In 1989, Chihuly began the organic and otherworldly Ikebana series. The name “ikebana” was inspired by Japan’s disciplined art of flower arranging, while the love of flowers had been planted long ago by his mother Viola.
The series was born out of Chihuly’s Venetians, when he began placing stylized flowers in Venetian vessels. Eventually, this experimentation evolved into the Ikebana series as Chihuly developed simpler, larger forms such as pears or gourds to serve as vessels in the early 90s. Extending from the mouths of these forms were ornate flora and ribbonlike leaves.
Ikebana are often placed in gardens, conservatories and glasshouses, bringing a sense of wonder to a natural setting.
Alternatively, the stems have also been used to create large-scale installations, such as the Lackawanna Ikebana at Union Station, Tacoma, WA.
Recently, the series has been the featured subject matter for Chihuly's Glass on Glass.