Spotlight: Ikebana Master Toshiro Kawase

It’s amazing what you can discover trawling on Pinterest. Ikebana master Toshiro Kawase is one of them. Searching for beautiful pictures of ikebana floral designs, I couldn’t help but notice the name Toshiro Kawase cropping up on pins. And what stunning pins they were.

Portraits of Japan in Flowers…

Born in Kyoto in 1948, Kawase earned a degree from Nihon University College of Art. After graduating, he tripped over to Paris  to work in theatre and film, which no doubt had a major influence on his perspective and poetic style. Returning to Japan in 1974 he continued to study many forms of floral arranging, his amazing talent receiving much acclaim, and his ikebana designs being described as capturing ‘portraits of Japan in flowers’.

Toshiro Kawase ikebana

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

What is Ikebana?

Ikebana is characterised by ‘extreme discipline and minimalism’. An intense study of a floral specimen to reveal its essential form. It is a balanced, contemplative, ‘meditative’ art.

As one website describes,

‘Go too far in stripping the details and the piece looses its vitality. Not far enough and the energy is obscured. To achieve such a delicate balance is the ultimate expression of humankind’s harmony with Nature, and the mark of a true master’. (1)

There are a multitude of Ikebana schools and styles that have emerged over centuries, yet Toshiro stands out as a modern day master of this ancient floral art form….

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

Kawase’s work convey the delicate balance of body, mind and soul that is an integral basis to the art of ikebana. Elemental vases play an equally important role as the floral forms themselves in his compositions.

Described by art blogger www.designskool.net, Toshiro Kawase’s designs are;

‘They are like epiphanies, embodying all the tension and fragility of a state of grace. Small and yet hugely evocative, they are haikus in flowers. They are limitless energy barely contained in a halo of quiet. They are nature manipulated by man. Man in harmony with Nature.’ (2)

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana    Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

Toshiro Kawase Ikebana

To some these examples of Toshiro’s work may appear simple, easy to execute. Yet their simplicity belies the eye. A lifetime of study and intense practise has gone into these floral compositions. His work is inspired. Pure art. Take a look at more of Toshiro’s work on our Pinterest board here.

Make sure to follow our blog for further stories about the art of ikebana, and all things floral and beautiful.

[wpcb id=”38″]

References

1. http://www.gardenista.com/posts/required-reading-secrets-of-an-ikebana-master

2. http://designskool.net/toshiro-kawase/

Photo Credit

https://www.pinterest.com/ffeaus/ikebana-master-toshiro-kawase/

Styling with Waratahs

“The red flowers of the waratah how beautiful they bloom
When the wattles are in yellow and gold is on the broom
They cannot be mistaken so large and a rich red
And much about their beauty has been written and been said
When red is on the waratah and birds whistle and sing
And Nature in her green cloak wears her colours of the Spring
The naturally sweet aroma of the blossom laden trees
Come wafting through the parkland in the freshening morning breeze,
The butcherbird is piping his bubbly melody
And everywhere one turns to look great beauty one does see
And the parent birds are busy in their constant search for food
For to keep the hunger at bay in their fast growing begging brood
And when Nature is at her loveliest with a bright smile on her face
The red flowers on the waratah do take pride of place”.

“The Red Flowers of the Waratah” by Francis Duggan

It’s currently waratah season in Australia and now is the time to make the most of these native beauties during the short time they are available. Take a page out of our style file below for ideas on how to decorate your home with waratahs or incorporate into a wedding bouquet if you are a spring bride.

Styling with Waratahs

Waratahs look fabulous massed on their own in a simple vase or combined in a bouquet or flower arrangement with the likes of beautiful white oriental lilies, other natives such as native kangaroo paw, and varieties of Eucalyptus foliage and gumnuts.

waratahs in vase

waratahs in rustic tin

waratahs in vase

Their bold, sculptural stems also work really well in modern arrangements, such as this Japanese style creation using maple leave branches and fantail willow found on Home Journal.

waratahs in vase

And make for a unique, Australian-esque spring wedding bouquet. Absolutely love this design below with the lipstick pink boronia accent by a Tasmanian flower grower Swallows Nest Farm!

waratah wedding bouquet

Bunches of cut waratahs can be purchased from any one of our four retail Sydney florist stores or order a flower arrangement or bouquet to be delivered by phoning 1800 66 66 46 or emailing sales@flowersforeveryone.com.au

Blink and you’ll miss out!

Did you Know?

  1. Prior to white settlement in Australia, waratahs were reputedly placed in a bowl of water so the sweetness and life of the flower would flow into the water. This was then used to strengthen children or cure them from disease.
  2. The name waratah comes from the Eora Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.
  3. Waratahs are native to Australia and the floral emblem of New South Wales
  4. There are a number of waratah colours available including red with white tips (‘Fire ‘n Ice’); cream tinged with pink (‘Shade of Pale’); red with a pink blush (‘Brimstone Blush’); blood red (‘Shady Lady’); and almost pure white (‘Wirrimbirra White’).
  5. They waratahs are a slow plant to mature and their flowering season is short, unpredictable and unreliable, generally only lasting for about a month each year, during the spring.

Sources and Photo Credits

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2349242.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waratah

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ffeaus/styling-with-waratahs/

 

 

 

 

The Mad Hatter Tea Party

Recently our in-house events team had the fabulous task of styling a Mad Hatter tea party for a bride-to-be, the lovely Josephine.

Held at the Bel Parco Room at Waterview, in Sydney’s Bicentennial Park, with Josephine dressed in an Alice in Wonderland inspired number, our team transformed the space into a magical floral Mad Hatter party themed vision.

mad hatter tea party theme

Artificial turf covered chairs and table runners, vintage books and clocks, tea pots and cups, plastic pink flamingos, strands of colourful paper lanterns, and a giant rabbit were the order of the day.

Alice in Wonderland theme

Tea Party

Alice in Wonderland

Kitchen Tea Party

Our florists had the creative licence to really go to town with these gorgeous flower filled vintage tea cups and tea pots adorning the table centres.

flower filled vintage tea cups

The food stations weren’t forgotten either, with rustic wine barrels and timber display stands to not only display the delicious finger food, but perfect little blooms as well.

Alice in Wonderland theme

Alice in Wonderland theme

Tea Party

And the cake! Hello…what is a Mad Hatter tea party theme without an Alice in Wonderland themed cake?

Mad Hatter cake

Thank you Josephine for allowing our events team to style your special kitchen tea party and take your guests ‘down the rabbit hole’ into a flower filled fantasy world!

[wpcb id=”22″]