This is one shape that I have been panting to see, from the moment that we heard that Tsuge and Kazuhiro Fukuda had selected the new heir to the Ikebana throne: the bent Dublin. In the very late ‘60s, Fukuda-san spent a month with Sixten Ivarsson in Denmark, and, upon initially returning to Japan, his work and shapes (especially the bent Dublin) were remarkably reflective of Ivarsson’s mentoring. As his art progressed, Kazuhiro’s work began to show hints of (and later leaps of) the aesthetics of his homeland, but, to my mind, his bent Dublins almost always held a special reverence for the spirit of Danish neo-classicism. Asami, if we play in the manner of mathematician’s and their ‘Erdos Number’ system, would be a ‘Sixten-2’. I had to wonder how much her first bent Dublins would reflect the ‘Sixten-by-way-of-Fukuda’ lineage?
Wow! (Am I right?) This Grade ‘B’ Ikebana, partially sandblasted bent Dublin, save for a tiny difference in the transition of the shank onto the bowl, could be a poster-child, championing the glories of the Danish shaping revolution. The staggering quality and coverage of the sandblasted grain almost defies description (thank god for pictures), and take a look at all the sweet birdseye that you will enjoy from the smoker’s perspective. In our brave, new pipe world, wherein most new carvers learn their art in a heavily auto-didactic manner, is there still a place for the traditional, long-term Master/student relationship? I believe the new Ikebanas have answered with a thunderous, “Yes!”
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves