Creating a Simple Japanese Flower Arrangement

Creating a Simple Japanese Flower Arrangement

Part of Ep. 2101 Japanese Gardening

Learn how to create a simple Ikebana flower arrangement at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens with Ikebana instructor Kazuko Bressler.

Premiere date: Mar 02, 2013

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:

Not too long ago, we did an entire segment on the ancient Japanese art of ikebana which is the art of flower arranging. I did it with Kazuko Bressler. She's on the board for the Green Bay Botanic Gardens here in Green Bay and is an ikebana instructor. I was so intrigued, that I thought that I would come back and see if she could teach a total novice how to do one of the simpler ikebana designs. So that's what we're here to do today. I'm going to try to follow along as best as I can, Kazuko.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Okay.

 

Shelley Ryan:

The neat thing is with ikebana we can use any plants from our own backyards. It doesn't have to be something grown in Japan. It's celebrating the nature of what's outside right now.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes.

 

Shelley Ryan:

We start with a container. The size of the container is important.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes. Today, we are doing an upright style Moribana arrangement. The container is shallow, flat bottomed and inside the container we have a kenzan the flower frog, is what you call it to anchor and place the arrangements. Now we have that. The placement of kenzan is very important. Today we will put it in the front, right.

 

Shelley Ryan:

We're working with this facing us so the finished product should be looking at us.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

That's right. Then we will turn it around. Okay, shall we start?

 

Shelley Ryan:

I'm just going to follow along, I hope.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Okay, and moribana consists of three lines. The major line, call it number one.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay, the tallest one.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes. The number one line was already prepared.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You precut it for me, thank you.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, precut it. So you place this in the center back. In the center back, okay.

 

Shelley Ryan:

And it looks like--

 

Kazuko Bressler:

The tip has to go up.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Push it down pretty firmly.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, straight down, like so.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Once you do that push it five degrees to the left and five degrees forward, okay?

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay, and since we're doing this to face us we want the leaves. We don't want the back of the leaves looking at me.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

No.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Then also next one, number two line will be placed--

 

Shelley Ryan:

This one's shorter, isn't it?

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, two-thirds of number one line.

 

Shelley Ryan:

The number one line should have been the size of the container, plus?

Kazuko Bressler:

The depth of the container.

 

Shelley Ryan:

The depth and size of the container, plus?

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Times 1-1/2.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Times 1-1/2, so there's a formula here.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, we have a formula. This one will be placed in the left front.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Push it in. Push it straight in. Then bring it about 45 degrees.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Okay? So the next line will be flowers.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

We cut that, so we will put that in.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This one is even shorter.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Right front, yes. Okay.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I'm glad you precut mine.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, and right front.

 

Shelley Ryan:

That one did not...

 

Kazuko Bressler:

The length will be half the length of the number two line. So left front, like so.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Front, okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

And then, so now...

 

Shelley Ryan:

You're creating a triangle?

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, we're creating the triangle. Inside, we've created the triangle.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You really have to push to get these in this.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Oh, yes. Then next one, leave the two flowers together, long and short, and then fill it inside the triangle one by one. Maybe this will be easier for you.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Going toward you, you know...

 

Shelley Ryan:

Part of that triangle concept.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, then we have all the yellow flowers. So to cut the color, we will put something white.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Just for some contrast.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yeah, contrast the color. Put it inside. A little shorter would be nice.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Then again, kind of following one of the angles at least.

Kazuko Bressler:

Yeah, maybe you can cut the flowers a little bit.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I think it just broke.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Here.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This is so much different from our American lush bouquets. We're looking at space. We've got the triangle. Okay, you have a better triangle than I do! Like this. Then we use some of this other plant material just for filler?

 

Kazuko Bressler:

Yes, we will use the other material as a filler.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I'm going to cheat and look at the finished one to see what I'm looking at. This has me so intrigued. Kazuko, thank you so much for teaching me something that I have a feeling I'm going to play with a lot more.

 

Kazuko Bressler:

I think you will.

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