I loved how different this was from American style floral arrangments. As a florist for a month doing American style arrangements, I had learnt only to focus on the balance between the plantlife. There wasn't as much concern for the stems, leaves, and the way the flower holder worked as part of the composition. The flower holder was mainly just to hold the flowers and often times got concealed under leaves, ribbons, and decorative papers.
I was also amazed by how with the art of ikebana, the flowers are often made to stand up without any help from the flower holder. It brings a whole new range of possibilities to the art of floral arrangements. My final designs did not make use of this possibility, but some of my original concepts do have the possibility in mind:
This went through 3 phases eventually ending with a more subtle placement of the aluminum tube within a red oak container. The design also began with a study of the aesthetics and balance of chinese calligraphy.