We've been picking flowers and sticking them in containers for thousands of years.
The early Egyptians did it, as did the Chinese: Feng Shui guidelines for creating harmony in a home suggest placing vases of fresh-cut flowers throughout the dwelling to relieve stress, and increase productivity and creativity.
Ikebana, the 600-year-old art of Japanese flower arranging, became a craft of high regard, with a spiritual element.
Today, artisans, designers and even florists continue to dream up interesting new vessels.
New York City-based floral designer Matthew Robbins has created a line of vases for Teroforma that takes the guesswork out of flower arranging.
Each vase describes what works best in it, and each is crafted of the same neutral white bisque porcelain, with a subtle yet referential etched motif. (www.teroforma.com)
"We wanted to create a line of vases that provided a perfect visual anchor for fresh flowers. Clean shapes and surfaces are wonderful; they keep the focus on the flowers," says Robbins.
The Museum of Modern Art's store offered several interesting vases at this spring's design preview in New York. French design team Charlotte Arnal and Francis Fevre's Zouzous vase is a polycarbonate receptacle enrobed in a shaggy coat of colorful polypropylene bristles.
Also at the MoMA store, Charlie Guda perches a narrow vial in front of a small yet powerful lens to magnify a flower.
Guda created the Big Bloom vase as homage to 18th-century French physician Augustin-Jean Fresnel, who invented a lens to enhance the brightness of lighthouse lanterns and contributed to naval navigation safety.
And Ricardo Saint Clair's playful chalkboard-faced vase gives you a surface to add an image or a message, and comes with chalk. (www.momastore.org)
Bliss Home and Design has an array of ceramic vases with textural elements that add drama: The Pompon vase is festooned with white balls; the Sea Sponge is made of layers of glazed clay resembling fronds of ocean sponge, and Monkey Paw is made of dozens of iridescent ceramic blooms. (www.bliss homeanddesign.com)
Toronto-based design outfit Chive has decided to focus solely on selling vases. At the NY Now show in February, their booth was abuzz with buyers placing orders for Pooley 2, a cluster of glazed ceramic bud vases affixed to a slab, as well as the Hudson 4 collection of clear glass vessels in configurations ranging from simple single shapes to conjoined vases that form a caterpillar or bubbles.
A porcelain bird vase in gray, white, blue or black seems to rest on the flowers or greenery placed in a receptacle at its feet. (www.chive.com)
Waterford's Evolution series has some striking examples of artisanal glasswork. The Menagerie Trinidad vase interprets the markings of a graceful ocelot, while the Nairobi invokes the bold stripes of a zebra. The Agate vase was inspired by the colors and concentric bands of quartz agate. (www.macys.com)
Ikea's Socker vase is an enameled steel-and-eucalyptus-handled bucket of diminutive proportions, so flowers have the look of a European flower market. Ikaprig is a stoneware cylinder with a homespun aesthetic. (www.ikea.com)
Waterford’s Evolution Agate Collection features animal and nature designs rendered in glass.×
Chive’s Pooley 2 is a set of fully glazed ceramic bud vases that come in 8- or 12-vase configurations, and attach to a rectangular base.×
A Minimalist style Big Bloom Vase, designed by Charlie Guda, features a powerful Fresnel lens that magnifies the flower placed in the vial in front of it.×
A Zouzous vase was created by the French design team Charlotte Arnal and Francis Fevre to explore the tension between texture and color in a commonplace object.×
Waterford’s Evolution Nairobi Collection features zebra, ocelot and agate designs rendered in glass.×
Chive’s Porcelain Bird vases come in white, gray, blue and black.×
A playful Chalkboard Vase by designer Ricardo Saint-Clair features a chalkboard front that can be used for drawings, messages and more. The top of the bud vase houses a removable glass tube designed to hold water and flowers.×
Chive’s Hudson 4 Caterpillar glass vase works well on a long table or window sill.×
Notice about comments:
The Post and Courier is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.