Mjölk

Lunch with Seiko Tanaka and Takayoshi Narita

September 24th, 2016

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Back in July, as an accompaniment to the Takayoshi Narita Wrought Iron Cookware Exhibition, we held a lunch with Narita-san’s friend Chef Seiko Tanaka of Hibari in Tokyo. We invited a small group of guests, some via raffle, to join us in celebrating and experiencing his cookware, dishes, serving ware and spoons.

There isn’t too much left from this exhibition, it really spoke to people, but we hope to work with Narita-san again soon.

SHOP THE EXHIBITION HERE

 
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We held the lunch in our home, whereby I am sure you can see some familiar pieces in the background! Pictured: Chef Seiko Tanaka, Studio Junction’s Peter Tan and Christine Ho Ping Kong, and Studio Tint’s Takayoshi Narita.

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The table is set with wonderful stainless steel plates that look like the moon due to the finish. A stainless steel bowl and serving spoon, and iron platters really make the colourful food pop.

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Guests mingling with John.

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Pork roasted in the oven in the wrought iron wok.

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Freshly made gyoza fried in a wrought iron pan.

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This was an incredible meal, please if you find yourself in Tokyo visit Hibari.

 

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Nichetto Residency

June 4th, 2016

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We are excited to share with you some images of our latest exhibition with Nichetto Studio and De La Espada. Luca Nichetto came to our showroom for the opening, taking over the front half of our showroom to create his version of an idealized living space. Complete with the full launch of furniture designed by the Nichetto Studio for De La Espada, expertly finished in fabrics and materials chosen by the studio. The space was decorated by many objects designed by Luca Nichetto, along with handpicked design objects and books in the Mjölk collection.

Along with the full collection of De La Espada furniture, we also debuted two very special products designed by the Nichetto Studio for Mjolk: the Han and Zen flower vases, and the Uki candleholder (pictured below with more details to follow further down).

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Hailing from the Venetian island of Murano, home of world-renowned glass makers, Luca Nichetto has a natural affinity for the art of craft and the power of colour. He draws inspiration from the textures and colours of nature and craft techniques from a range of disciplines including fashion, carpentry, and fine art.

Reflected in each of the products is the influence of the great American architects of the 1950s, Scandinavian design, and Italian postmodernism, which translates into a classic aesthetic where luxury is revealed in the details.

Each product was developed alongside a special colour palette that is not tied to fashion, but rather intended to remain relevant for years to come.

 

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Gemstones set into jewellery were the starting point for Steve – a series of upholstered poufs. They feature short cast iron legs that support visible wooden structures crowned with upholstery, and are available in three sizes. Perfect as a standalone piece, Steve can also complement the Blanche, Stanley and Elysia chairs. It continues the Nichetto Collection’s aim of combining heritage styling with contemporary design.

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The Stella armchair, seen here paired with the Harold Desk, grew out of Luca Nichetto’s desire to combine fibreglass – a material popular in the 1950s – with contemporary premium materials. The Stella Armchair boasts elegantly curving armrests, and its wooden legs support a visible fibreglass shell that encloses an upholstered seat and backrest. The Stella Armchair has been designed for extreme versatility and can be customized to suit residential, workplace and social settings.  

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With its tabletop drawer and compact proportions, the Harold writing desk evokes the era of letter writing. The flat working area is surrounded on three sides by soft upward curves, and the H-frame legs and wedge tenons grant the table a breezy elevation. The hardwood is hand-polished with lacquer for a subtle shine.

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The Marlon table is an intriguing play of contrasts. Slender marble legs support a solid hardwood table top, creating a robust structure that nonetheless creates an airy impression. The table top’s numerous sections make it easily transportable, while allowing for a distinct and visually striking design detail. As part of the Nichetto collection, Marlon was inspired by the craft and form of American mid-century furniture and architecture.

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Here is the first of the new product work by the Nichetto Studio for Mjölk.

The Bauhaus art school was celebrated for its use of pure, universal forms, and it’s to this vaunted early-20th-century design institution that the Zen/Han containers tips their hat. Referencing the angular form of classic vases, the Zen/Han glass containers come in two distinct, geometric shapes – a full and half rhombus – that slot together seamlessly when placed side by side, and which are finished in a soft colour palette specially developed by Luca Nichetto. Developed for Mjölk and blown by artisans in Murano, Italy, Zen/Han represents a truly international collaboration.

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The soft folds of the Blanche Bergère armchair provide the perfect place for reading or private contemplation. Crafted in premium hardwood, with a choice of fabrics, Blanche has a soft seat and elegant wooden legs that are offset by two overlapping, tautly upholstered shells. Its enclosing and embracing form provides a sense of privacy. In balancing handcrafted wood with luxurious fabrics, Blanche embraces French luxury and echoes the delicacy of form of mid-century furniture and architecture.

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When it launched in 2015, the Elysia lounge chair was the first product in the Nichetto collection for De La Espada. For 2016, it has been joined by Nino, an ottoman that shares its stylistic principles. Nino perfectly matches Elysia, as well as complementing the other items in the Nichetto collection. Its solid wood skeleton is exposed rather than concealed, showcasing its fine material and craftsmanship, while its fusion of wood and upholstered materials is inspired by mid-century design.

The Elysia lounge chair combines superb woodwork with bespoke tailoring. Its solid wood legs support an exceptionally comfortable backrest and seat. The chair’s skeleton is exposed, rather than conventionally concealed, to showcase its fine materials and craftsmanship, as well as its generous proportions.

The Laurel side table, positioned beside the Elysia lounge, is composed of two pure geometric shapes, an intersecting cone and cylinder, providing distinct surfaces on different levels. The solid, stable cone appears to weightlessly float atop the base, a fusion of form and function. Inspired by the balance of 1950s American architecture, Laurel is split 50:50 between two materials, with stone for the cylindrical base, and painted, hand-polished hardboard for the cone.

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Here is the second product debuting by the Nichetto Studio specifically for Mjolk.

The Uki tea-light candleholder (brass / copper) gives off a soft and atmospheric light that illuminates any space. The glass diffusor appears to be a perfect globe, but its form has been carefully shaped to introduce subtle angles. While the diffusor is executed in Murano blown-glass, Uki’s base is produced out of spun brass made in Toronto, the materials and making processes revealing the quality of the manufacturing that lies behind the design. This piece represents a truly international collaboration.

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A product of expert woodwork and joinery, the Stanley sofa is crafted around an elegant exposed wooden frame that is upholstered with a choice of fabric. Taut upholstery provides a smooth finish to the backrest, while generously proportioned cushions allow for exceptional comfort. In balancing skillfully handcrafted wood with complementary fabrics, Stanley embraces the craftsmanship of America’s great 1950s furniture and architecture.

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The Mitch cabinet is a system made from solid hardwood and polished lacquer. The lightweight appearance of the cabinet belies the robust structure. Inspired by traditional Venetian doorbells, burnished brass is used for the door pull, for an exciting contrast of materials that nods to the designer’s heritage.

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The Kim, a family of nesting tables, have been designed through the re-imagining of the design language of 1950s American furniture. Available as a set or as standalone pieces, the three items in the Kim family share common materials, while each having their own distinct form. Simple but with a strong sense of character, Kim’s finished wooden surfaces straddle the boundaries between the natural and the manmade.

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The Kihara produced Aureola and Sucabaruca are also now available for purchase.

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Alissa Coe (producer of original edition of Sucabaruca) trying out the Harold writing desk, with Luca Nichetto looking on.

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Thank you for everyone who came out to the exhibition. We will be showing the exhibition in its entirety until June 17th.

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Sucabaruca & Aureola made by Kihara

May 10th, 2016

From the very beginning, Sucabaruca and Aureola, was about involving people from different cultures and countries; Luca Nichetto, a designer from Venice, Italy, but residing in Stockholm, Sweden; Lera Moiseeva, designer and artist of Russian origin, but New Yorker by adoption; Mjölk, a purveyor of objects and furniture from Japan and Scandinavia; Canadian ceramicist Alissa Coe, who carefully crafted the prototypes and the first edition of the sets; Kihara Inc, the manufacturer of the sets, skillfully handcrafted each piece in Arita, Japan. All of these people have enriched the project, making it an extraordinary melting pot of ideas and energy on an international scale.

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We chose to work with Kihara because of the history and expertise of the makers in the studio. Arita was one of the first places to produce porcelain wares in Japan in the early 17th Century. The work that was produced was heavily influenced by Korea, using an underglaze in blue, the Sometsuke porcelain became the primary finishing technique.

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Today, Arita ceramics are considered both works of fine art as well as vessels primarily used for function. Kihara, a studio that has been producing for over 400 years, uses a traditional white glaze with blue undertones. The company still produces work with techniques that have remained unchanged while also incorporating new technologies to enhance the nature of the material.

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The Sucabaruca Coffee Set is rich in cultural and formal references that come from the influences of several people involved in the project. The main cone-shaped body is reminiscent of Carmencita, the famous character created by Armando Testa in1966 for the tv show Carosello. The lines in the ceramic are meant to emphasize the uniqueness of the pieces which can be stacked and combined in various ways.

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Set includes pot, filter funnel and 3 cups.

The Aureola Tea Set was designed based on research about ancient and modern tea sharing rituals that play a significant role in the social relationships in several countries. The tea ceremony represents an important tradition in many areas of the world, and particularly in Asia, influencing numerous other cultures. By observing how tea is consumed in Russia, Luca Nichetto noticed that the infuse is served not in cups but in small bowls without the handle and realized how this small detail gives more solemnity to the whole ritual.

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Set includes pot, strainer and 2 bowls.

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Anderssen & Voll Gardening Collection Reception at Kollekted By

February 24th, 2016

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Back in September (2015), we were invited to Oslo to do a launch party for Anderssen & Voll’s Gardening Collection. Our lovely hosts were Jannicke and Alessandro, stylists and shop owners of the fantastic Kollekted by:.

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The brass, wood, glass and terracotta products looked right at home in their space. This is the joy of natural materials.

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The space was previously a butcher shop, and they kept some of the details, such as the white tile, to great effect.

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The amazing green terrazzo floor made us envious, and perfectly suits the furniture, products and space they have curated.

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The bar set up for the party, featuring our herb pot on standby. Herbed cocktails were served by a bartender from Torggata Botaniske, an Oslo bar filled with lush plants and herbs.

Beautiful giant slabs of cheese garnished with edible flowers, and other appetizers were provided by Trattoria Popolare, a fantastic Italian restaurant that we frequented often for lunch with the Anderssen & Voll team (who also designed the interior).

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Amazing turn out, outside and in!

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After the party we were treated to dinner at Nedre Foss. Designed by Anderssen & Voll, this was an ambitious project, with full restaurant and brewery, and all the details were meticulously designed with the space in mind, right down to the hand painted wallpaper.

Sadly, just before New Year’s, there was a massive fire in this historic building. There are plans to rebuild, however, and Anderssen & Voll will be assisting again.

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Oji Masanori TODO Exhibition

February 1st, 2016

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Last week was the opening to our newest exhibition for Japanese design Oji Masanori debuting several new collections including a teapot, teacups and mugs by Susumuya and also cypress trays, containers and boxes by time honoured lacquer-ware company Kirimoto.

Our main contribution to the exhibition was revealing our newest production collaboration with Oji Masanori, two beautiful pendant lights both made here in Toronto, along with a wooden serving board inspired by the earth and the moon.

The Hemisphere pendant went on the win the 2016 TODO Juror’s Choice Award.

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Here is what Oji Masanori had to say about the collaboration:

MJOLK PENDANT LAMPS

I was first introduced to Mjölk five years ago and had the chance to get to know John and Juli. Mjölk, part shop, part gallery, has since become one of my favourite destinations.

John had contacted me about Mjölk Made; a collaboration between designers, the shop, and local Toronto manufacturing. I flew into Toronto so that I could immerse myself in the culture of the city. I was curious about lifestyle, interior layouts, room sizes, and the ways in which people lived.

This trip resulted in a lighting project that was to utilize the craftsmanship of a historic brass company located in the city. I was able to visit their shop, meet the makers and better understand their processes and limitations.
I have designed two pendant lamps; simple shapes that share subtle details of quality, form and materials. I devised them so that balance and harmony can be felt and seen.

The Hemisphere Pendant resembles a large mobile, playing with various materials, scales and sizes. The smaller brass hemisphere is pointing light down towards a table, while the big copper hemisphere lights up, towards a ceiling, shedding light indirectly over an entire room.

The Diamond Pendant has a brass balancer and an LED light bulb. The whole light can be carefully touched and moved in order to adjust height and position.

I designed these two lights for Toronto, they were created out of an image of a Torontonian, a Canadian, who lives peacefully and considers the people around them, respecting differences while living in a complex and diverse city. From my visits to this city, I think, people in Toronto are very skilled at combining, mixing and blending culture with simplicity.

Mjölk is the perfect mix and blend of international design and Japanese craft. I hope for these collaborations to continue to connect people and carefully crafted objects, to bring peaceful products all over the world.

- MASANORI OJI

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A nice Ikebana flower arrangement using the porcelain Comport dish by Oji Masanori for Jicon.

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The walnut meat board, another Mjolk collaboration with Oji Masanori. The cutting board is used for resting a roast, steak or cooked vegetables. The deep grooves around the tray allow for the juices to collect. You can carve the roast or slice the steak directly on the board, and the little dish on the end can be used as a salt cellar for seasoning the meat or vegetables right on the table. The two circles represent the earth and the moon.

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Beautiful Susumu tableware making their debut.

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Jicon sake server and cups.

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Since Oji Masanori also designs all of the packaging for his works, we thought it would be nice to exhibit them as well.

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Every component of the Diamond pendant is custom made.

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We received a Designlines Loves tag for the diamond pendant!

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Wednesday, January 20th we hosted a reception for Oji-san. We are thankful to all who came out, the response was outstanding!

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Takuya Matsuo and Masanori Oji

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Catering by Imanishi Japanese Kitchen.

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It was Elodie’s first exhibition – I really wanted her to wear her Fort Kids dress but she opted for Frozen upon Frozen. Can’t win them all! Howell checked the show out too. He was pretty annoyed that he had to go to bed.

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Elodie kept busy drawing pictures and practicing her letters (what?), and then gave them out to unsuspecting guests.

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Thank you to everyone who attended!

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Oji Masanori x Mjölk

January 13th, 2016

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We will be hosting our third retrospective exhibition of Oji Masanori during the 2016 Toronto Design Offsite Festival. This year is particularly special because we have commissioned and collaborated on a collection of lighting designed by Oji Masanori and produced using local Canadian artisans and small manufacturers.

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Please join us for the opening reception Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm Mjölk (2959 Dundas Street West, Toronto).

Furthermore, we will be hosting a TODO Talk: Join Melanie Egan (Head of Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre) and Oji Masanori for an interview about his studio practice and the current collaboration. Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 11:00am – 12:00pm. Please RSVP through the Toronto Design Offsite Festival website.

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I was first introduced to Mjölk five years ago and had the chance to get to know John and Juli. Mjölk, part shop, part gallery, has since become one of my favorite destinations.

John has contacted me about Mjölk Made; a collaboration between designers, the shop, and local Toronto manufacturing. I flew into Toronto so that I could immerse myself in the culture of the city. I was curious about lifestyle, interior layouts, room sizes, and the ways in which people lived.

This trip resulted in a lighting project that was to utilize the craftsmanship of a historic brass company located in the city. I was able to visit their shop, meet the makers and better understand their processes and limitations.

For this exhibition, I have designed two pendant lamps; simple shapes that share subtle details of quality, form and materials. I devised them so that balance and harmony can be felt and seen.

The Hemisphere Pendant resembles a large mobile, playing with various materials, scales and sizes. The smaller brass hemisphere is pointing light down towards a table, while the big copper hemisphere lights up, towards a ceiling, shedding light indirectly over an entire room.

The Diamond Pendant has a brass balancer and an LED light bulb. The fixture can be carefully touched and moved in order to adjust height and position.

I designed these two lights for Toronto. They were created out of an image of a Torontonian, a Canadian, who lives peacefully and considers the people around them, respecting differences while living in a complex and diverse city. From my visits to this city, I think, people in Toronto are very skilled at combining, mixing and blending culture with simplicity.

Mjölk, as a curated space, shares this cohesive blend. It is the perfect mix of international design and Japanese craft. I hope for these collaborations to continue to connect people and carefully crafted objects, to bring peaceful products all over the world.

- MASANORI OJI

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