the shape of the container. After our morning Ikebana class, my friend and I went to the secondhand shop to look for vases. I was fortunate to find a ceramic vase shaped like a small handbag. I placed peach and red tulips as accent. I arranged the flowers similar to a scene where a lady bought tulips in spring.