NAKASHIMA: A Retrospective

July 19th, 2013
Round Cluster Dining Table_7-L George Bending


July 24, 7-10pm


Mira Nakashima and family in attendance.
2959 Dundas Street West

Mjölk is honored to present the ?rst Canadian retrospective of works by legendary architect and craftsman George Nakashima, and his daughter, architect, designer and head of the Nakashima Studio, Mira Nakashima. We are proud to showcase a large collection of iconic works by George Nakashima as well as new works from Mira Nakashima’s Keisho (continuation) collection. Mira Nakashima, along with her daughter Maria, and granddaughter Maya will be special guests in attendance.

Exhibition runs July 24th to August 30th.

Please note that the store will be closed July 23-24 for the installation of the exhibition. If you are looking to pick up something from our regular collection, please give us a call/email and we can accommodate your request!
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The Nakashima furniture collection will be complemented by a curated collection of art by some of Japan’s most famous contemporary artisans. This group of artists include potters Masanobu Ando and Koichi Uchida, wood artisans Ryuji Mitani and Shingo Tsukuda, and metal artists Takejiro and Mami Hasegawa.

The group of artisans will provide a living context to the Nakashima collection and offer visitors an exclusive opportunity to see and purchase works by artists who seldom show work outside of their native Japan. We believe this group of artists capture the spirit of the Nakashima’s work and carry on the mission of providing beautiful well-crafted items that go beyond their basic function and provide something beautiful that enriches the soul.

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Tomii Takashi exhibition: June 26, 2013

July 2nd, 2013


We were so thrilled to host the first North American solo exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. Thank you so much for everyone who came out to the opening reception, and for the people that came to visit us the following days who weren’t available for opening night!

There are still plenty of amazing pieces still available and on display at Mjolk, so please drop by in person to see the work before it’s gone. For our supportive international customers, please hold tight as we will be adding the works to the website soon. If there is anything in particular you wanted to inquire about, don’t hesitate in dropping us a line.

Above: Wall vase (sold out)

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Window decal by Sali Tabacchi.


Turned bowl with natural urushi lacquer-ware coating.


An incredible solid walnut salad bowl!


Wooden coffee mug with natural urushi coating.

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left: White urushi turned bowls
right: chestnut serving tray


A hand chiseled oak tray with porcelain tea cup and saucers by Renaud Sauvé.


Chestnut canoe bowls.


A collection of serving trays on our black library shelving.


A hand carved chestnut bowl with black urushi salad servers.


A chestnut tray with specially made white-urushi plum blossom and clover dishes.


A fantastic collection of wooden cutlery.


Cherry soup spoons.



Japanese lacquer-ware sake cups.


Elodie received the nicest gift from Tomii-san. This kid officially has an amazing chair collection at 15 months old, thanks to this gift and the Børge Mogensen Shell Chair given to her by Thomas Graversen of Fredericia. This chair is especially novel for her since she can sit and get up easily from it, though because she is used to climbing onto chairs, she’s had to practice a bit. Last night she kept practicing backing into it. Too adorable.


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We had a very engaged turnout, and Tomii-san was happy to discuss his process with all who were interested.


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Talking shop with fellow woodworkers Peter Tan and LUBO.

Thank you Tomii Takashi for visiting us and sharing your beautiful works with Toronto!

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Tomii Takashi: 1 week away!

June 18th, 2013


Please mark your calenders! Next Wednesday on June 26th we are  presenting the first North American exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. The evening reception starts from 7:00 – 10:00pm, and Tomii Takashi is flying here all the way from Japan to attend the opening and meet you all.

We just received a sizable collection of work that will be making it’s debut next week, and everything is incredible. I took the liberty to photograph a sampling of what to expect come opening night, all of the pieces in this post and many more will be available for sale (and not before).

Anyone who loves wood should be in attendance to this show, please invite your friends.

Here is our little write up for the exhibition:

Tomii Takashi is known as a prodigy in Japan and is quickly becoming one of the most recognized wood workers in his field. His work exhibits very clean modern forms that are contrasted by soft tool marks. These marks leave a connection to the maker, and also reveal that such refined work can be made by the hand.
Tomii Takashi’s interest in woodworking began during his one year stay in Vernonia, Oregon where forestry is the key industry. After coming back to Japan in 1995, he started to carve kitchen tools such as butter knives, spatulas, and spoons out of twigs he gathered in the nearby hills. Although he dedicated himself to science experiments throughout his student years, he was inclined to cook and collect kitchenware, ceramics, and wooden tools and furniture. Gradually he started to dream of living by making wooden tableware, and finally in 2002 when he was 25, left graduate school and entered the “Shinrin Takumi Juku” where he learned solid wood furniture making for 2 years. He then worked for Oak Village in Gifu.

In 2008, Tomii moved to Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture and started creating wooden tableware for daily use in his workshop in Minamiyamashiro, Kyoto. All of his pieces are hand tooled or turned on a lathe into very simple and beautiful shapes.

Tomii lives with his wife, Miyuki who helps his work, a daughter and a son. They are enjoying their everyday lives surrounded by rich nature.


Incredibly deep bread trays made from one solid block of chestnut.


Hand chiseled oak tray, with small sakura dish and lotus spoons.


Large Japanese white urushi lacquer-ware bowls


Tomii Takashi will see you next Wednesday!

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The Read: Mjolk Volume II

June 17th, 2013


What an exciting week! We received the printed copies of Mjolk Volume II, and I’m always so amazed at how good the photos look after being printed. Photographs must long to be printed because there is just something that doesn’t translate to screen viewing.

After grabbing a copy for ourselves, it is a ritual for us to go over the entire book as if we are reading it for the first time. Of course we have read the book over and over, but there is something about turning the pages of the finished version that is like experiencing the book for the first time, and getting into the head space of a new reader.

There are some notable changes, we went from around 104 pages in our first book to a whopping 144 pages in the second. Of course we are still advert free, so it’s 144 pages of pure content. We’ve also learned a lot from the first book, and know what we liked and what we didn’t like. Based on these decisions we decided to focus on editorial content only, shifting from a magazine / catalog hybrid to a proper book. Last but not least I think the overall voice is clearer, as this time we set out to do the interviews and photographs while the first time was more of a mosaic from our personal travel photos.

We’ve started sending our books to our faithful stockists already, so if you’re in a city and want to get a copy of the new issue we appreciate you being patient to support your local retailers. If we’re not carried in your city yet (and there’s a good chance that we aren’t) please let your local book or special interest shop know! We’ve been picked up numerous times because of customers who wanted to buy it locally.

Above: The Nakashima article, with a tour of the Nakashima studio and houses complemented by an interview with Mira Nakashima. The Nakashima exhibit at Mjölk is July 24 (runs for about a month). Mira Nakashima will be in attendance.




The cover which is the entrance to wood artisan Tomii Takashi’s home. I hope to introduce you all to Tomii when he visits us next week on Wednesday, June 26th, for his first solo exhibition in North America!

To pick up a copy of Mjölk Volume II, visit our webshop or come into the store!

To see stockists visit here, at the bottom of the page.

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Mjölk Volume 2, at the printers

June 12th, 2013
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Last Thursday I went with Emily Tu, our book designer, to the press approval for Mjölk Volume 2. It was my first time going (John went last time) and I got to see what a big job printing these books is.

We get it printed at Warren’s Waterless Waterless Printing, thanks to our friends over at Pure Green Magazine, who suggested it. We like that it’s printed locally, so that we can see the paper, process, and proofs, plus they are environmentally responsible. All that AND they are the same price as others quoted (in Toronto).

Above we discuss the proofs, which are unfortunately on coated paper, which makes it tricky to tell exactly how it will be on our paper stock. This is unfortunately industry standard and the paper manufacturer has no ambition to offer an uncoated proofing paper.


The aluminum plates (our book had about 9). The plates are etched directly from the computer, so there are actually images and type all over the green, but because the ink hasn’t touched it yet you cannot see it. Where you see the black writing is where Dave, the production manager, put a felt tip marker to it.

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After approving the cover, they ran it. On the left is the black plate. On the right is the stack of covers.


The press, plus the black and blue plate. Each of the three colours and black have their own plate.



Running some recycled paper through to prime the press.


Ink pots.

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Removing a page from the press.

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Then the technician places it on a table where the colour bands along the side get analyzed by a computer (left), then transfers the paper to another table where they can make adjustments to how much ink is distributed along each plate (right).



This was pretty impressive, as a lot of decisions have to be made here. Of course it’s nice for a client to sign off on all pages, but we weren’t able to hang out until 3am!


The ubiquitous calendar / clock (that isn’t a clock) shop shot.

Thank you to Dave who took the time to show us around!

Mjölk Volume 2 is arriving this afternoon, just in time since we have sold out of Volume 1!

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Rainy days

June 11th, 2013



Toddlers are notoriously terrible with staying cooped up indoors.  What to do with all these rainy days we’ve been having? Any and all suggestions welcome…places to go, things to do at home.

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