Emiko Suzuki is a Senior Professor 3rd grade, (Katoku #16) of the Ikenobo School of Ikebana, headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. Beginning her study of ikebana in 1986 with Master Fujii, in Aichi, Japan, Emiko was allowed to arrange flowers freely for five years and only then began traditional Ikenobo lessons, which she continued for the next 16 years. Emiko devoted one year (2006) to study the advanced rikka form with a teacher in Kyoto. For 13 years, before coming to Western North Carolina in August 2007, Emiko shared her love for Ikenobo to students of all ages. Emiko's unconventional training resulted in her unique ikebana style. She not only excels in the traditional Ikenobo arrangements, but also is innovative in her free style arrangements.
Emiko is currently President of the Blue Ridge Chapter. As advisor and member of the chapter, Emiko served as translator for visiting professors from Japan during the past six years. She regularly presents programs for the Blue Ridge Chapter and offers lessons to a growing number of students. Emiko led a mini study tour to Ikenobo Headquarters in Kyoto in April of 2015.
Emiko serves as an advisor to the Ikebana International, Asheville Chapter. She has conducted demonstrations and workshops for North Carolina I.I. chapters and for chapters in Atlanta, Ga., Columbia, S.C. and Detroit, MI.
In addition to ikebana, Emiko is an instructor in the art of tea ceremony, which represents the essence of Japanese culture. Sometimes wearing traditional attire, Emiko enjoys sharing Japanese culture locally through the art of ikebana, tea ceremony and Japanese language lessons. Emiko graduated from Western North Carolina University with a Master of Arts in Teaching in May 2011 and a Master of Fine Arts in 2014.
Laura Felt traveled the world with Navy husband Bob for 31 years-- they spent four years in Spain, four years in Japan, and two years in South Korea, as well as some wonderful Stateside duty. While in Japan she taught at a Japanese High School and returns each summer for their English Camp. This is when she stocks up on washi paper, obi, and interesting Japanese antiques.
Laura studied Ikebana in Japan, South Korea, and the United States, joining the Blue Ridge Chapter of Ikenobo Ikebana Society in 2007, where she has served as Vice President since 2009. She is taking lessons from Emiko Suzuki and has attained the level of professor third grade. As a member of the Asheville Ikebana International chapter since 2009, she has offered programs in washi paper crafts, obi decorations, and ikebana to the chapter.