I’ve recently begun the journey towards honing the skill and art of Japanese いけばな (ikebana) flower arranging. In my journey I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the best ikebana artists here in Tokyo to help instruct and inspire me.
As I’m just starting out my first lesson is to create a basic upright style moribana arrangement where the stems need to be precision cut and precision placed at fixed angles on a spiky kenzan. There are three main parts to the arrangement which are the shin placed at a 10˚~15˚ angle, soe at 45˚, and hikae at 75˚. After the three main stems are perfectly placed it’s time to accessorize with jushi subordinate stems that add volume and depth to the arrangement as the kenzan is not supposed to be visible.
The studio is filled with interesting add-ons that can make fabulous arrangements truly spectacular despite what they might look like carelessly piled in the studio corner. But I’m far from the stage where I get to go off textbook so it’ll have to be something to look forward to in the future as I progress.
There are also many interesting vases in the studio but again those will have to wait until I get a little further along.
Here’s my first ikebana arrangement in its completed stage. What do you think?
Here in Tokyo spring has arrived. The weather is warm and the flowers have begun to blossom as you can see with this stunning pink camellia. So what better way to enjoy than with a plate of fresh berries. Indulgent yet healthy if you ignore the pile of waffles and cream that will accompany it. What a treat!
When the weather is as gorgeous as this, there’s nothing quite as nice as taking advantage of it by being outdoors. Therefore, I chose to spend my day in the beautiful Uppsala Botanical Garden exploring the park, orangery and tropical greenhouse.
The botanical garden also offered a very flattering vantage point for viewing the 16th-century royal castle.
Apart from exotic plants and beautiful landscapes there was also a series of stunning photographs on exhibit that took its inspiration from plants such as linnaea or linnéa.
In the orangery there was an art exhibition by artist Ulla Viotti entitled brick garden and also a terrific cacti house that made me want add a few cacti to my otherwise only orchid collection.
Although winter is quickly approaching, the flower stands at Liberty department store show no signs of bowing down to the pressure. It’s such a delight to stop by to enjoy the bright floral view and scents before making one’s way indoors to marvel and probably pick up a few too many things that you really don’t need but want.
I always find their arts and crafts section an inspiring place to visit. This little millinery section made me want to learn the skills of stars such as Stephen Jones and Philip Tracey. Britain with their stylish fascinator hats are an absolute wonder!
Yes, feel free to call me a total nerd but I actually found these large chess piece candles by Seletti rather amusing. In the right setting I’m sure they would look fantastic, but for now I’ll be sticking with my gorgeous French Cire Trudon candles.
For the more traditional, there’s always the classic white, scented candle cup version from Astier de Villatte available. Don’t underestimate playing it safe once in a while, it could save you a great deal of buyers remorse. I’ve been keeping my eyes peered open early this year to see if I can find the perfect Christmas presents and save myself the stress of last minute shopping. How about you, are you an early bird or save it to the last minute type of person? Happy hunting everyone!
Nicolai Bergmann’s fabulous floral art exhibition Florescence is currently on display at 表参道ヒルズOmotesando Hills, Space O, until tomorrow, September 23. Yesterday night the much anticipated reception party kicked off the weekend. This is one of the nights I truly wish I hadn’t been busy in London but could have jetted over. Instead I asked my darling sister to snap a few pictures for all of us to enjoy the party and astonishing arrangements.
This gorgeous arrangement inspired my quick sketch below.
Nicolai signing his new coffee table book Florescence.