Above floral arrangements were made during lessons offered by California Flower Art Academy under the directions of our floral design instructors. Left picture shows an example of European style design and the right one shows Japanese Ikebana.
From time to time we have prospective students who do not clearly understand the difference between ordinary floral design (often based on European or American style of designs) and Ikebana (Japanese traditional floral art). If you are interested in Japanese traditional culture and want to learn Japanese style of floral art, it is a good idea to learn Ikebana.
On the other hand, if the purpose of learning flower arrangement is for doing business in the United States, Ikebana is not so useful. Instead European or American style flower arrangement is recommended. Suppose you are planning to have your own floral shop in America or offer wedding (or funeral) floral decorating services, the decoration based on Ikebana is not useful. You should learn regular type of floral arrangement. Following YouTube video shows Japanese Flower Arranging (called Ikebana). Video source is Joey L.
California Flower Art Academy offers a wide range of programs/courses from European designs to Japanese Ikebana. Students can make a choice of their most favorite program by well considering the purpose of learning flower arrangements.
We have been engaged in teaching a wide range of floral designs since 1990. However we never taught Ikebana to people who were planning to do floral business in the United States. In spite of the fact that the skill of Ikebana arrangement is not useful for doing flower business in the States, we can find lots of fans who really like Ikebana. Most of them have keen interest in Japanese traditional cultures and they purely want to learn Ikebana just for their hobby.
In short, there are several differences we can find between European/American floral designs and Japanese Ikebana as summarized below:
2. Cultural background
3. Spirit and concept behind designs
4. Selection of flowers and plant materials
5. Items and tools used for floral arranging
Then what does the difference of tools mentioned in above 5 ? European and American floral designs usually use floral foams ("Oasis") and regular vases. However Ikebana arrangement does not use such items. Instead it uses what is called "Kenzan
" (frog: needlepoint holder to hold flowers) and "Suiban
" (container). Kenzan is made of heavy iron plate on which uncountable number of needles are mounted. Flower stems are inserted onto these needles. Suiban is a shallow type container specifically designed for Ikebana arrangement. Above mentioned Kenzan must be placed on the bottom of Suiban. Therefore Suiban is very shallow and the shape looks flat.
While regular type of floral foams used for European design are disposable and cannot be used repeatedly, Kenzan can be repeatedly used and it can be used almost forever.
If you have no previous experience in floral arrangement (either European design or Japanese Ikebana) and would like to have a nice experience of learning floral art, under mentioned short programs are highly recommended for you to make an affordable start:
(A) FOR EUROPEAN DESIGN:Introductory Trial Budget Program
(B) FOR JAPANESE IKEBANA ARRANGEMENT:Ikebana Short Seminar Program
REMARKS: Prices are effective as of January 2015 and subject to change.
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