Web Gallery of Shoso Shimbo

Stressed of for the day?  Click and relax with the beautiful collections of works by Shoso Shimbo, the renowned Melbourne based Ikebana artist.  Not only your can fest you eyes on some wonderful floral artwork of his, you can relax your mind with the soothing music that accompany the web gallery.

Shoso Shimbo – Ikebana Artist – Melbourne.

Check often… Shoso is a very busy artist and he will updates his site!

Keita Kawasaki 10min ikebana

Keita Kawasaki is one of my beloved ikebana artist. His works are always full of surprises for he likes the use of unusal mixture of media with plant materials. Through his art work, he has shown us that ikebana does not limit in the use of plant materials only andthrough combining them with dialy objects in creatativity, artworks of another dimension can be produced. I like this demonstration alot with Keita using daily ojects other than vases to inspire us how ikebana can really be part of daily life!

Ikebana in a Wedding

Church Wedding Centre Piece

Church Wedding Centre Piece

Is there such a thing as in ikebana wedding flowers? Is it possible to have an ikebana approach to wedding floral arrangements? When my friend asked me be in charge of their wedding flowers, I was asking myself these questions again and again. Is it possible to keep my ikebana style and merge it with the highly westernised church wedding? I found that weddings is highly complicated than any floral art. Not only you have to consider the place where the flowers are being use eg the church/ reception, but the bouquets and buttonholes are pieces that are being carried and worn all day and have to be exposed in the most hash environments depending on the weather of the wedding day! They have to not only look good, but also look good when worn on the particular person in a particular way! How many times have you seen the mother-of-bride wearing the corsage on the wrong side and causing the corsage falling to one side, rotated or up-side-down? How about the minimalist approach we have in most ikebana’s art? Will the bride cry in tears when she see only a couple of flowers with a few “sticks”?

Bridal BouquetBridal Bouquet

A new leave in life

This is a very exciting day for me for I have finally completed my ikebana teaching diploma. Though it is the only level 4 teaching, I am already over the moon to see how I have worked hard and have been growing better in this art.

I finished the corse by performing a demonstration in front of a group of teachers and students at a girls school. It was kind of nervous but a very important experience for me since there was no accompanying music, I have to talk constantly to engage the audience and try to produce good artwork at the same time!

I think I will continue to work hard and refine my skill in this art- this is only a beginning for me! I have a long long way to go.

Ikebana designs in the 21st century

My Mum has spoiled me very much recently by giving me a very early Christmas- the iPad. And ever since then, I’ve been tagging it with me to everywhere I go. Great fun. It does everything I normally do on then laptop. Email, Facebook, and in fact, this blog is written on the official WordPress App! But then, can it help me in terms of ikebana?

Oh yes, it does! Thanks to those great sketching App that is only a few dollars to purchase from the AppStore. Well, I must admit that it look awhile for me to get used to sketching with my finger rather than the pencil, but it is quite satisfying, too.

For example, I was preparing some sketches for a church wedding. I made the sketch with the app ( see above), export the picture into the iPad gallery and put the image into Pages so that I could typed some notes about it. I even put a “reflection” to my image in Pages. Then I sent that with the “quote” that I generated via another app, all in PDF format, in email to the bride! Can’t be easier. I also keep a copy of the PDF in the “cloud” account so that I can access them with my iPhone! Em…. Digital world is interesting, but then I still like my paper sketch pad and my pencils- I guess the feel of pen and paper is hard to be replicate on the iPad.

“Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal” – Ikebana –

Picasso: “Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal”

Here I want to steal my teacher’s (Shoso Shimbo) great idea in fixing floral materials without using floral foam or kenzan.


kenzen replace wire ikebana

kenzen replace


Some one has asked me once “what is the method to fix flowers in a glass container?” She was having trouble arranging her singapore orchids in her wide mouth glass container. She realised that it is impossible to stick an oasis into it without showing that ugly piece of green foam.  Also, she has not bought enough green to “pack” the vase before adding the flowers!  The metal wire ball is here to help.

I got this idea from my teacher last time when we went to arrange flowers for a wedding.  We used these metal wire balls to hold up the florals for 17 table arrangements!! They can be stretch/ squeeze for size on the spot and are not that intrusive visually if show.

How to make them?

Well that is easy. All you need is some coated wire.  For stability and strength, I used the pvc coated fence wire that you can purchase from the hardware store.  They came in green or black.  Then I just scrunch them up.  Try to keep the centre of clear of wires.  Then, I use to more flexible plant ties/ garbage bags ties to secure a few intersections to make the whole thing even more stable (see the little green knots on the ball).

And that’s finished! Drop that into your vase and you are ready to go!

Simplicity in ikebana

Simplicity in Ikebana

Simplicity in Ikebana

My dear teacher Shoso Shimbo says often,” Keep it simple, keep it simple… so that it will be more effective.”  In ikebana, less and definitely more!  And I used to “trim and trim and trim”- thinking… oh dear there isn’t much there anymore!   But he is right!  Less is more!

I have a very “young” garden and there isn’t much to pick from it.  Often, I found one or two things that I want to bring into the house- and yes, only 1 or 2 things!  Then I realise that the trick is to manipulate and accentuate the strong beautiful parts to make something simple but elegant.  No fuss, No buying extra materials… just one or two pieces, but I must think hard, think hard on what container to use, how to arrange them, where to put the finish work- that will all make a big difference to the end result.

Recycle Ikebana

Gold BambooEver wonder what happens to those Floral displays after a major exhibition? I don’t know what others do with their but I always keep whatever didn’t rot! Surprisingly, many materials dry well and can be reused and reused in different forms.

Looking a bit off colour? Sprayed paint it!!

Yeh! See those bamboos there? Two of them were black ones from another old arrangement and the other two are the beige ones from hardware store. I need 6 bamboos for this project and I wasn’t going to spend another $80 for new ones- so I bought a bottle of $10 spray paint and give them all a new lift of colour – also gave my display a dramatic look!

Gold Gum Nuts

Gold Gum Nuts

And how about these Gold Gum Nuts and leaves and branches as centre piece for a special occasion? They fell down form the tree in my garden and I simply picked them up and sprayed them! Stunning!

There are many materials which are very good for this like Pussy Willow, Willow, Dogwood, even Pepper corn. Also Raindeer fern, however, they are very “spiky” when they are dry!

Ikebana Video

I have made a 4min short video to show case the exhibitions of Shoso Shimbo and his students.  Enjoy

Church Flowers 4 Sept 2010

Recently I have been very engaged in experimenting with leaves. Since my garden has a good supply of Mondo grass and Iris, I have been doing a lot of curling and weaving of leaves. Then I saw in a magazine, the Japanese “Florist”, which suggest putting a wire behind so that the leave can be “shaped”. And here is the result of my experiment. The Protea and Arums Lilies are from my garden. Ibonlt bought the big leaves and the flowering Wax. I am not very happy with placement of my Proteas but the 90 degree stems made them very hard to place.

Arranging flowers for church is a very exciting thing to do. You can get the basic concept not only from the different festivals but also from the different colours representing the different time of the church calendar.

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