The Beauty of Simplicity: Ikebana

Sometimes Less is Really More

Bare branches and a sunflower arranged in a pot by local artists Ron and Sibylle Tornow

Photo by Susan Laughlin


Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arranging. Although an ancient tradition, the Sogetsu School headquartered in Tokyo has a contemporary attitude.

Antoinette Drouart of Nashua first discovered the art when living in Japan with her husband Eric in 1986. Now, she travels back to Japan almost every year to continue her studies and understanding of Ikebana in the Sogetsu School.

You won't find masses of flowers here, but rather careful and spare use of flowers and bare branches where every blossom and stem is carefully arranged to balance in the chosen container.

Drouart teaches classes in Japanese flower arranging, both for the casually interested and for those wishing to obtain a certification in Ikebana. The basic rules are simple but can take years to master. Even so, beginners feel a sense of accomplishment in their first session.

Drouart's downtown Nashua shop, Ikebana Flower is a showplace for orchids and artwork, pottery and giftware with an Asian aesthetic. (Closed in July.)

This summer she is also teaching at Chi-lin Arts and Antiques of Asia in Meredith.

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