Using Unconventional Material

Sandy Marker

One has to stop and think when confronted with this theme. Ikebana means ‘fresh (live) flowers’ so how do you go about utilizing the ‘unconventional’ material in an arrangement whilst maintaining the elegance of Sogetsu

The list of unconventional material it does not include dried, bleached or coloured plant material. This leads us to ask what about paper – its origin is in plant material. Barring the use of dried and bleached material, so why not select something from the overabundance of material at our fingertips.

No matter what unconventional material we select it must harmonize with the plant material in the arrangement. This means you have to think about how to incorporate the unconventional material so it does not tacky or an after thought.

This is an enjoyable exercise allowing the artist to really ‘let go’ and be very creative while remembering not to loose sight of the elements of Sogetsu. My students were tentative at first but soon relished their freedom, which resulted in some great arrangements.

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