Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Foraged Ikebana Floral Arrangements


Foraged Ikebana Floral Arrangements

February 24, 2012

SF-based renaissance woman Louesa Roebuck is all about "breaking the rules of floral arranging," as she says. "I find imperfection so much more interesting and beautiful."

On an unseasonably springlike day earlier this week, I met up with Roebuck on a Telegraph Hill rooftop, overlooking the bay, for an impromptu ikebana floral arranging lesson. Roebuck brought along armloads of foraged flora from her Oakland neighborhood—buckeye branches and buckets of magnolia blossoms.

"I got into foraging when I moved from Ohio to Oakland and landed a job at Chez Panisse," she says. "The idea of the menu constantly changing and being hyper-seasonal, that whole philosophy really appealed to me. I started gleaning with my friends and I realized there is so much fruit and bounty out here in California." Roebuck, who studied painting and printmaking at RISD, worked at Erica Tanov and owned her own shop, August, before going full time into foraged flower arranging; to see more of her work, go to Louesa Roebuck.

Want more? Watch Roebuck talk flowers, foraging, and ikebana on my iPhone video.

Photography by Jay Carroll of One Trip Pass.

640 louesa roebuck arranging flowers

Above: Roebuck's approach to flower arranging? "I am all about breaking the rules. So much floral work is tight, bunched up, and formal. I find imperfection so much more interesting and beautiful. I like creative paradoxes such as the juxtaposition of pristine and decay."

640 louesa magnolia flowers

Above: The buckeyes are from a tree that grows in the yard of an abandoned house in Berkeley. "The tree is like a friend now, and the branches are just starting to bud out and be that brilliant Japanese-y green. I also love the big floppy magnolias, I spotted them in a garden and I just knocked on the door and asked if I could take them. I am always making mental maps of flora, noting where things are blooming or where branches have a specific line and form, when plum trees are in bloom and when fennel is tall and yellow. There's always something blooming in California."

640 lousa mini floral displat

Above: A small display in a vase by Berkeley potter Jared Nelson.

640 louesa magnolia flowers 2

Above: The flowers are arranged in an Indian pot once used for indigo, set on a piece of fabric from Kapital, both from the collection of Jay Carroll. "I am part Cherokee," Roebuck says, "and my dad taught me about a certain way of looking and observing nature. I learned to let go of any feeling of control."

(Visited 223 times, 1 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation