ISSUE 62  |  Japonesque

10 Easy Pieces: Ikebana Vases

March 05, 2013 5:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

Back when I was a florist, I worked with an artist who was trained in the Jiyūka school of ikebana, whose design ethos was all about free, creative structures without restraint. She would pull moss and decaying flower pods into her arrangements while wearing oversized black Issey Miyake skirts which just added to her overall radical vibe.

Since then I’ve been wanting to try my hand at ikebana at home, but the trouble is, I don’t have the right vase. A vase used for any style of ikebana should be relatively low, sometimes wide, and made of ceramic, or another opaque material to hide the floral frog if you’re using one. Here are ten vases that are well-suited for Japanese floral design, and if you have one to add, do let us know in the comments section below.

Above: Above: The Low Angled Bowl by Danish ceramicist Lene Kuhl Jacobsen is $50 AUD from Mr. Kitly. Read more about Mr. Kitly in our previous post: The Shop Upstairs.

Above: Consider using traditional tableware, like the Koudai Bowl, designed by Sゝゝ (ES), is $84.41 from Analogue Life in Japan.

Above: Canvas’ Morandi Bottle Vases are inspired by the still lifes of Giorgio Morandi. Each with a different shape but all rendered in the same, simple matte glaze, the vases range from $26 to $78 each from Canvas.

Above: The Cella Small Vase was inspired by the classic Grecian urn and glazed in a glossy celadon; $99.95 from Crate & Barrel.

Above: The Blue Striped Porcelain Bowl would work nicely for a low arrangement using a wide floral frog is $135 from Paula Grief. See our exclusive visit to her home in The Handmade Kitchen: Paula Grief in Brooklyn.

Above: Sandra Bowkett Bharni’s Stripe Vessel is $44 AUD from Mr. Kitly in Australia.

Above: Cécile Daladier’s Round Crazed Vase features small openings around the perimeter for single stems with a larger opening fit for a floral frog. Currently out of stock at Anaise, but available directly through Cécile Daladier, priced at $100 per kilo of ceramics. Read more about Daladier in A Ceramicist and an Architect in Paris.

Above: West Elm’s simple Pure White Ceramic Vases are made of earthenware with a slight glossy finish. Available in seven different forms, we think that the Sack ($24) and the Oversized Vase ($89) would work best for ikebana (the latter to be used without a floral frog).

Above: The Arley Vase from Crate & Barrel would work nicely for a Seika style (a style using three main branches to represent heaven, earth, and human). The vase is made from earthenware with a glossy, reactive glaze for $24.95.

Above: An investment option is the Weight Vase B (second from the left) designed by Decha Archjananun. The vase is made from waterproof concrete and powder coated steel for $300 from Matter.

Above: The Large, Deep Ceramic Bowl is wheel thrown and dipped in white glaze by Julia Paul on Etsy; $125 each.

So now you have ten vases to choose from, but what about Ikebana Scissors and Floral Frogs?