Mjölk

Companions

March 26th, 2015

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For the first 5 years of having our store Mjolk, we never offered beds. It seemed like our small showroom wouldn’t be able to display such a large item, and we ourselves didn’t own a bed frame. When people came to us looking for the perfect bed we would say, well… we don’t sell beds, but the nicest bed we have seen is the Companions bed designed by StudioIlse for De La Espada.

I don’t know how many people we must have recommended this bed to over the years but it seemed to come up a lot. Fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to meet Luis De Oliveira the head of De La Espada and after telling him how much we admired the work they were making especially the work designed by Ilse Crawford and Luca Nichetto we were given the opportunity to represent two of their brands: The Nichetto brand and also the StudioIlse brand. Finally, we had the chance to offer, in our opinion, the best beds available today.

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That brings us to our own home, which for us gives us the inspiration for the store and has become our laboratory and testing ground. It acts a little like an extended showroom for customers looking to see what will happen to their furniture after years of use and with children, how natural leather patinas and soaped furniture becomes like driftwood with age. We decided we should order the bed for ourselves, along with the Companions bedside table so we could start enjoying it in our own daily life.

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The bed is made from solid white oak with a hand-turned spindle back which acts as a bench for you to prop yourself on while you read in bed. We have put this to test ourselves every night since we like reading before bed, and it makes the act much more comfortable.

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A small collection of items we have acquired including a ceramic vessel for storing incense, ancient roman glass and the “box of air” sculpture by Japanese potter and Tea Master Masanobu Ando.

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The companions bedside table is soft and warm but also incredibly practical. A generous top surface with a beveled edge for our Cestita table lamp, a cork basket for our iPhone and hudsalve and a lower shelf for books. This keeps all of the surfaces organized and clean looking.

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We had this Japanese paper fan framed for the room. The pattern is designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune, and the fan is made by a small workshop in Kyoto for Sfera Gallery. We also sell this in our store.

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A large floor vase inspired by African water jars made by Uchida Kouichi, one of our favourite potters.

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Howell lurking from behind the bed. Did you notice all of the feet on the StudioIlse craftworks have copper legs? From the smallest stool to the longest table, it is such a beautiful and thoughtful detail.

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Real life in progress.

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Anderssen & Voll + Mjolk: Garden Works

February 3rd, 2015

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We never formally got to introduce all of the individual works in the Garden Works collection by Anderssen & Voll, so I thought I would share each piece  along with some words by A&V.

 

Anderssen & Voll on the Garden Works Project:

Research has taught us that people who do gardening are happier than people who don’t. Either gardening makes you happy or you are more inclined to do gardening if you tend to be happier than the average. Anyway, the conclusion is the same: gardening is good for you. For this project we chose to work with natural materials to ensure that the products would tolerate heavy use and still age with grace. This is closely linked to the Japanese notion of “Aji-ga-deru” – a patina in the object and an understanding of the object that can be obtained only through long term interaction between the object and the hand. The collaboration with John, Juli and the team of Toronto artisans and crafts people has been amazing in terms of the contribution to expression and content from everyone involved. We can’t imagine how these results could have been reached with any other people in any other way.As the Norwegian manufacturing industry is in decline, the presence of Norwegian designers on the international design scene is growing stronger. These opposite motions may be seen as a paradox, but on the other hand, one thing might be following the other. Without a strong industry as a unifying platform, the designers spread out to form a richer and more varied field. Norwegian design should be viewed as an independent exporting industry of its own: Made in Canada – Designed in Norway.

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Herb Pot

The herb pot containers are primarily meant as safe havens for the pots of fresh herbs you buy at the grocery store. In our experience these herbs lead an unsafe existence once they hit the kitchen counter: heavily plucked and with no designated place to stay.

The pots are made from hand thrown terracotta, the side opening promotes watering the soil from the bottom instead of from the top, which displaces soil and exposes sensitive root systems. Watering from the bottom promotes healthy root growth and as a result, a bigger plant.

The opening on the side also allows you to pour away excess water 20 minutes after watering.

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Herb Pot Large

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Min Watering Can

Indoor gardening is a miniature world. Clean, cultivated and controlled. In this context, we wanted to work with the watering can as a precision tool: a big, softly shaped wooden handle with references to kitchen utensils, a relatively small volume of water leading out in a long and precise spout. The ornamental dialogue between the sensuous shape of the handle and the drawings of the wood grain is something we really appreciate in this product.

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Water Bulb

The water saver has basically the same function as a PET-water bottle turned upside down. The water is filtered through the soil and seeps slowly into the pot. We adapted this function to a sculptural glass object that mimics the plant and that would be nice enough to park in your flower pots even when it’s not in use.

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New Mexico Cactus Pots

Cacti and succulents enjoy being watered directly into well drained soil. Their roots should never be standing in water. Our answer to this was to lift the pot on a short stem above the water collecting disc. The ornament on the disc as well as the chosen colour palette (not pictured) is influenced by our image of sun baked landscapes and the natural habitats of cacti: New Mexico, Arizona or even closer destinations like The Canary Islands.

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Anderssen + Voll at Mjolk exhibition and opening night

January 27th, 2015

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On Wednesday January 21st we co-hosted the first retrospective for Anderssen & Voll with the help of the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
We had an incredible turn out, between 500 – 600 visitors within a 3 hour window. Thank you everyone who came to the opening and came out during the rest of design week. Of course if you want to visit us, the exhibition will be on for most of February.

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Oslo Sofa and Grid cushion for Muuto, blankets for Røros Tweed and Jøtul wood stove.

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A little reveal of the Oslo sofa and Grid cushion.

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The Ori pepper / salt mill, Wrong for Hay. We picked up the soft green version for our home and are really enjoying it.

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The prototype of the Good Morning Moka pot, soon to be put into production.

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The rest sofa and ottoman for Muuto, Elephant tables by Wrong For Hay and blankets for Røros Tweed.

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The Tibu bar stool in the classic A&V colour palette. These are produced by Italian company Magis.

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The magical Yoko lamp for Foscarini.

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One of the product collaborations produced locally in Toronto: “New Mexico Cactus Pots”. The design consists of a clay pot floating above a sculpted saucer. This allows for proper drainage, so the cactus is never sitting in water, thus ensuring a happy life.

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The Min watering can, the starting place for the Indoor Garden Works project. We settled on producing the watering can in brass or copper with an oak or walnut handle. Nicest watering can ever?

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The Glass water bulb is a water saver that automatically waters your plants if you go away on a trip, or keeps thirsty plants like ferns hydrated if you can’t keep up with watering them.

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The hand-thrown herb pots, the idea being to water the herbs from the bottom instead of from the top, which displaces soil and exposes sensitive root systems. Watering from the bottom promotes healthy root growth and as a result, a bigger plant.

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We were awarded Best in Festival: New Work, the highest prize for the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, for this innovation!

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The collection together.

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Elodie testing out the Tibu stools, colour coordinated and all.

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The soft sage green float candle holder on a solid oak Elephant table.

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The grey glass water-saver in practice.

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Some photos from our opening night: thank you to all of our generous sponsors, you really helped make it a special night, along with all our wonderful guests!

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VOSS water kept everyone hydrated.

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Parts and Labour provided some incredible catering using fresh Norwegian seafood from DOM International, and Jarlsberg cheeses from Norseland.

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Espen Voll and Jan-Terje Studsvik Storaas from our sponsor, the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

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Norwegian seafood soup shooters.

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Mushroom tart.

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Whipped Smoked Cod Mousse on Kettle Chip.

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Creamy Cold Water Salad Shrimp on Rye Toast with Pickeled Quail Egg

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Speech!

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From left:

Espen Voll, Torbjorn Anderssen, John Baker, Juli Daoust Baker, Jan-Terje Studsvik Storaas.

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Thank you also to Innovation Norway for your contributions!

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Mjolk Holiday Gift Guide

December 16th, 2014

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A little late to the game, but we wanted to use this opportunity to share some new products that we have in the shop, while providing some unique gift ideas for those folks you may he humming and hawing over.

Some of these items have just arrived to us, and are not uploaded to our webstore yet. If you would like to place an order right away, please just send your list along with your address to our Mjolk email.

Also a reminder of holiday shipping guidelines, as per Canada Post.

From Left:

Patina Copper Lantern (mini) - $160

Bamboo Charcoal Incense Sticks (NEW) – $20

Celadon Incense Holder by Renaud Sauve (NEW, one only) - $600

Match Box, with matches (large – NEW) – $35

Candle Snuff by Renaud Sauve (NEW) – $220

Float Candleholder by Anderssen Voll (NEW) – $59

Match Box, with matches (NEW, small, brass. Also comes in small, black) – $45 in brass / $25 black

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From left:

Unique vase by Studio Prepa – $190

Tajika Copper Scissors – $95 ($85 for small)

Ume (Japanese Cherry) plate by Ryuji Mitani - $200

Hand Broom with Cedar Dustpan (NEW) – $135

Unique Coral chopstick rests, selected by Jurgen Lehl (limited availability) – $120

Timeline Bowl by Luca Nichetto – $120

Groove Marble Trivet by Hallgeir Homstvedt (NEW, large size pictured) – $65/79

Ihada Muddler/Jam Spoon by Oji Masanori (silver & sandcast brass)- $70

Ihada Butter Knife by Oji Masanori (silver & sandcast brass) – $85

Ihada Spice /Tea Powder Spoon by Oji Masanori (silver & sandcast brass) – $50

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From Left:

Cast Iron Fry Pan by Nobuho Miya (NEW) – $200

Carved wooden spoon (NEW) – $35

Hinoki rice scoop (NEW) – $27

Olive Oil (NEW) – $35

Handwoven Copper Netted Tray (NEW) – good as a cooling rack for fried or baked foods – $150

Copper Deep Fry or Tofu Server (NEW) – $80

Hand Hammered Pot – $360

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From left:

Wood Kami mug by Oji Masanori – $75

Jicon mug by Oji Masanori – $50

Three types of tea by Jurgen Lehl (NEW) – Hojicha Roasted Green Tea currently available online, all available in store – $15

Copper Tea Leaf Container (NEW, medium size shown, also come in a small size) – $85/$110

Wood lidded thermos (NEW, comes in three sizes) – $157 / $170 / $175

Handmade Bamboo Tea whisk (NEW) – $50

Copper tea strainer (NEW) – $85

Push Coffee Press by Mette Duedahl (NEW) – $159

Cross wood trivet by Ryuji Mitani – $120

Jurgen Lehl Ethiopian Forest Honey (NEW) – $25

 

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From left:

Jurgen Lehl Jatamansi Soap – $20

Jurgen Lehl Jatamansi Shampoo – $35

Jurgen Lehl Jatamansi Rinse – $35

Jurgen Lehl Lip balm scented with Jatamansi extract – $22

Goat Hair Face Brush – $22

Jurgen Lehl Bamboo Charcoal Soap - $35

Jurgen Lehl Shea Butter – $40

Hudsalve – $12

Jurgen Lehl White Bath Towel – $85

Hinoki bath stool – $170

Hinoki Bath Bowl – $120

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From left:

Vase by Matthias Kaiser (NEW) – $325

Tetu Iron Door Stop – $75

Porcelain Wave Brush Holder by Renaud Sauve – $200

Porcelain Paint Palette by Renaud Sauve (large) – $220 ($190 for small)

Porcelain Calligraphy Water Dropper Suiteki by Renaud Sauve - $220

Red Lacquer Box (NEW) – $275

Ihada Brass Tool Holder (small) by Oji Masanori – $200

Ihada Brass Tape Dispenser by Oji Masanori – $240

 

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CEREMONY by Claesson Koivisto Rune

December 16th, 2014

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CEREMONY tray/trivet, milk and sugar set by Claesson Koivisto Rune now available online and in store.

Swedish life in general is rather informal. Society has done away with most old fashioned rituals and form of address. But we do drink a lot of coffee. In fact, Sweden ranks as the world’s top consumer of it. In business and in private it is customary to serve coffee or ’fika’ whenever we meet. And it’s always very casually offered, but in its practice fika is in fact a kind of modern ceremony. Up to five or eight times a day.

Welcome to our fika. Or, if that’s not your cup of tea, the pitcher works equally well for maple syrup.

- Cleasson Koivisto Rune

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DOnG

December 1st, 2014

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A much beloved member of many households, pets often get the short end of the stick when it comes to their personal effects. You’d think that they don’t care about all this stuff, but just as I enjoy coffee from my Teema mug more than the mismatched mugs at my local diner, our cat Isha also prefers certain materials. I used to have a weird random water dish for her and she never seemed to drink any water. I then switched it out for a nice ceramic one and the bowl is empty daily! Isha has spoken! The bonus of course it that we don’t have to look at an eyesore anymore.

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Wild cherry pet bowl small
$200.00
A wild cherry food bowl for a small dog or cat, handmade by Japanese wood artisan Shoji Morinaga for Kyoto based gallery Sfera. The cherry wood is very heavy, so the bowl doesn’t move when your pet is eating.

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Oiled wild cherry wood bone chew toy (left)
$105.00
A hand carved and oiled wild cherry wood bone chew toy (for small dogs) by wood artisan Shoji Morinaga for Kyoto based gallery Sfera.

Oiled wild cherry wood branch dog chew toy by Shoji Morinaga
$105.00
A hand carved oiled wild cherry wood branch dog chew toy (for small dogs) by wood artisan Shoji Morinaga for Kyoto based gallery Sfera.

 

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Talk porcelain water bowl for pets
$70.00
“Talk” is a porcelain water bowl for a small dog or cat, handmade and painted by Japanese ceramicist Shin Murata for Kyoto based gallery Sfera. There is an unglazed “talk bubble” to add your pet’s name.

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About DOnG, the inspiration for the above pet products:

Humans can learn a lot from a dog like me. My name is Don, and I live in a flat with my master, Shigeo. It was empty when my master moved in, but he soon filled it with things that a dog needs. He bought tasty upholstered furniture for me to chew, carpets for me to wipe my paws on and curtains for me to tug and pull down. My master littered the floors with leather-flavoured shoes and sweaty socks, and made piles of chewable objects for me to get my teeth into.

My time as a puppy was a happy one, until the day my master came home from the pet shop with a bag of products. Some of them were functional, such as plastic containers, metal food bowls and rubber mats, but none reflected the tasteful décor and stylish objects we had at home. Rather than use pretentious pet products, I longed for simple objects made from the natural materials that belong to a dog’s world. I had often seen them when we visited the workshops of the artists and craftsmen my master knows. Even if many of them seemed too good for the average human, I knew instinctively that such objects were perfect for a design-conscious dog like me.

Even a loopy master like mine has redeeming features. Although he never gives me enough treats and often brings playtime to an abrupt end, he does understand my sense of style. Years of pulling on the lead have taught my master that I’m always a step ahead, and in matters of taste, he knows I’m top dog. So when I barked excitedly at wooden containers, eagerly licked the insides of ceramic bowls and nuzzled nice fabrics, he understood that I was making a style statement.

Thanks to my canine creative direction, my master enlisted the help of expert craftsmen to bring my vision for designer dog ware to life. The beautiful objects they created add a stylish dimension to the experience of caring for a pet. And it’s all thanks to me, a humble dog, with a bit of help from my obedient master.

Don

DOnG’s instagram

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