The Inclining Form in a Vase

Like the Basic Inclining Form in a container, the Basic Inclining Form in a vase is used to express the natural beauty of materials that grow out horizontally above the earth. However, when creating an arrangement in a vase, no kenzan is used; new techniques are used to position the materials. These new skills will also be used to create Heika and Bunjin arrangements in the future.

In an arrangement in a bowl container, the materials are inserted along the centerline of the kenzan. In an arrangement in a vase, the materials are positioned close together near the front edge of the vase, giving the appearance that the materials are sprouting from one place. This is called nejimari in Japanese, and is very important in a vase arrangement. Another point to keep in mind is that the materials are always positioned in the center of the container.

The stems in the arrangement;
The Subject extends out horizontally from the center of the container. It is the main branch of the arrangement and can be a flower, leaf, or branch.
The Object is centered low in the front of the arrangement, leaning forward to draw the viewer in and hide the mouth of the container -- nejimari. It creates a focal point from which all the other materials rise and can also be a flower, leaf, or branch.
All other stems in the arrangement are Filler stems. These are used to emphasize the beauty of the Subject and Object. How you use the filler stems gives variation and individual character to the overall work.

The red line is the Subject.
The blue line is the Object.
The green area is the Filler Area.

Length and position of the main stems:
The Subject can be up to twice the height of the container. It can be placed anywhere within the 270° area shown above – in the front, in the rear, on the left, or on the right. It can incline down anywhere from 60° to 90°. Look carefully at your Subject material to find the best position.
The Object is 1/3 the length of the Subject. It leans 45° to the front and can swing up to 20° to the left or right of center.

NOTE: The lengths above are the length of the stems that extend outside the vase. You also have to include the length of the stem that will be inside the vase – the appropriate length is the standard measurement above plus the portion inside the vase.

Length and position of the Filler stems
The length of the Filler stems is free and can be positioned anywhere inside the green Filler Area in the diagram above. When looking at each branch or stem, think carefully about its size, and where it will be placed in the arrangement. Cut to a length that will add to the beauty of the Subject and Object, not detract from them.

Two materials:
Euacalyptus, snapdragon
Tulip, foxtail fern (Asparagus cochinchinensis)
Thunberg’s spirea, sweet pea or anemone or rose
Sword fern, anemone or carnation or Ranunculus
Freesia, foxtail fern (Asparagus cochinchinensis) or sweet pea or rose

Three materials:
New Zealand flax, rose, baby’s breath (Gypsophila)
Monstera, carnation or rose, misty blue or lace flower

Two materials:
Italian ruscus, carnation or gerbera daisy or rose
Kookaburra, sunflower or pincushion
Allium sphaerocephalum, prairie gentian
Snake plant (Sansevieria), begonia or geranium
Gladiola, sunflower or dahlia

Three materials:
Anthurium, rose, baby’s breath (Gypsophila)
Sandersonia, Gloriosa, lace flower

Two materials:
Toad lily, small chrysanthemum
Chestnut, cockscomb or dahlia or gentian
Gloriosa, kuroton
Japanese rosehip, cockscomb or rose or Oriental lily

Three materials:
Bittersweet, gentian, small carnation
Quince (with fruit), cockscomb, spray chrysanthemum

Two materials:
Kangaroo paw, rose
Fasciated willow, amaryllis
Bare branches, Asiatic lily or Oriental lily
Flowering quince, chrysanthemum or ping-pong chrusanthemum
Pine, spider chrysanthemum or rose

Three materials:
Pussy willow, gerbera daisy, Asparagus myriocladus
Palm fern, lily, Solidago

Year Round
Two materials:
Dracaena godseffiana, gerbera daisy or anthurium
Dracaena “Song of India”, rose
Bird’s nest fern, rose or carnation or chrysanthemum

Three materials:
Sword fern, Dendrobium, baby’s breath (gypsophila)

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