Shapes and Desire of Nature

September 22nd, 2014


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



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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Apple picking at Avalon Orchards

September 22nd, 2014



It’s been too long since we’ve been able to do much blog posting but things are simmering down now that Howell is 5 months old. Also, we’re shifting gears from running to and from the cottage every week to staying in the city, which makes for a less chaotic week.

Now that Elodie is two and a half, we’re ready to engage more with the city and its surroundings. I am looking forward to creating new traditions for our family! The first one is apple picking!!!

Several friends recommended Avalon Orchards, a no frills organic orchard about 45 minutes from Toronto in Innisfil. Originally I was going to take us to one of those places that has tons of things to do (corn maze, playground, petting zoo) but then we talked about it and figured a two and a half year old can only handle so much, and since apple picking is the main attraction, it made sense to keep it simple.


Avalon has a little shop (above) where we picked up some apple cider.


Elodie picked out the wagon – as you can see, she’s very inspired by the “Little Red Wagon” song. There were only a couple of this type and she bee lined right for it.


It was wonderful being able to pick the fruit right from the tree and taste it. They had Freedom, Nova Mac and a few Pricilla’s ripe for the picking. Not the sweetest selection, maybe these types come earlier or later?


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Most excited about the teepee.
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After a picnic lunch, we went on a little hiking adventure. Avalon has a really nice property with some interesting trails, that are just long enough for a toddler, and interesting and varied enough for adults.


Rare family portrait of a mother and her two kids.

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Last weekend of summer

September 3rd, 2014


This is the first summer I can remember that simply flew by us without us even noticing. I can’t believe we just spent our last weekend at the cottage for the season and the leaves are already changing colours!

Things were a little busier here more than usual, the new baby, hosting 3 exhibitions back to back, and an unusually cooler summer which meant more people stayed back in the city and kept us busy in the store.

It wasn’t all business though, we had the chance to reset our batteries more than a few weekends. Here are some fond memories we got to share with Ryuji Mitani, Junko Mitani, Ai Hosokawa, Tsubaki Hosokawa, Hijiri Kojima and Yayoi Arimoto during their visit to Canada.

Above: The summer specially around here, smoked white fish, rye crackers, cream cheese and dill, along with a cucumber salad.


Trading off playing guitar with Mr. Mitani, he covered 500 miles by Peter Paul and Mary, along with some old Kayama Yuzo tunes.


We always eat well up North.


Little Howell passed out.


Happy chubby boy.


So many photos of the lake.


Impossible to capture Sunset.

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Our home on the cover of Toronto Life

July 25th, 2014


Wow, what a pleasant surprise to see our home on the cover of Toronto Life! This magazine has always been good to us, and has surprised us many times. Maybe the most notable press we got when we first opened was being named number 5 of the 50 reasons to love Toronto.

Thanks again Toronto Life! Please pick up an issue and check out the other great interiors and some new images of our place!


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Mjolk this summer

July 24th, 2014


So many people come to the store and always say that the shop is a lot bigger in person. That is usually because we rarely photograph the back half of our showroom.

There was some nice light earlier in the morning, so we decided to take a few images. Here is a little glimpse of what we have at the moment.


TMM floor lamp by Migel Mila
2209 leather sofa by Borge Mogensen
Spanish chair by Borge Mogensen
Spine coffee table and Lounge (right) by Space Copenhagen
Walnut side table by George / Mira Nakashima
Table lamp by George / Mira Nakashima


Shoji cabinet by Mjolk + Studio Junction
Hiroshima armchairs by Naoto Fukasawa
Roundish table by Naoto Fukasawa
Hunting chair by Borge Mogensen
Photograph by Peter Andrew

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Ryuji Mitani works added to our webshop

July 22nd, 2014


I know there were quite a few inquiries about when we would be putting Mr. Mitani’s work online, and I am pleased to say everything is finally available on our webshop:


Here is a sampling of what is available.

(above plum blossom dish with black and white Japanese urushi lacquer)


Cross plates.


A baby spoon, bowl, and plate gift set.


A specially made Chemex coffee sleeve in mountain cherry.


Black and white urushi coffee cups.


A set of nesting bowls.


Tea leaf box in mountain cherry.


A unique white lacquer bowl.


Mr Mitani’s beautiful signature.

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