General

Hotel Okura

October 28th, 2015

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On our last trip to Japan in June, we made sure to book into Hotel Okura before it closed for demolition (the South Tower remains, but the Main Building was where the true magic was).

No word of a lie, as the taxi drove up to the entrance, the James Bond theme song was playing.

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The font, colours, signage, MOOD all together was truly so special. Also the nods to a distant past, like the writing desk areas. Too bad they are so quaint and unused nowadays.

 

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L: Taxi drop off/pick up at South Tower (I wish the lights were easier to capture!)
R: Greenery and Mural in the South Tower Lobby

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Every detail has been considered, with similar geometric shapes.
Top: Pendant lights, pot lights and sunlights.
Bottom Left: Light wells, and carpets in basement elevator zone, to South Tower.
Bottom Right: Inside the elevator, elevator roof details and font.

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Linking the two towers underground is a shopping plaza, yet another reminder of another time. Gift shops, clothing, art and books are all available.

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Carpet, Ikebana, Font.

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Main lobby at night. Large tree, stone and water installation.

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Lobby waiting area. Large scale but intimate.

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Love the Smoke Bush.

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A more intimate sitting area off to the side.

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The Orchid Bar was from another time. Waiters in tuxedos. Classic cocktails. Mother of pearl shell backsplash. Cigarette smoke.

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Signage, from when they had travel agents on hand to make arrangements, now done on personal phones and computers.

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Cloakroom and Kimono.

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Hotel Okura selfie.

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So many amenities.

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Lobby during the day.

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Another outside view of the Main Building.

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Triangle tile work.

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Carpets at Mjölk

October 26th, 2015

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Happy Monday! We got some R and R in thanks to help from the grandparents, who took the kids for the weekend. Every parent’s dream. We hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather too.

We’ve been tiptoeing back into selling rugs, with a limited selection of Kilims and Berbers. Adding texture via carpets is essential to bringing warmth and interest into a room.

Above: Another Rug, in our entryway at home. Absolutely love it!

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Another Rug, by All The Way To Paris for &tradition
Manufactured using the ancient Kilim technique.
$650 – 90cm x 240cm runner version in stock, other sizes can be ordered. Unfortunately it’s not yet on our website but we are always available via email or phone.

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Black and White Berber rugs, made in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Made to order, prices vary accordingly.

In stock: Black with white, 400cm x 340cm $5440.00

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Carpets by Jurgen Lehl
We are honoured to have acquired three from his exhibition back in October 2014. These are some of his last designs.

Handwoven wool rug.
Made in Tunisia.

Above: 84cm x 221cm $2000.00

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51cm x 80cm $550

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50cm x 102cm $600

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Kaori Juzu at Mjölk

October 19th, 2015

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Thank you everyone who saw our most recent exhibition with Japanese / Danish enamel artist Kaori Juzu. It was such a pleasure to have Kaori come here all the way from Denmark and allow us to show her incredible works with you.

We are currently working on our new website which will include all of the work that is still available for sale, but in the meantime if you see anything in this post that you might be interested in please feel free to send us an email through our Mjolk address.

This grouping of brooches above are some of my favourite works in the show. They are all visually quite soft and the depth of colour is brilliant. It is hard to imagine some of these shapes (especially the pinched work on the top right) are hand from hammered copper.

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A grouping of earrings on the left, and the lovely exhibition catalog in the center.

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Very architectural pendant necklaces.

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Some of the newest works presented in the exhibition. These are also pendant necklaces.

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Tabletop display.

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Here is Kaori at the opening reception of her exhibition.

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Selected Solo Exhibition: Kaori Juzu

September 23rd, 2015

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Please join us and Kaori for the opening reception of Selected Solo: An exhibition of enamelware by Kaori Juzu.

Thursday, September 24th 2015 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Mjölk, 2959 Dundas Street West. Artist in attendance.

Kaori Juzus’ jewellery is a gentle and sophisticated blend of materials, techniques, texture and pattern.

Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Kaori moved to Bornholm, Denmark, to study art. She apprenticed with the Danish jewellery designer Per Suntum before establishing her own practice.

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Each piece she creates is carefully crafted from copper, silver and gold and is hammered into their individual forms. Colour and texture is applied through multiple layers of enamel, a form of powdered glass, which is then fired at high temperatures to transform wearable objects into art.

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Her process is laborious and time consuming. It is also conscientious of the interactions between forms and environment. Kaori Juzu seeks to enhance the expressive quality of an object by giving depth and texture to form, allowing form and surface to melt together.

Above three images are brooches.

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Above two photos are necklace.

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The enamelware and shapes echo natural forms.

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Single earring.

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Visiting Jicon in Arita, Japan

August 24th, 2015

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During our visit to Japan we had the pleasure of visiting the Jicon showroom and workshop located in Arita, Japan. At Mjölk we are only carrying stock of two different plates and the Jicon collection is our most refined service. The brand was co-founded by Japanese designer Oji Masanori and Imamura Kenichi with a focus on creating beautiful everyday objects made from Amakusa Touseki (porcelain stone).

The word Jicon means “porcelain (ji) in modern times (con).” In the Buddhist words, JICON is very similar to the phrase Carpe Diem, meaning “seize the day”. The history of the Imamura family making porcelain dates back 350 years, as a house kiln under the patronage of the Hirado clan.

The most striking realization about visiting Jicon in person was that the entire production is done entirely by husband and wife Imamura Kenichi and Imamura Maki. To see the hand process was a revelation, and gives us a greater respect and appreciation of these beautiful objects.

We hope you enjoy these images and videos.

 

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A beautiful sign board designed by Oji Masanori.

 

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The showroom.

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Porcelain exposed knob and tube wiring. Something surprisingly beautiful in its purity, but for safety reason illegal here in North America.

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Broken fragments of antique porcelain fill the cracks in the concrete floor.

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A mix of brass works, and the Jicon pitcher by Oji Masanori.

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The kiln.

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Imamura Kenichi shaping a meshi-wan bowl.

 

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The potter wheels look out onto a small courtyard.

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Imamura Maki wiping the dust off each porcelain work.

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The glazing process.

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Their son drew this, of all the people directly involved in the process, including a portrait of Oji Masanori.

 

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A few other noteworthy highlights: On left, champon, a local to the region specialty (this photo was taken in another town, closer to the sea). On right, where they used to get porcelain materials from, however, now there is nothing left.
Follow Juli and John on Instagram!

 

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Visiting Jicon, part 2

August 24th, 2015

We were so impressed by Jicon and their small production and processes that we managed to take a couple of videos.

Imamura Kenichi shaping a meshi-wan bowl.

Imamura Kenichi showing us the glazing process. Each piece is individually handled from start to finish. Incredible!

See and read more about Jicon here.

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