Encounter new discoveries - 5 minute exercise

Some times I believe we think too much when it comes to ikebana resulting the lose of spontaneity and’ zing’ to the arrangement. I know there are the important rules and patterns we must follow but in doing so I feel we tend to arrange from our brains rather than our hearts. I am not saying we shouldn’t think about the work but be more compassionate and follow the form of the materials and what nature has provided.


I often give my students a five-minute exercise – no time to ‘think’ but feel and discover unknown materials. The reason I ‘spring’ this exercise on my students is to give them moment to ‘play’ and take time out to ‘discover new encounters’. I think we often work well within our comfort zone failing to look for new ideas, materials or pushing our materials to new levels.


An example of a 5-minute exercise, the students receive 5 semi dried or fresh Corderline leaves and 5 pebbles and ask them to create a 3D form. To my delight (and theirs) the results are amazing.