General

Waterfalls of Hamilton

October 22nd, 2014

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Autumn is a time to get out and breathe in the earthy air. Lately a lot of people on my instagram/facebook feeds have been visiting the waterfalls of Hamilton, a natural wonder that I was completely unaware of (I guess Niagara Falls gets all the love in these parts, or so I assumed). Anyway, it’s totally a thing. I love it when places brand themselves “The Waterfall Capital of The World” too. I somehow doubt it but that’s ok! There is plenty to explore (waterfalls, Bruce Trail, Niagara escarpment)!

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I inquired as to what falls were toddler friendly. This website gives difficulty ratings. We went to Tew’s Falls (#15 on their list, so those other falls must be quite something) and the nearby Webster’s Falls (the top photo), which was about a 15 minute walk down a trail that was doable but nicely challenging for a toddler and mama carrying a baby.

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We were impressed. John thought I was crazy planning this outing but had to admit it was quite something. Elodie loved it but immediately wanted more, as one does when they are two and a half.

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Some nice views along the trail.

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I wonder how the fall colours are now, we went a couple of weeks ago. Would be spectacular.

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Webster’s Falls

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On the walk back to our car Elodie became exhausted (YES! FINALLY!) and had to be carried. We thought we’d have to skip lunch and head home but we decided to head to nearby Dundas (town of) to maybe grab some takeaway from Detour cafe. The main street in this small town is pretty crazy busy, which struck me as weird but it must be a thoroughfare. We had trouble finding parking and then scored a spot right out front, and Elodie hit that second wind that then prevents her from napping, so we had a lovely cozy lunch, where no food was flung, nor tears cried. WIN! Here she is feigning sleep.

All in all, a day trip I’d like to make again!

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Jurgen Lehl

October 11th, 2014

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This morning I was notified that Jurgen Lehl died in an unfortunate accident, and all day my heart has felt a great weight. We were graciously allowed to be one of the only stores outside of Japan to carry Mr. Lehl’s beautiful textiles and designs and having worked with Mr. Lehl for a couple of years we had made plans to come visit him in the New Year to interview him for our next book, and talk about a future exhibition.

I have been diving deeper into the Jurgen Lehl rabbit hole in the weeks before his passing, reading his books. Researching for the interview next year, and of course bringing in a much larger collection of his fabrics and designs than we have ever carried in the past.

My last correspondence with Mr. Lehl was letting him know I received his books, and our daughter Elodie was very interested in the book he did about rocks, and has asked to see it over and over. That was sent the day before he passed away. I hope the message made it to him, although the sentiment was simple I think he would have appreciated it.

A very inspiring man, who will be remembered for much more than his clothing.

If you are not familiar with his works I have compiled a small sampling.

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Renaud Sauvé exhibition opening

October 6th, 2014

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On Thursday night we held the opening of the first solo exhibition of Quebec based potter Renaud Sauvé (Atelier Des Cent-ans). We had an overwhelmingly positive response, and many people said it was their favourite exhibition we have held so far. I think this exhibition had an emotional quality added to it. Renaud created an environment filled with moss, stones, branches from his property along with paintings, drawings and antiques providing a glimpse into the inspiration behind his work.

This show was more atmospherically considered than any other we have done in the past.

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A calligraphy set including works for sale made by Renaud, as well as antiques.

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A soapstone black glazed pourer with stand.

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An antique Swedish cabinet with a folk art still life of flowers in a pot. Inside of the cabinet is a carved reversible bowl with turquoise base.

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The exterior of the pine wall featured a collection of hand “tattooed” waves plates.

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Detail of the waves motif.

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The low display bench primarily featured the black glazed porcelain works.

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On the left is talc, made from ground soapstone from a mine near Atelier Des Cent-ans–one of the ingredients in the black glaze the potter developed. On the right is a celadon glazed bowl of moss with a plaster head and brass feet, curiosities collected by Renaud.

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A Chawan tea bowl, and matching tea container.

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A hammered copper handle on a black glazed lidded pot.

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Linen square with hand embroidery made by Renaud’s mother, along with a black glazed tray and antique arrow head.

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Detail of a carved bowl.

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Black and white plate collection.

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A carved rabbit “candle snuff” and South American wedding belt.

 

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Our table featured work with both white and black glaze. This series was made specifically for this exhibition.

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A charcoal drawing of Stockholm made by Renaud’s pottery teacher.

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Small bowls with painted animal motifs.

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The detail of a small pourer on a rock from the river near Cent-ans.

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The small size white glazed pourer with a celadon drip.

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A white bowl with a rim of clay found at cent-ans.

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A porcelain cover with carved turtle figure.

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A bowl with carved rat figure at the bottom.

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Another candle snuff.

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A tall porcelain flower vase with moat.

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Bowls inspired by hammered metal.

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A gourd pitcher inspired by the painting behind, made by Renaud many years ago.

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A carved bowl featuring both black glaze, and celadon rim next to a “beehive” inspired vessel. The framed picture behind is actually made from a wasp’s nest.

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A small teacup with a leaf motif.

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A white oak alcove made by Renaud’s partner Gilbert with a black footed flower vase, and a white bowl with black drip.

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A small flower vase / planter.

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A unique bowl on a antique Korean lacquered wood stand.

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“Shiva” carved hanging bowl.

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One of my favourite vase forms is the “Mei Ping”, so I asked Renaud to make one for the show. It is really beautiful.

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White and blue pottery on the black library shelf.

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Magnesium drip footed bowls.

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A large serving bowl with a celadon glaze.

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A lidded bowl with hidden pattern inspired by embroidery.

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A blueberry branch with red leaves in a magnesium rimmed bowl.

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An oak lecture stand with exhibition catalogs.

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The opening reception was really lovely, and we had the opportunity to meet many of Renaud’s fans who haven’t visited our gallery before.

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The restaurant Bricco which is only a few blocks away from us provided the meat and cheese for the evening and it was exceptional. By the end of the night nothing was left.

Thank you again for everyone who came to our opening!

 

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Renaud: Shapes and Desire of Nature Exhibition

October 1st, 2014

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We have had an exciting morning unpacking all of the exhibition works for our show tomorrow with Quebec potter Renaud Sauvé of Atelier Des Cent-ans.

Here is a small sampling of what will be available tomorrow night.

Above: Classical vase with blue “tattooed” waves motif and rain and clouds embossment.

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A porcelain drinking cup with walnut display stand.

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A Soap stone black glazed lidded bowl with a hand hammered copper handle.

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A hand carved celadon incense burner.

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A deep hand carved plate with “tattooed” tidal wave motif. Can be hung on the wall.

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Candle snuffs with carved animals.

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A large Mei Ping vase with crackling glaze.

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A celadon glazed cup with drip.

Shapes and Desire of Nature

A solo exhibition Renaud Sauvé of Atelier Des Cent-ans
Thursday, October 2nd 7:00pm – 10:00
Artist in attendance

We hope to see you tomorrow night!

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Studioilse residency at The Apartment in Copenhagen

September 30th, 2014

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In celebration of Mjolk’s debut of The StudioIlse collection for De La Espada later this month I thought we would re-post some images of Ilse’ Crawfords newest exhibition at “The Apartment” in Copenhagen.

If we had to pick our favourite Interior designer, it would have to be Ilse Crawford. Her book “Home is where the heart is” was an important reaffirmation of the importance of the home, and her interiors have an important emotional quality that transcends superficial visual aesthetic. After being so inspired and enamored with the debut of the StudioIlse collection for De La Espada, as well as her lighting collection for Wastberg in Sweden, we are proud to say you will be able to order both of these collections through Mjolk.

We will have the full StudioIlse collection for De La Espada here at the showroom later this month, and they are already on our website with images and pricing. Little by little we are slowly evolving bringing in artists that reflect more than just our aesthetics but that share our values and principals. We are very excited about this partnership, and we hope you will be too.

Back to the article:

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Studioilse residency at The Apartment in Copenhagen

For three months, Studioilse led by Ilse Crawford moves into the design gallery The Apartment in Copenhagen. To achieve the ambition of a residency, Studioilse will create a homely atmosphere with kitchen suppers and lively discussions.

Ilse Crawford believes that good design supports human life and behaviour – be it a neighbourhood, a building, a room, a piece of furniture or a small object. The work of Studioilse puts this mindset into practice, designing places and things that work for people on all levels. With this in mind the studio will inhabit Tina Seidenfaden Busck’s design gallery The Apartment in Copenhagen, filling it with life as well as furniture.
“Too much design today is showcased or exhibited rather than experienced or used. What
attracts us to The Apartment setting is that this is a real apartment in a residential building
and hence a setting where the furniture and objects all make perfect sense. We wouldn’t
do something like this in a gallery where the pieces are put on pedestals. We would like to
see the rooms in use. In Tina we have found the perfect partner to explore our philosophy
further.”

- Ilse Crawford

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‘Brass Cabinet’, crafted by North London manufacturer Jack Trench.

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Wall lamp by StudioIlse for Wastberg

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Together table and high back benches by Studio Ilse for De La Espada, hanging lamps by Inga Sempe.

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Our dream bed: The Companions bed.

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Companions writing desk for De La Espada, and table lamp for Wastberg.

Photos and Press release from The Apartment.

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Shapes and Desire of Nature

September 22nd, 2014

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We are very excited to announce our first solo exhibition with Renaud Sauvé from Atelier Des Cent-ans. Many of you will be familiar with Renaud’s work if you have visited our store or read the 3rd volume of the Mjölk book, which features a large profile on Renaud, his work and his studio in Irlande, Quebec.

Renaud is most recognized for his hand-thrown white porcelain work with crackling glaze, but for this particular exhibition, over the course of the past year, he has been exploring natural minerals found within his province to create new glazes and new expressions. The result of his experimentation is a collection of pottery that embodies not only the artist but also his surroundings.

Shapes and Desire of Nature

A solo exhibition Renaud Sauve of Atelier Des Cent-ans
Thursday, October 2nd 7:00pm – 10:00
Artist in attendance

 

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Renaud on Shapes and Desire of Nature:

My workday typically starts in the morning. Sitting at my potter’s wheel, I centre a ball of porcelain on the wheel and start hollowing it out to give it a shape and ultimately create a bowl, plate or vase.

However, one morning in May, instead of following my usual routine, I took a drive to a soapstone mine in the village of East Broughton, Quebec, where I dug for this mineral, which can be crushed into a powder. I had the idea to incorporate this rock dust into a concoction of different minerals to obtain a black glaze.

After testing and ensuring the mineral’s workability, I started focusing on creating new porcelain shapes because it seemed to me that this was befitting a newly discovered glaze. Although an interplay of transparency and opacity can already be achieved with a clear glaze, by adding a black glaze to my palette, I had ventured into new territory where I could highlight and amplify contrasts, but where I also had to take extra care lest the piece be too austere.

· In fact, a potter works with stones.
· Firing is the last step, and this is where the true nature of the minerals emerges.
· Through this transmutation, it seems to me that fire is the true artist at work.

These pieces, exhibited here at the Mjolk gallery, are the end result of a journey that began in a quarry and continued in my studio. It is an answer to many questions . . . or perhaps, more accurately, an outcome of my connection not only with Nature (digging) but also with the history of ceramics (shapes).
Much like 19th century poet Paul Valery, I like to compare the process of creating a porcelain vase with the geological shaping of our planet.

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