The Art of Flower Arrangement
Floral art has become extremely popular and can be found almost anywhere in the world. The illustration of flower arrangement can be a meditative practice, or it can be done just for the sheer joy and beauty of it. Whether you are looking for something to decorate a home, to carry down the aisle at a wedding or something to care for the long term, there is something for almost any taste. Floral art has been around for thousands of years and is available in nearly every style imaginable. Present day school offers tons of courses in the art of flower arrangement.
Flowers were so important in Japanese culture that there was even poetry written in their honour. When Buddhism was first introduced to Japan around the 6th century, the use of flowers as offerings at Buddhist altars became common. Native flowers were chosen each season and used for the offerings. This became known as Ikebana.
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement has become very popular since its creation. The word means “living flowers”, and dates back to the 7th century. The art of Ikebana gained in popularity through the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Muromachi period, with the development of more formal rules governing the designs. There are now Ikebana groups and clubs popping up in many different cities and towns, where people gather together to share their love of the art form. Currently, there are over 3000 different schools in Japan and across the globe. Read on modern Ikebana and how it is ornated inside homes.
Floral art as it existed then began in China and eventually spread to India, Japan and Korea. The styles of flower arranging were modified in each place using local plants, such as the use of the lotus flower in India. At first, there were no attempts to curve branches and stems, the flowers that were used were merely the seasonal blooms. Chinese floral arrangers had begun to focus on beauty, structure, and meaning, creating an art form that would eventually spread to Europe and the Americas. It was likely the spread of Buddhism which led to the range of flower art around the globe.
Floral Design Art & Technique
The oldest known school of Ikebana is Ikenobo, founded at the Rokkaku-do temple in Kyoto. The earliest style created by the Ikenobo family was Rikka, which then became popular with Buddhist flower artists. Buddhists began to use flowers to represent more abstract concepts rather than for their superficial beauty around this time. Ikebana became a huge part of Japanese culture as a whole over the next several hundred years. When Japan was introduced to the Western world in the nineteenth century, some flower masters discovered a love for using Western blooms in their arrangements. The most well-known was Unshin Ohara, who started his school, the Ohara School.
Ohara created his style, called Moribana, which means ‘piling up of flowers.’ It was a much less structured approach than the Ikenobo style, yet still incorporated uneven numbers and asymmetry in flower arrangements. It became one of the most popular forms, with the three most popular designs being the upright, the slanting, and the water-reflecting. There are many variations of each of these as well. The upright style has become one of the more popular for beginners.
Some examples of other schools of Ikebana are Aratame, which uses a much more contemporary style and modern presentation. Students must first learn basic Ikebana techniques before moving on to higher artistic expression. The Banmi Shofu Ryu school incorporates the use of driftwood and uses other natural materials to create movement, serenity and tranquillity. The Chiko School, famous for its flower arrangements, uses decorative ornaments and figurines in its designs. This results in painting-like displays and methods. Various materials such as mirrors are used for the bases along with pebbles and sand drawings to represent water.
There are many other types of floral design as well. Ikebana is more of a meditative practice, done purposefully and with a lot of thought. Western floral art is just as purposeful, if less reflective than most Ikebana. It includes elements such as the flowers themselves, vines and citrus fruits, ribbons, and sometimes even household items such as picture frames and even the containers.
Western floral designs are also developing rapidly, with floral shows around the world celebrating bouquets and styles with brighter colours in 2018. In style called Magnificent Mediterranean, vibrant colours in shades of gold, cinnabar, blue, and yellow are growing more popular. In this style, the containers used are textured and sometimes blown glass.
Current trends in flower design
Another trend for 2018 is called Incarnation of Earth’s Elements. It is a modern, simple style, called a landscape design. It’s a slightly exaggerated recreation of how nature grows that is quite popular with millennials who appreciate the bond humans have with nature. It uses Amaranthus and lotus pods, among other flowers and is likely to use mixed metal containers. Click here for innovative bouquet designs this year so far.
Also expected to be popular in 2018 is Positively Posh. A Paris/Marie Antoinette-inspired design, the Positively Posh uses flowers like hydrangeas and peonies in muted shades of pink and rose, along with teal, green and purple. This particular design is an extension of a favourite design from 2017, called the French Connection.
Folk Art Reinvented is the fourth floral design expected to be popular in 2018. Its casual style is a mix of brightly hued flowers such as alliums, Gerbera daisies, and sunflowers in colours of green, teal, yellow, pink, and orange. These folk art-inspired looks are reminiscent of the hand-crafted appeal of artworks sold on websites like Etsy.
There are many types and styles of floral art. It originated in places like China and Japan and had spread across the globe. The interest in different styles and colours has changed over the thousand-plus years of its existence. Ikebana remains a favourite style with thousands of schools across the world. Western floral styles are making use of more than just flowers, adding things like butterfly ribbons to bouquets as accents. Daily Blooms, a local florist that have won hearts in Melbourne & Sydney does elegant flower art in their bouquets that almost looks like just cut out of a garden. Finding a bouquet or household florals for decoration has never been easier, with styles to suit a range of tastes.