Claesson Koivisto Rune + Mjölk present: CEREMONY

January 4th, 2013

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Happy New Year everyone!

We’re very excited to announce our first exhibition of 2013.

Along with a retrospective of Claesson Koivisto Rune’s furniture, design accessories, and architectural models we are debuting a small series of products inspired by The Japanese Tea Ceremony and Swedish Fika coffee culture.

The collaborative work is executed by local Toronto artisans:

Alissa Coe of Coe and Waito

Scott Eunson – sculpture artist and wood worker

and

Adian Kuzyk – wood artisan.

Please stop by to see the exhibition and meet our guests of honour:
Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune!

Invitation design by Sali Tabacchi

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New works by Tomiyama Koichi and Masanobu Ando

December 28th, 2012

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I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying a nice relaxing end of the year holiday. We’ve had a busy season entertaining Christmas shoppers, moving back upstairs, unpacking into our new home, and providing the finishing arrangements for our most ambitious exhibition yet.

Although everything moved relatively smoothly for our holiday shoppers, there were a couple of parcels that didn’t make it in time for the rush. Now that they’re here, it might be for the best as it freshened up the showroom, and saved us from frantically placing new orders to re-stock our shelves.

As mentioned in the Post name, we have a new collection of goods by wood artisan Tomiyama Koichi, and ceramicist Masanobu Ando. Interestingly enough, the packages arrived together and their contents would satisfy even the pickiest coffee connoisseur.

So I present to you Mjolk’s obsessive coffee drinker collection!

Above:

Top left: Coffee trough – hand carved from a single block of chestnut wood, it is incredible to see in person ($150).

Top right: Star coffee dripper – the perfect dripper for “pour over” style coffee ($80).

Bottom right: Coffee scoop. The scoop is made from chestnut and the handle is made from aluminum that Koich-san reclaims and hammers into shape ($65).

It’s not hard to believe that we own the set already, so in case you didn’t know what a coffee trough was or a dripper here is how we use our coffee gear:

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Here’s our coffee scoop which started it’s life as the pale chestnut in the above photo. The coffee stains the wood a nice walnut colour over time.

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This jar was a collaboration between glass artist Kazumi Tsuji (who we represent in the store) and wood artisan Ryuji Mitani.

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After the coffee beans are ground, they are transferred to the coffee trough.

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This allows the grounds to be added to the dripper neatly. A little tip to keep the paper filter attached to the ends of the dripper and to prevent the paper from breaking is to wet the paper before you add the grounds. This removes the paper taste and warms your mug up for you – always remember to remove the water before making your coffee.

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Beautiful.

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We received a handful of these tiny beautiful milk pitchers by Mr. Ando ($50). I’m so sorry we have already sold out of the Masanobu Ando mug!

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A silver glazed ceramic platter by Masanobu Ando ($140) with a specially made wood spreader by Tomiyama Koichi ($38).

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Our dining table, chairs, and a nice little coffee break.

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Finally a new addition is this hand tooled Japanese walnut tray made by Tomiyama Koichi ($340). The depth is created by gouging the tray with a chisel, the edges are softened but retain their square shape.

Glasses above by Tsuji Kazumi available for $85.

Please note that these works are limited and unique so they might not be added to the Mjolk web shop,  please contact us for availability.

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We are three!

December 15th, 2012

Wowee! It’s been three years and we love Mjölk and our customers more and more every day. Thank you so much for your continued support and enthusiasm. We couldn’t do it without you.

Year three is going to be our best yet! Some things we’ve been working on:

January 23: Claesson Koivisto Rune + Mjölk
As a lead in to IDS2013, we will be having a retrospective exhibition of CKR works, as well as a launch for an exclusive Claesson Koivisto Rune + Mjölk product. Claesson Koivisto Rune will be in attendance.

May 16th: Glass artist Tsuji Kazumi
A featured artist in Mjolk volume II, and one of our favorite glass artists. She’s visiting us all the way from her studio in Kanazawa Japan!

Summer: George Nakashima exhibition
We are honoured to be transforming our showroom to feature a collection of George Nakashima’s works. Mira Nakashima will be in attendance.

Mjölk Volume II

More to come!

Holiday hours are posted here.

As always, come by today, pick up a complimentary cookie by Lindsey and say hello!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the Mjölk family: John, Juli, Elodie, Frank and Lauren.

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The last Japanese garden

November 16th, 2012

When one thinks of contemporary gardens in Japan, there couldn’t be anyone more infamous than Mirei Shigemori. He was an artist both immersed in abstract art and western modernism, as well as traditional Japanese cultural arts such as gardening, ikebana, and the Tea Ceremony. He brought a new form of gardening to Japan incorporating ground breaking elements into his gardens – including his use of concrete – “liquid stone” a man made material that had never been used in a Japanese garden before, the ripple like effect of raking pebbles,  creating an image of waves against pointed rock islands, and finally the work of his rock gardens both symbolizing purity, but at the same commenting on the state of the environment and the future world devoid of nature.

Although he was greatly influenced by western culture, his garden designs were enriched by the traditional Japanese gardens he admired so much. He was always on the cutting edge, but he never deviated too much away from natural aesthetic value. A garden is man made and thus doesn’t necessarily have to imitate nature, we can manipulate it to romanticize the best qualities of nature and use it to tell a story.

Mirei Shigemori, offered this story as a way to explain man’s close connection to gardening:

“When people lived in primitive huts or caves, as hunters and gatherers did. They enjoyed intimate contact with nature and the gods. But this changed when ancient people built houses and started to spend more time indoors, protected from the direct contact with nature and its forces. So the process of civilization in this respect was a path to alienation from the gods in nature, creating an increasing distance between man and nature.

Then, there came a point when people, fearing the absence of the gods, started to bring nature back into their lives and close to their homes in the form of gardens.”

Above:
Tiles and moss from Tofuku-ji Hojo, one of Shigemori’s first commissions. He took on the project without asking for money because he knew it was an oppurtunity to create something that might last forever. Shigemori was free to do whatever he wanted with the design, but the Buddists who ran the temple asked if he would include the use of the paving stones in the garden, as their Zen-sect was not allowed to let anything go to waste. This iconic pattern of paving stones and moss has now been copied all around the world.

Clipped azaleas inspired by rice fields in Japan.

Mirei Shigemori’s Garden residence, onlooking a collection of vertical stones. The pendant light hanging above was a gift by his friend and fellow designer Isamu Noguchi.

Hashi no Niwa garden, Komyo-in temple.

Picture window – rock formation.

Matsuo Taisha shrine, one of Shigemori’s masterpieces.

Most of the above photos were taken from the book Rebel in the Garden.

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Børge Mogensen’s summer home

November 9th, 2012

Mogensen summer home

This morning I opened up my computer and for some reason decided to visit Fredericia’s website. I knew they were working on it, and I’ve been checking the past few days to see if there was any progress being made. To my surprise when I visited their link I was welcomed by a fresh new homepage and an intriguing link at the top of the webpage saying “inspiration”.

It was here that I saw the first images of Børge Mogensen’s summer home, a set of photographs that I have never seen before!

As with other Mogensen designed homes there are some clear themes that resonate throughout the space. The lime plaster washed brick, the central fireplace, the natural stone floors, the Japanese garden, and of course Mogensen’s beautiful furnishings.

They concluded with this caption:

“When Børge Mogensen and his family took time off, they went to their summer cottage in sandy North Jutland, but with clear evidence, Børge never took time off… The design office is one of the largest rooms in the house.”

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A beautiful central courtyard with Nyhavn wall sconces, and a special Mogensen bench.

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A J39 chair and the 6284 table both of which you can see in person at Mjolk.

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One sofa we wish we could incorporate in our lives. We first saw this sofa at Professor Oda’s house during our trip to Hokkaido Japan.

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A grass rug sits under one half of the desk.

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Leather pulls on the pantry, with a woven chair in the background.

Mogensen summer home

Mogensen summer home

Oak kitchen with brass hinges.

Mogensen summer home

Mogensen summer home

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Food Work by Anderssen-Voll

November 4th, 2012

One of our favorite design teams Anderssen-Voll have designed the most beautiful assortment of kitchen tool prototypes for the new Norwegian collective project called “Food Work“. Whenever I see their new prototypes, I can’t help but selfishly think “how can I get these beautiful things into Mjolk!?” Hopefully one day we’ll be able to persuade Torbjørn and Espen to get on a plane to Toronto and host an exhibition of their work.

Here is the work they created for the exhibition complete with descriptions in their own words:

Good morning moka pot. A morning without coffee is like sleep. A good morning is fueling up with your own, home-brewed espresso. This is our dream pot: a hybrid of the classic Italian pots, tra­ditional Japanese handicraft, and Norwegian cravings for extra strong coffee. The pot is made in aluminum, with a walnut handle. The way the pot is divided tells the story of the transition from the crude to the refined – from beans and water to pure pleasure.

Tuamotu cooking top. The small gas top is your atoll of gastronomic cooking pleasures. The solid marble base and cast iron details are elements of a rustic and contemporary attitude. These are classic and basic materi­als adjusted to a personalized and compact way of living. Everyday luxury with high quality materials and a time­less expression.

Chef wooden containers. These are small, multipurpose containers turned in pine wood. The shape is a direct result of how the hands usually operate in opening and closing containers: a truly handmade outline.

Ori grinders and salt cellar. These grinders and cellar were results from experi­menting with origami in our studio. The shapes of folds and crystals inspired the idea of milling salt and pepper. The conflict between the top and the bottom parts is a physical representation of the internal grinding process. The grind­ers and cellar are made from maple wood and Corian.

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