Asami Kikuchi’s fondness and affinity for the bent Rhodesian shape was immediately evident upon seeing her first group of Ikebanas. There were a total of four, the weakest of which could blow the metaphorical doors off of 95% of the Rhodesians that pass my desk. Kikuchi’s approach to the form, one that I adore, is executing her interpretations in such a manner that they present a bit differently from different vantages. Using this cool ‘B’ Grade as an example; from the direct side view, the emphasis is on presenting compositional balance and a sense of elongation. Move to the direct top/bottom view, and a definitive modernism in the width and proportions ignites. Kikuchi is a wizard with the sandblaster (given that she is the new Master of the Ikebana line, it would come as a helluva surprise if she wasn’t) and she has a keen sense when it comes to matching the depth of a blast to a composition. While nowhere near as deep as (say) what we have become accustomed to seeing from American carvers, that wickedly popping birdseye called for a greater depth/ruggedness than we normally run into from Tsuge, and damned if it doesn’t suit this Rhodesian to perfection.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves