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Surprise! - An Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Surpirse! - An Ikebana Exhibition was held last May 10-12, 2019 at the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax. We chose the theme “surprise” with the bold mission to surprise people with what they can do with oft taken for granted plants that are easily found in backyards and roadsides! So in this exhibit, you’d have seen familiar things, —pine and spruce branches, magnolia, quince, bridal wreath and lots of tree bark—alongside blooms from the florist! Thank you to all who visited us! We hope you enjoyed the arrangements as much as we did creating them!


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We are very grateful to the Keshen Goodman Library who let us use their beautiful space. The staff were all very welcoming and helpful! Special mention to Dacia M. for her patience with us. Preparations and take-down could not have gone any smoother!

This exhibition is part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations. It also coincided with the Asian Heritage Month festivities in Halifax.


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To the people who made this possible: Val S, Susan R, Nina D, Media C, Jean H, Robert L, Brenda D, Heather N, M. S., Linda K and Cody O. A very BIG thank-you! Your hard-work and dedication to ikebana are very much appreciated. We hope to do another exhibition next year!

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)


Arrangement by Jean H
We are welcomed to the exhibit by this floor position arrangement by Jean H. Hydrangea, magnolia and delphinium.

 

Arrangement by Val S
How Val deftly peeled away the bark from a fallen birch tree is beyond us! Pink lines and pink blooms accent the white bark perfectly.


Arrangement by Susan R
A lovely vase (origin unknown but acquired at the local Xmas market in Mahone Bay!) paired with driftwood from Nova Scotia’s shores. Something very wabi-sabi about this!


Arrangements by Nina D
Nina uses spirea branches called bridal wreath. The shrub with droopy branches grow all over Nova Scotia and blooms with little white flowers…but for these arrangements, Nina uses them not for the flowers but to show lines.


Arrangements by Media C
Exotic-looking vases! Gentle curves of delicate grass contrasted with a chunk of rough, fallen wood!


Arrangement by Robert L
Robert says he never heard of Bells of Ireland till he started ikebana lessons…and now he just absolutely loves them!


Arrangement by Brenda D
Brenda tells us that weeks before the exhibit, she already mentally placed “reserved” tags on select branches of the spruce tree in her backyard. ..and behold, a nageire with very strong lines. The addition of a piece of bark at the bottom anchors the forceful upward surge of those branches.


Arrangement by Heather N
Quince branches and lilies. This arrangement was evolving as the lilies started to bloom during the 3-day exhibit!


Arrangement by M.S.
May is the month when irises bloom in Japan as well so this arrangement connects us to the seasons in Japan as well! Irises normally grow straight up but M.S. bends these irises to her will!

(Photo credit: Robert L)

(Photo credit: Robert L)


Arrangement by Linda K
This arrangement is meant to be seen all around.


Arrangement by Cody O
In ikebana, the clearness of the water is an important element. Cody O gives us more to appreciate by adding some blooms in the water!


Arrangements by Miyako
A convolution of corkscrew willow branches, crisscrossing in brightly painted red and natural colours. (Thank you, Nina D, for bringing these branches, freshly pruned, from the Annapolis Valley!)

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)


There s a pine tree in our backyard that fell after a strong storm some years ago. Recently, its old bark started coming off…and this is showcased in this arrangement. Miyako inserted some pine needles to remind us that the bark was from a pine tree. With the aged bark, Miyako added some young, budding magnolia branches! The vase is by local pottery artist, Sally Ravindra (Purcell’s Cove).


These uncannily curving branches were found on the roadside. Arranged on a tall vertical vase with a few tufts of moss added to give some sense of motion…like a pinwheel!


(Photo credit: Kent Martin)

Last but certainly not least…thank you, Kent Martin, for visiting the exhibition and allowing us to use your photos. Kent Martin is a professional photographer/film producer who is currently working on The Halifax Project—a documentary of our beloved city, Halifax NS!

My Ikebana: Using Furoshiki

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Furoshiki (風呂敷) is the the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. It is used to wrap mostly small hand-carry things and gifts. It is the old style re-usable “bag” except it is really just a simple square fabric.

For this exercise, furoshiki was used to wrap the vase and make a hanging arrangement. The corners of the fabric, tied together made the perfect place to hang it from.


Here is a closer view seen from below.

The convenient thing about using furoshiki is that we don’t have to care about the appearance of the container! We only have to make sure that it will balance well inside the cloth.

I hope you like this idea. —Miyako

My Ikebana: Using A Fruit Basket

Added on by the ikebana shop.

I bought this container at a local supermarket in Tokyo. It was meant to be a fruit basket (but it is ceramic). With the dried vines as handle, it was perfect as a flower container as well! So, in the same way we put a variety of fruit in a basket, I used a variety of flowers: liatris, alstroemeria, anastasia…plus forsythia branches from the backyard!

Here is the whole arrangement.

I hope you like it. —Miyako

My Ikebana: From The Floor

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Most of the time, we learn to make arrangements to be placed on a table or stand. But if we look around our surroundings, sometimes we can find lovely spaces on the floor as well. This arrangement is laid on the floor on purpose. The intention is for the viewer to see it while looking downward from standing position.

I used an obi (kimono sash) as a way to give a sense of space around the arrangement.

 

The placement is on a stairs landing. Here is what you would see as you round the corner coming from downstairs.

 

I also made sure that the arrangement could be appreciated as one comes down from upstairs.

 

I hope you like it. —Miyako

My Ikebana: Nova Scotia Holly

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Winter time in Nova Scotia. Lots of festive materials in the farmer’s market. I came upon these wonderful bundles of Nova Scotia holly.

 

And from there came my winter holiday-themed arrangement!

Merry Christmas! —Miyako

My Ikebana: Heavy Hydrangea

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This arrangement was from a few months ago…when the weather was still warm! I found some lovely hydrangea with robust blooms in purple and green. I purposely chose very flat containers to further draw attention to the flowers.

 

Extra Detail: I left some space between the mouth of the container and the flowers so that the shape of the container may be properly appreciated as well!

I hope you like it. —Miyako

My Ikebana: Tsubo on TV

Added on by the ikebana shop.

In the Season 8 opener of CBC’s hit comedy series “Mr. D”, the main character, Gerry, goes to Tokyo to seek his fortune. Here is a screenshot of a scene set in a Tokyo apartment. Do you see the ikebana?

Screenshot from “Mr. D”, Season 8, Ep 1, aired on Nov 7th, 2018.  Watch the episode  here . (For Canadian audiences only.)

Screenshot from “Mr. D”, Season 8, Ep 1, aired on Nov 7th, 2018.
Watch the episode here. (For Canadian audiences only.)

“Mr. D” is actually shot here in Halifax and the school they use for most of the scenes is located a few blocks from our shop! The set department did a wonderful job of re-creating the inside of a Tokyo apartment here in Halifax. We were honoured to help with this by providing an ikebana arrangement to the set.

Photo courtesy of Barb L. Thank you!

We hope you enjoyed the show….and liked the ikebana!

My Ikebana: Dry Corn

Added on by the ikebana shop.

In ikebana, we like to use seasonal materials to remind us of our connection with nature and to make us aware of the passage of time. In autumn in Nova Scotia brings out pumpkins, squashes and dry corn, used for displays to celebrate the autumn harvest.

In this arrangement, I use some dry corn, which could be found in any market in the fall.

Here is the whole arrangement.

I hope you like it. —Miyako