Ikebana: Flowers as a Japanese Art Form

An exhibition at Berlin’s Ceramics Museum presents more than just beautiful antique vases: it uses them to display flower arrangements in the Japanese ikebana style.

We love beautiful ceramics. We love the raw, knobbly, imperfectly perfect beauty of Japanese wabi sabi pottery, like our Slate Chawan.

So it goes without saying that we glean plenty of inspiration from Berlin’s Ceramics Museum. To highlight the beauty of a select few pieces, the museum invited members of a local ikebana association to fill vases with exquisite ikebana floral arrangements that rotated weekly.

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But calling ikebana “flower arranging” doesn’t tell the half of it. This centuries-old Japanese minimalist art form was born in the Buddhist temples of ancient Kyoto. Working in ikebana is a silent, solitary and meditative act that is about connecting with nature and finding beauty in line and shape — branches and leaves — rather than splashy blossoms and lush bouquets.

(All images courtesy of the Berlin Ceramics Museum.)

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