ikebana tips

Ikebana Tips #8: fun alternative to using kenzan

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Alternatives to kenzan pin-holders #1

These days kenzan pin-holders are our usual method for holding flowers in Ikebana arrangements. But kenzan are a relatively recent introduction.

Kenzan origins are tightly-bound bundles of straw called “komiwara”, that would be pushed into the stem of a vase and the materials inserted between the straw. More of that in a later tip, but I thought it would be fun to start 2017 with a colourful variation of komiwara; drinking straws! Yes, that’s right.

I will post a few more alterntives to kenzan, old and not so old, over the coming weekes but let’s start with my tip to show you how to use, drinking straws in Ikebana.

Ikebana Tips & Tricks #7: caring for your kenzan

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Kenzan pin-holders may be heavy and made of metal but they do still need looking after.

Pins get bent, the rubber mats accumulate bacteria and bits of plants get stuck in them. If you don’t clean them after use, they’ll taint the water of your next arrangement. Leaving the pins bent will make it difficult to add your materials.

And if we look after them they will last longer.

So how can we care for our kenzan pin-holders? This tip will tell you how.

This is my last Ikebana tip of 2016, but I already have another nearly ready to post, to start 2017.

Happy New Year!!!

Ikebana Tips & Tricks #6: soft, hollow stems

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In my Ikebana classes I often show my students tricks that will help their Ikebana arranging. I decided to record this particular one after showing one of my Ikebana students, who remarked that it was such a very simple yet really useful tip.

So, the problem this time is how to hold tall, hollow stems, particularly those that are soft and difficult to insert firmly into a kenzan. Amaryllis is a great example, as you’ll see in my Ikebana tip #6

And don’t forget to send me your question or suggestion for a tip or trick and if I can turn it into a short video, I’ll be pleased to. Just contact me with your How to…? question.

Tips & Tricks #5: keeping your kenzan stable in shallow vases

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In my previous Ikebana tip I showed you how to keep your tall vase and the kenzan stable, particularly when using tall and heavy materials. But we also use tall, heavy materials in shallow vases in which gravel and a kenzan stabiling leg can’t be used.

This tip, #5, will show you how.

Do you have a “how to?” type question about Ikebana? Send me your question or suggestion for a tip or trick and if I can turn it into a short video, I’ll be pleased to. Just contact me with your How to…? question.