Eli's December arrangement
In our banaboxer spotlight each month, we catch up with a member of the community to discuss all things ikebana. This month, we spoke with Eli about why he sticks to tea when he's doing the arranging and how ikebana has led him to eat more pickles ;-). You can follow Eli on instagram to see his flower arranging and baking exploits
How long have you been practicing ikebana?
Since August 2018.
What do you most enjoy about banabox?
I most enjoy the creativity and zen that has emerged from creating my monthly banabox.
If we visited your home, where would we find your finished arrangements?
Usually on the dining room table, or in our family room where we spend most of our time.
Which month's arrangement has been your favorite so far?
I loved the Slanting Bells arrangement from September.
What has been your favorite individual item we've sent you so far?
The Bells of Ireland stems from that September arrangement. I had never seen those before and thought they were stunning. They also lasted in that arrangement almost a month.
Help set the scene - when you are making your arrangement, is there music, wine, etc.?
I set up my phone next to me so I can watch and pause the instructional video as needed. I put on my nice headphones to quiet the rest of the world. I sometimes pour myself a cup of hot tea. I always do the arrangement early afternoon, so it's too early for me to drink wine. Or is it? I get in the zone and complete the arrangements now in about 30 minutes. As I work, there are branches and stems all over the place and water splashing this way and that. As I finish the arrangement, I choose where I want to look at it now that it's done, I take a few pictures and post them on instagram, and then I am happy to clean up the mess and put the box by the back door for recycling.
Do you stick to the instructions or let your creativity guide you to an unexpected result?
I find myself still largely sticking to the instructions. Except with the extra materials I have left over. On those, I get creative.
Have you ever been to Japan? What was your favorite part?
Yes I've been. My favorite part is the precision in the culture around food, art, and beauty. I think ikebana, and banabox in particular, is a fantastic way of bringing that precision and practice into my own life.
Eli's January arrangement
Has your ikebana experience provided any lessons you can apply to other parts of your life?
A resounding yes! This has been the most broadly rewarding part for me of trying banabox. I love the process and the beauty of the monthly ikebana creation itself. But what I am most grateful for is that I think doing ikebana has also contributed to me being more creative and confident in my ability to work with and manipulate natural materials of various kinds. This newfound creativity has also led me to try pickling and dozens of attempts at baking since I started banabox, and I am getting a ton of joy out of all three new hobbies.
Any tips or tricks that you want to share with the banabox community?
Try it, if you haven't yet. I think you'll get a lot out of it!
Thanks so much to Eli for joining us for this month's banaboxer spotlight. We always love to hear from the banabox community, so don't hesitate to drop us a line or connect with us on social media (instagram, facebook).