Ikebana Lens Vase: lapis lazuli antique blue patina on brass vase
The lens vase is ideal for ikebana flower arrangements. Its form contrasts a smooth, round, hand-inviting vessel shape with a torn opening from which flowers seem to explode. Each lens vase is a work of art on its own, but the understated design allows it to yield chief place to a flower arrangement. The vases both encourage and reward creativity in flower design, both for the serious student of ikebana, or the avid amateur flower arranger.
Lens vases are not cast in a mold. They are constructed one at a time from heavy brass sheet, shaped with hand tools, then pierced while glowing hot to form the torn, exploded-looking aperture for the flowers, and finally patinaed by hand using traditional sculptural patinas.
The color I call Antique Blue is a pigmented patina. Rather than simply taking its color from a reaction between the metal of the vase and the compounds brushed on, the patina is used as a base to apply the intense blue pigment known as ultramarine. In the medieval world, ultramarine came from grinding up lapis lazuli. Now, the same compound which gives lapis its intense, deep blue color is available as a by-product of industrial processes. But the color is the same, and if anything more intense and pure. After application, the patina is buffed and slightly distressed with a wire brush to deepen and polish the color, and to 'antique' it, giving it a look reminiscent of both lapis lazuli stones, and of some of the more intense patinas found on long-buried ancient bronze artifacts.
Each vase comes with a kenzan (pin frog) to fit inside and enable the dramatic flower arrangements you see here, and many more beyond, limited only by your imagination.
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