Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
“Japanese Flower Wrapping-The Beautiful Art of Hana Tsutsumi” is by Mitsuko Kawata. This was released by Japan Publications Trading Co., and is distributed in the U.S. by Kodansha America.
While flower wrapping is relatively new to western floral designers, Japanese designers have been wrapping flowers in paper for over 500 years. Now, westerners have a change to learn about this ancient art form, which was originally used for flower gifts.
This title really pushes the envelope when it comes to displaying flowers, and opens the way to innovative ways to enjoy flowers.
For these designs, the author uses many different kinds of flowers, berried branches, foliage, and other plant materials, including exotic ones like anthuriums and pineapple fruits.
Using her considerable expertise as an expert on Ikebana, the author founded an Ikebana group, Kirara-Kai. Using ancient Japanese texts and documents as her starting point, she perfected new uses and methods of flower wrapping. This combines the art of Ikebana, origami, and gift wrapping.
By the late 1980’s, she began entering her wrapped designs in exhibitions. Her work has been well received and widely publicized in the media.
Over a period of years, she continued experimenting and discovered all sorts of ways this technique can be applied to floral design. In fact, there seems to be limitless possibilities for creating and displaying wrapped flowers.
The foreword of the book provides a complete background and historical perspective for this fine art. In the preface, the author provides details on how she became interested in this technique.
This book presents an extensive portfolio of her wrapped works. Because some of the styles aren’t free-standing, she has also devised all sorts of suitable props to support them. The designs depicted here can be used for various purposes, such as gifts and holiday displays.
One chapter is devoted to wrapped designs with seasonal interest. There is also an in-depth chapter offering ideas and various color schemes for wrapped arrangements.
For each design, the author identifies the floral materials and offers details about how it was created. She also explains the symbolism of the different wrapping styles that are used. She has created over thirty unique styles of wrapping.
The styles range from the formal ikebana to informal ones wrapped and knotted in pastel, tissue-like paper.
Often the paper is shaped into a free-standing container. For example, it is rolled into a cylinder, or folded into the shape of a bowl or boat. The completed designs are displayed in various ways. Some are on mats inside picture frames. Others are on three-legged bamboo supports.
The most inspiring examples of all are seemingly fragile arrangements knotted in thin paper and suspended on strings from ceilings or walls. They’re as delicate as paper lanterns hanging from trees. These would be so perfect for weddings, parties, and other celebrations.
There is also a complete glossary of the different styles, which includes details on how each one is done.
In addition, there are color illustrated, step by step instructions for all the various styles and techniques, such as tying, and wrapping.
The author also devotes a section to the different kinds of Japanese papers that are used.