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Ceramics by Nathalie Lahdenmäki

Posted at 5:15 pm in Mjölk

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We really appreciate materials. Between leather laptop cases, birch bark trays, and brass pot trivets, we seem to have one of every natural material here in the shop. One thing we really wanted to explore in the store was ceramics. An artist both of us really admire is Helsinki based ceramicist Nathalie Lahdenmäki, ever since we saw her work we knew the next time we visited Finland we would have to see her collection in person.

We trekked to Nathalie’s studio on the 2nd day of our trip to Helsinki, and we were met with apple juice and biscuits served from vessels by her series “Linum”.

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Nathalie shares her workshop with a number of other notable ceramicists and artists.

A few notes on Nathalie Lahdenmäki:

Graduated in 1999 as Master of Arts in ceramic and glass design from the University of Art and Design Helsinki
Senior lecturere at UADH 2001 –
2008 Designer of the year – Design Forum Finland
Winner – Mino ceramics competition in Japan in 1998 and 2005
Design Plus Award – Frankfurt

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Linum is a collection of vessels made with neutral matte surfaces with glazed interiors. I found this quote and I thought it really summed up the experience of the series:

“I highly value everyday moments. Maybe what I am trying to do is introduce some solace and consolation into daily life through everyday objects of beauty.”

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The kiln. Nathalie’s ceramics are all handmade from the mixing of the clay bodies to the glaze, and each piece is individually signed, even the tiniest ceramic spoon.

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You can begin to see the scale of the pieces, and how they interact with each other.

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A collection of ceramic spoons.

Sami knife, a collaboration between designers and traditional Finnish knife makers exhibited by Design Forum Finland. Many notable artists designed knives for the event including Nathalie (her knife shown in the above photograph). Also notable designers like Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, Harri Koskinen, and Konstantin Grcic.

see the rest of the knives by following this link.

“Fire candle holder”

Designed by Nathalie for Arabia Finland, and still in production. We would love to get this into the store for the winter.

Since all of her work is made by hand, we had to wait patiently until our order was ready. We’re happy to announce we now have her collection on display.

from mugs, to glazed bowls, and pin cushions we’ve already sold a few pieces.

Price points:

Small plates $30
Linum cup $32
Spoons $35
Tea cup $40

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Cado, ceramics and flowers.

Posted at 6:37 pm in General

We’ve been staring at the Cado unit and wanting a change. We brought some really beautiful things back from our last trip to Japan and we just want to look at them and enjoy them. A re-think of our Cado unit was in order.

Honestly, putting things on a shelf is really challenging. Unfortunately our cado doesn’t have very many shelves so it can appear a bit sparse (there are more but they are deeper and we prefer the narrower ones). Also, wires are so annoying!

One of our favorite pieces was this single stem wall mounted flower vase by Masanobu Ando. We’ve been working with Ando-san about getting his work in our store but I hadn’t heard back from him after the earth quake. I was really worried, but I’m happy to report I recently got an update and he’s doing fine and currently working on an exhibition at his gallery to help with relief efforts.

We found a nice spot for our wenge tray, an ebay find.

This amazing piece is hand carved from solid chestnut wood. We imagine keeping this on our future dining table holding fruit and linen napkins.

A beautiful white ceramic water jug.

A bookend holding up a bunch of books we can’t read…yet? We can actually special order these through the store, should you ever be interested. It’s just a bit pricey so we haven’t bothered to stock them. But they are so nice in their simplicity.

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Stopover in Copenhagen

Posted at 1:26 pm in Travel


On our way to the Stockholm Furniture Fair a few weeks ago we stopped over for a few nights in Copenhagen. We stayed this time at the Scandic Palace Hotel, which was ideally situated in the centre and has free breakfast. Since this was a quick trip I wanted everything to be accessible and easy. Grey and cold, we arrived in the early afternoon so we took a walk.


Grabbed a coffee at Atelier September.


Popped into Frama, who happened to be open on the weekend because they were having a sale. You can see more photos of their studio here, as at the time it was overrun with their sale items. I liked this brass screen tucked away in the back.



The colours of the Scandinavian cityscape always bring joy on dull days.


First visit to the Danish Design Museum and they had a chair exhibition on.

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They had the chairs grouped according to basic aesthetic similarities, which is always nice for comparison.


Nice to see some well worn Børge Mogensen on display.


The other featured exhibition happened to be titled Learning from Japan, exploring Japan’s influence on Danish design.


Happy to see Kaori Juzu‘s jewellery on display.





A lovely dinner at 108.


Christian from OneCollection and I totally had to have this dessert after spying it pass by our table.

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Post meeting lunch with the multitalented designers Tanja and Petra from All the Way to Paris at the beautifully considered Admiralgade 26. We were fairly obsessed with the ambience and design choices, but the French food served was also exactly what we wanted for lunch–fresh and simple.

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Floor details: loving the increased use of terrazzo I’ve been seeing in Scandinavia. Also wood inlays and vintage rugs.


One thing I really like about the design of the restaurant is that it has different zones, for a variety of uses. From cozy intimate groupings to large round tables perfect for a gathering.


Furniture and a variety of lamps make the space home like.


Unique pottery, ceramics and glass create an interesting focal point throughout.



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We joined our friends from Queen West Antique Centre, for a very over the top dinner at Kiin Kiin. They start you off in the lounge where they ply you with drink and appetizers, then give you a menu. At this point you are thinking you have to just choose an item off the menu but no, you will be consuming the entire menu. So many courses but amazingly I felt good at the end.

I had to stop and take a photo of this salad dish. Yes, that’s cotton candy. In the background you can see the server preparing the dressing.


The dressing melts the cotton candy and neutralizes the sweetness.

In many ways the drama during the meal could be perceived as a bit much, but in the end it was an enjoyable evening spent in good company, and the food was exceptional.

After dinner we popped over to a jazz club, which unfortunately was having a comedy night. Oh well, next time!

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Momogusa: Masanobu and Akiko Ando Exhibition

Posted at 2:25 pm in General



We had the pleasure of hosting our third exhibition with Japanese potter and Tea Master Masanobu Ando, entitled Momogusa, the name of the gallery he founded with his wife Akiko Ando. The exhibition itself explores the work of both Masanobu Ando through his pottery, and also the textile work of Akiko Ando along with specially commissioned craft work and stationary designed by Masanobu Ando and sold exclusively through Momogusa.

“Mjolk presents works from the world-famous Gallerie Momogusa. Selected and curated by owners Masanobu Ando and Akiko Ando, the gallery showcases everyday objects that are both utilitarian and yet extraordinarily thoughtfully crafted. The exhibition will include Momogusa original products and publications alongside the ceramics of Masanobu Ando and the clothing of Akiko Ando.”



Soap dishes

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A soft white wall vase inspired by England.

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Two amazing Chawan (Tea bowls) the one on the left is made with a silver glaze, and the one on the right is made with real gold powder.


The full set-up for the Chinese tea ceremony. During the last exhibition Mr. Ando perfomed the Japanese tea ceremony, and this time he wanted to share something different.

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Textiles by Akiko Ando
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A chabako, Tea ceremony set

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Thank you to everyone who came out to the opening party!




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Frank dressed in one of Akiko Ando’s sarongs, selected specially for him. Elodie rocking the princess vibes.


Getting a lesson in how to wear a sarong.

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Mr. Ando performing a Chinese tea ceremony.


As always, we had a very engaged and enthusiastic crowd.

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London, day three: Sightseeing and relaxing

Posted at 3:37 pm in General,Travel


We had the opportunity to visit our customer Lord Rumi Verjee, who owns and operates Thomas Goode & Co., purveyor of dishware for the Queen of England. He gave us a behind the scenes tour of his shop, and I really regret not photographing the old catalogs, with their hand painted patterns.


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Very cool, an old timey automatic door. Step on the platform and counter weights open the doors.


Another stop was The New Craftsmen. It was nice to see new British design and craft.


We passed by Marble Arch station every day, and I couldn’t help but really enjoy these designs on the tube walls.

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We visited the Victoria and Albert Museum. Love these David Kirkness chairs.


Lucie Rie ceramics.


Lucie Rie’s studio


So much marble.


John was on a hat buying mission.


Visited Another Country.


A cute little street, a nice family and lovely evening.

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Sucabaruca & Aureola made by Kihara

Posted at 9:56 am in Mjölk

From the very beginning, Sucabaruca and Aureola, was about involving people from different cultures and countries; Luca Nichetto, a designer from Venice, Italy, but residing in Stockholm, Sweden; Lera Moiseeva, designer and artist of Russian origin, but New Yorker by adoption; Mjölk, a purveyor of objects and furniture from Japan and Scandinavia; Canadian ceramicist Alissa Coe, who carefully crafted the prototypes and the first edition of the sets; Kihara Inc, the manufacturer of the sets, skillfully handcrafted each piece in Arita, Japan. All of these people have enriched the project, making it an extraordinary melting pot of ideas and energy on an international scale.


We chose to work with Kihara because of the history and expertise of the makers in the studio. Arita was one of the first places to produce porcelain wares in Japan in the early 17th Century. The work that was produced was heavily influenced by Korea, using an underglaze in blue, the Sometsuke porcelain became the primary finishing technique.


Today, Arita ceramics are considered both works of fine art as well as vessels primarily used for function. Kihara, a studio that has been producing for over 400 years, uses a traditional white glaze with blue undertones. The company still produces work with techniques that have remained unchanged while also incorporating new technologies to enhance the nature of the material.


The Sucabaruca Coffee Set is rich in cultural and formal references that come from the influences of several people involved in the project. The main cone-shaped body is reminiscent of Carmencita, the famous character created by Armando Testa in1966 for the tv show Carosello. The lines in the ceramic are meant to emphasize the uniqueness of the pieces which can be stacked and combined in various ways.


Set includes pot, filter funnel and 3 cups.

The Aureola Tea Set was designed based on research about ancient and modern tea sharing rituals that play a significant role in the social relationships in several countries. The tea ceremony represents an important tradition in many areas of the world, and particularly in Asia, influencing numerous other cultures. By observing how tea is consumed in Russia, Luca Nichetto noticed that the infuse is served not in cups but in small bowls without the handle and realized how this small detail gives more solemnity to the whole ritual.


Set includes pot, strainer and 2 bowls.

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