I hope everyone’s week is going well. I’m sorry for our blog neglect recently, we are so close to having the baby and there are so many loose ends to tie up before her arrival. Something we’ve been meaning to share with you all that we needed to clean the apartment up first to photograph is our new table by Winnipeg based architect and designer Thom Fougere.
You might recognize it from the IDS coverage we did this year, the beautiful Manitoba tyndal stone was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We asked Thom during the event if he would consider selling us his prototype, I think our enthusiasm paid off and he accepted.
The table is nice and low, so when you stand over it the stone looks as if it’s hovering above the steel structure.
This is our view of it from the sofa. Don’t worry, we have some very nice Pia Wallen felt coasters that will keep the top looking nice and crisp for a long time.
Quite possibly the most beautiful collection of bathroom accessories we’ve ever seen.
Of course it’s by our friends at Nendo.
A wall-mounted box frame sink.
An overflow bathroom sink and vanity.
Mirrors that look like like pooling water in a wooden frame.
Wood storage module.
Photos and story via Azure Magazine
Ok, let’s get a little girly here for a second (indulge the 36 week pregnant gal). I wanted to share with you our baby shower, since our friend Jennifer put on such an amazing tea party last Sunday. We’re getting so close to the beginning of a new chapter, so it was so nice to get together with some of our closest friends and family to celebrate this new little life that will be joining our world.
Jennifer spent days getting everything ready, making cake pops despite warnings on blogs that they weren’t worth the effort (sadly she only got about 5 out of it in the end), baking the famed New York Times cookies (delicious!), making cute finger sandwiches (apparently it’s very time consuming cutting off all the crust). Thankfully she had some help from our friend Hollie, who also made a lot of the baked goods above. John’s mom Nancy brought pierogies, which I can never say no to. Umm, the photos above are from before all the food was laid out.
I’m still enjoying the prettiest roses.
There were three teas from Tealish to choose from, and Jennifer thoughtfully made little take away samples for everyone. Toasty Almond was the most popular.
Since men were also invited to the party, Taylor got his man room all set up. They drank beer from tea cups, I hear.
We received many wonderful and useful gifts from our guests, I am slowly unpacking the box and getting everything sorted. I almost have a full laundry basket of tiny pink things. It’s kind of unreal.
Lauren, our assistant at the shop had to of course work, so she couldn’t make it to the party. But how cute is her gift? She worked with Arounna from Bookhou to get it all done, but hand stitched the Kitka logo herself.
I used to collect picture books, so Lauren found us some hilarious vintage Swedish books (in English). As you probably could imagine, Snurr is the comic relief. Also, a book about Buttered Bread…how quaint.
Early April is quickly approaching! It’s a little nerve-wracking entering the unknown, but I’m sure everyone approaches parenthood with a mix of trepidation and excitement. I’m nervous about leaving the store, as it’s a lot of work for John to handle on his own. But our mom and pop shop is growing, not only with the baby, but with the addition of John’s brother Frank, who recently moved to the neighborhood to work at Mjölk and help us out. He’s still learning the ropes, but he’s an awesome addition, and it’s nice to have more family close by. And of course there is Lauren as well, who we leave alone often when traipsing off to faraway lands. So I think the shop is in good hands!
Now as promised, some photos of the opening night of Ando Masanobu’s first solo show in North America: “Kita Wou Omou Utsuwa”.
Our black library was emptied out to show off the collection of white ceramics. These was the section of multiples people could actually take off the shelf to take home with them.
The exterior banner.
A collection of coffee cups, and coffee drippers, some of the most popular items of the evening.
One of the special things we did for the exhibition to keep to the nordic theme was make glögg.
It made the whole place smell amazing. Thanks to Lauren who put it together for us!
Ando-san’s ceramics (a part of our personal collection) make perfect serving dishes for the almonds and raisins to add to the glögg.
Box of Air sculptures. Flowers by Coriander Girl.
During the early evening local artist Tomori Nagamoto brought over some tea ceremony tools so Mr. Ando could perform a traditional tea ceremony for the opening of the exhibition. We were invited to be the guests for the first two cups.
The tea ceremony itself is a beautiful ritual. in the beginning Mr. Ando serves the guests some sugar.
He then cleans the drinking vessel with hot water and discards this water in a bowl, and wipes the cup with a clean cloth.
The green tea is added and whisked together with the hot water. The cup is carefully inspected before handing the cup over to the guest.
After we finished our tea, Mr. Ando invited other guests to take part in the ceremony.
Whisking the green tea.
A big thank you to Takeya Daisuke, my brother Frank, and Lauren for helping put together the exhibition.
Thank you to all of the people that came out to visit the exhibition Thursday night and came the next day on Friday for the public opening.
Last and most importantly, thank you to Ando Masanobu for traveling all the way to Toronto to attend the exhibition, and for allowing us to share his beautiful works with our customers.
On Wednesday we drove to the airport with artist (and translator for the week) Takeya Daisuke to pick up Mr. Ando. The next day we emptied the first half of the store and carried in a huge 4″ thick Douglas Fir slab bench we had SMASH make for the exhibition. The bench is inspired by the long wood planks we saw at Ando Masanobu’s studio that he uses to display his work.
We really love the display bench, it might have to stick around after the exhibition. It just displays ceramics so nicely.
Let’s take you through some of the objects featured:
From left: a large colander, medium colander, and a soap dish.
The special art piece made for the exhibition is “a box of air”. Inspired by the volume within the Japanese bedroom, it allows the user to recreate this sacred space by placing a small stone or flower in the middle of the square.
A unique glazed bowl.
A ceramic pitcher inspired by antique enamelware.
Magnesium, copper, and bronze coated ovenware makes these pieces appear as if they are rusted cast iron.
A dinner plate, soup bowl, and renge soup spoon.
Two ceramic coffee drippers, for pour over coffee.
A cream pitcher and milk pitcher
Renge soup spoons, so beautiful.
A single stem ceramic wall vase.
The front riser features the set of flower dishes and a silver coated ceramic dish.
There are some works still available, so if you live in Toronto please visit us while the exhibition is still running over the next week. We’ll have some photos of the opening party with Mr. Ando in the next day or two, so stay tuned!
We’re pleased to share our interview with Monocle Radio that debuted on Valentines day!
You can listen to the program by following this link
We are episode 18 and our interview is about halfway in. Special shout outs to Anderssen Voll, Andrea Maack, Lovisa Wattman and Borge Mogensen!
Braun photo via Dasprogram