When Norihiko visited us in April he spent two days creating a beautiful window display for his exhibition “My Garden”. Since the results were so inspiring, he suggested that we frame it.
Ok, so I am no videographer (Kings of Convenience served as a lovely soundtrack, but of course that’s a no no). John just pointed out to me that videos are usually taken on the panoramic. Yup, makes sense! Anyway, the point of this quick video is to show how methodical Norihiko was with his process. He would select the pieces according to the spacing, and then use a little table brush to keep the floor clean before continuing. Two days on his hands and knees and a lot of coffee!
A few weeks ago we met Peter & Elizabeth Porebski, who have a professional framing business The Gilder, and got to talking with them. They came up with a plan and a few days ago we set about the task of transferring every little piece to two 4′ x 8′ canvases. We selected a nice Japanese washi paper to serve as the background.
We used our iphones to photograph placement.
A pizza break and then back to it!
Then Peter & Elizabeth came to the shop with prepared frames and we hung them just in time for Kazumi’s show. They will be on semi-permanent display – one day they’ll probably make their way into our home but for now they will be in the shop for all to enjoy!
Last Monday on our day off we headed across town to visit Edwards Gardens for the first time.
I am uncertain whether Elodie liked the gardens. In every photo she resembles a fancy Wednesday Adams.
We decided to free the child from her stroller, which we then had to confiscate as she couldn’t NOT push it. Toddlers, part 1.
Overlooking the gardens from the lookout mound.
Toddlers, part 2. Teeny tiny rocks.
Ladies with matching hats.
Toddlers, part 3. Running off to clearly out of bounds areas.
A pretty boring green house. Geraniums? Also, I’m not going to lie, we were a tad disappointed there was no Japanese garden. I guess Vancouver has us beat on this front.
Toddlers, part 4. More of the same.
Some nice greenery over here…
The cafe was disappointing, but to be expected as I think it’s city run and they just cannot seem to get their game together. I mean, let’s not even begin to discuss the High Park restaurant. Could be amazing.
All in all, it was a nice place to wander around, though we have High Park so I am not sure we’d head across town when we have our own little piece of idyllic parkland right in our back yard.
On Thursday we hosted a solo exhibition of Kanazawa based glass artist Kazumi Tsuji. We were particularly excited about this exhibition because we had just met up with Kazumi in Japan the month before, and also spent the last 4 weeks putting the finishing touches on Mjölk Volume II, which Kazumi has a large feature in. So we were definitely in Kazumi-mode in the weeks leading up to the exhibition. By the way, our second book is at the printers as we speak. More on that later!
If you are not familiar with Kazumi Tsuji’s work, or the show in general here is a little summary. Kazumi’s special glasses are a collection of clear mouth-blown glass with a thin delicate layer of black/purple glass on top. Kazumi then cuts patterns into the thin black glass to reveal the clear glass beneath it.
Along with her notable clear and black glasses, we were also showing special blue glasses during the exhibition. These are very special because they are the result of a years worth of broken glass from Kazumi’s studio. The discarded glass is collected and melted down, the result was a surprise – an incredibly rich blue glass! These are the unique and signed works only available during this exhibition.
Above: Our Studio Junction crafted tea carts holding unique glass bottles and funnels made for the exhibition.
The clear air pitcher holding some flowers.
Our black bookcase with black glassware.
Very special large bowls with various cut and etched patterns.
The collection of “Reclaimed blue” glasses on an oak table by Børge Mogensen.
Triangle shaped bowls.
Decal by Sali Tabacchi.
These two are the cutest, aren’t they? Friend of the shop Vincent with Kazumi Tsuji.
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Thank you to everyone who attended!
For those who missed the evening, the work is still on display and we will be adding pieces to the webshop soon.
On Sunday evening we went to Studio Junction‘s closing party for the participants in their Art in a Courtyard House exhibition, which they put on in conjunction with Doors Open.We were very honored to be able to participate in the show and debut a set of tea and baking carts designed by Mjolk and Studio Junction, and crafted by Studio Junction.
Here is our description:
Tea Cart and Baking Cart Concept
It wasn’t too long ago that the tea cart was a much needed extension to the family home. It was much more common 30 or more years ago that the dining room was a separate entity from the kitchen, and things like formal living rooms were used for high tea in the afternoon. In contemporary times things like dining rooms and formal living rooms have become redundant, and this is probably for the best. However there are some things that were lost in this transition that we feel could have easily found a place in the modern family home.
Tea carts are an extension of the kitchen, they are on wheels and can be used to easily shuffle everything from tea or alcohol, to desserts from the kitchen to table. When necessary the tea cart can take on an important presence, and at the same time be quietly tucked against the wall when not in use. We made the top tray of the tea cart removable to be used like a tray when serving tea. This solves the awkwardness of moving many teacups and desserts at one time, but also provides a thoughtful presentation.
Several reoccurring themes that Studio Junction has been exploring are the court yard as an architectural element, and thinking of the kitchen in terms of a piece of furniture. When using this bar cart, it becomes an extension of the kitchen to the outdoor space. This could be the same for any Toronto backyard or balcony and brings an element from the inside of your home to the outside further blurring the line.
The handles are actually cut and sanded, not steam bent. It makes for an incredible grain.
You can clearly see the Danish influence with the use of tapers and the mix of oak and oiled Peruvian walnut. Our little “Ceremony” milk set was on display as well. As mentioned before, the tray is removable, so you can easily carry its contents from the cart to the dining table or living room table and keep it in use as a serving tray.
A burl pedestal by Adrian Kuzyk.
Paintings by Judith Geher
A potluck dinner with all the participants and their families.
Screen by Joe Lin
Bamboo, rocks and water feature. Their courtyard is amazing (this photo doesn’t do it justice, was using a different lens and setting than usual and it was a hot mess).
Chair by LUBO – lubodesign.com
Hanging terrariums by Crown Flora Studio
Charred wood wall installation by Scott Eunson
Elodie nomming on some yogurt
Oak rocking chair by Megan Blake
Metal paintings by Lisa Petrocco
Children’s book by Jarl Anderson, illustrations and mask by Thomas Barker
The Boston Ivy is everywhere, greening the space in such a nice way.
I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine! I just wanted to let everyone know I spent the day yesterday updating our website with around 20 new items! Please take a look when you have a moment.
We’ve also started to get some exciting new shipments to freshen up our showroom for the summer. There were too many to photograph, but here is a little sampling of some notable new works available.
This is pretty incredible, the Tati coatrack by Mats Broberg & Johan Ridderstråle. Also pictured is the Gallery Stool.
Finnish shoes not for sale.
Brass “Fanny vase” by Ami Katz. We’re thinking of getting one for the cottage.
The long awaited brass and silver cutlery by Masanori Oji for Futagami. We exhibited the prototypes last summer, and we’ve had people waiting ever since to get their hands on them. They are now finally available and added to our online shop.
Every trip we have had to Japan has been a wonderful one, but we always fill our itinerary too much and we are embarrassed to say we rarely get the chance to visit museums, gardens, or temples during our visits. We do sometimes come across beautiful gardens and buildings by mistake (it’s not very difficult in Japan), but during our next trip we have to create a more leisurely schedule and try some touristy stuff for once.
Having said that, through our work we had the opportunity to visit some spectacular architecture projects by one of my favorite architects Terunobu Fujimori. I guess the first time I was acquainted with Mr. Fujimori’s work was around 5 years ago when we first started to have a conversation with Peter and Christine from Studio Junction. I remember right away being smitten with his work, and enamored with his use of materials and craftsmanship. I would be even more impressed as I learned more about him, that he almost always uses amateur craftsmen for his projects, and was an architecture historian for decades before being commissioned his first project.
As luck would have it, we visited one of the handful of public architecture works by Fujimori, and his very first commission which was completed in 1991.
The Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum.
We hope you enjoy the photos!
Cedar timber peaks extend through the roof to the entrance of the museum.
All of the metal components of the museum including the handles and hinges on the windows and doors were forged by a very famous metal worker in Kyoto.
Of course you have to take your shoes off to enter the museum.
A handmade window looks as if it has rain constantly trickling down.
The interior walls and floor are a mix of mortar, straw, and mud.
Because the walls, ceiling, and floor are the same colour there is a visual softness to the space. All of the lines are blurred.
The collection of taxidermy represents the various sacrifices during the festivals in the region.
The exterior cedar paneling is actually hand split log, by a master who unfortunately has since passed away. We were shown two boards, one attempted by Fujimori-san, and the other by the master and it was incredible the difference between the two. The hand split log follows the natural texture of the wood grain, as oppose to a saw which cuts straight through the wood. The texture on the wood is incredible, and the owner of the museum told us if one day they must replace the cladding they will not be able to do it with hand split logs.
The building resonates perfectly within its surroundings.
In other news, we are happy to say our 2nd book is going to print very soon. Please stay tuned!