Striking a power pose with the completed arrangements
Last weekend, Erin led a one-hour workshop on the history and practice of ikebana at the Biscayne Beach building in Miami. She also performed a live arranging demonstration, and the attendees who were seeing ikebana for the first time were wowed by the sculptural and artistic nature of the arrangements.
Erin went over a brief history of ikebana - how it developed as a Buddhist temple ritual before spreading to noblemen, samurais, and eventually the common classes. She then gave an overview of the symbolism inherent to the practice, and the important principle in ikebana of appreciating all stages in the lifecycle of living things, including decay and death.
Demonstrating how to insert wire into horsetail
In creating four separate arrangements, Erin demonstrated several different ikebana concepts and techniques, including the importance of lines and negative space in an arrangement, how to use floral wire to create interesting shapes, and the contrast produced by mixing dry and fresh materials.
Demonstrating how an angled cut can balance flowers on the inside of a vase
The audience asked lots of great questions! There were tactical questions about where she buys her flowers in Miami and how the kenzan works, as well as high-level questions about how ikebana fits into modern Japanese life.
Afterwards, Erin chatted with attendees who wanted to learn more about her and Banabox. A good time was had by all, and Erin was excited to introduce a new group of people to the beauty and joy of ikebana!
Ikebana was a new experience for most attendees