A year after I held a Senses from Japan gathering, I was back in Whidbey Island. This time, to kickoff a series of Ikebana workshop – we named this series Whidbey Friends and Flowers. “We,” because two of my good friends who now live in the island worked closely with me to make this event happen. My deep gratitude to them.
On a drizzling day, sixteen women gathered in an art studio. Most of them had already signed up for my Ikebana workshop series scheduled in June through September. This gathering, however, was not for them to try ikebana themselves, but to see firsthand what is possible in ikebana.
My role as a demonstrator was to show people wide variety of ikebana arrangements; a typical one, a minimalistic one, one with a wow factor, and a more elaborate one… Ikebana demonstration is like a stage performance. The storyline is important, with some surprises here and there.
In about thirty minutes I made six arrangements, all placing flowers from the back, facing the audience. My original scenario contained only five arrangements, but the studio owner offered me to use a beautiful bamboo container. How can I refuse? I made another arrangement with that container and some extra materials. Improvisation is an important factor for stage performance, right?
Hopefully the audience enjoyed themselves and got some idea of what ikebana can be. But guess who enjoyed that moment most? No doubt, me! It’s more fun to actually create something with your own hands than to simply watching somebody else doing it, isn’t it? I hope that my joy was somehow conveyed to the audience.