Tuesday night we were excited to go to the opening reception for The Gardiner Museum‘s new exhibition, True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada. Curated by Dr. Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow, we are honoured that our Garden Works collaboration with Anderssen & Voll is on display.
From the press release: Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.
The exhibition was designed by friend of the shop Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc. Loved the Alto-esque paper room divider and the intimate wall colours.
During the Q&A discussion, there was a bit of talk about how a lot of the designers were married couples. Naturally we like this dynamic a lot!
In the contemporary designers section there are a lot of local designers and artisans, such as Castor, Sean Plaice, MSDS, and Bookhou. It was nice to see everyone in the same place.
The exhibition book was a nice surprise, containing some essays and the exhibition catalog. The fire tools pictured are from a project we have been working on with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere (to be launched in January).
Please go see this show at the Gardiner Museum, running until January 8.
We were recently pleased to receive Yoshinori Yano at Mjölk. At the time, his works had become unfortunately waylaid by a postage fiasco, shunted around the East Coast and Montreal before finally making it to our shop. As a result, we had to cancel our opening. Although this seemed a terrible thing, we ultimately got to have an altogether different experience. On a Saturday afternoon, Mr. Yano did some woodworking in the shop, and chatted with curious customers, press and passersby.
We were fortunate to be able to borrow some woodworking tools from Peter Tan of Studio Junction.
The result of this day is a delicate leaf. Thankfully a few days after Mr. Yano left the boxes arrived. They are now in the showroom and in the online webshop. Thank you to all who made it in on short notice, and to all who took an eager interest in the woodworking demo!
Yoshinori Yano’s sculptures are both ethereal and organic; through them he communicates a quintessentially Japanese idea of beauty in nature.
His technique is slow and measured, using simple hand tools to reveal each form, evoking emotions and ideas already present in nature: a delicate breeze of wind or the melancholy drizzle of rain.
Born in 1973 in Tokyo to a family of artists, Yoshinori Yano discovered woodworking during his studies in Capellagågarden, Sweden. Upon returning to Japan he completed a three year apprenticeship before opening his own studio in the city of Itoshima, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan in 2003.
Additionally, not pictured in this post but available via the link above are a variety of vases, mobiles and art objects.
Sculptural natural forms.
A variety of platters/trays/dishes/cups/vessels for use.
A leaf carved during our impromptu meet and greet. A vessel.
A sculpture and a wall vase.
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.”
A soft white wall vase inspired by England.
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.
Textiles by Akiko Ando
A chabako, Tea ceremony set
Thank you to everyone who came out to the opening party!
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.
Mr. Ando performing a Chinese tea ceremony.
As always, we had a very engaged and enthusiastic crowd.
On this beautiful Tuesday morning we wanted to share some photos of the Jasper Morrison Shop which we finally had a chance to visit during our trip to London.
The shop is tucked away in a courtyard behind a big black door that you have to buzz to gain access to. Once you’re in the courtyard you can see a warm wood space frame with an industrial galvanized steel door frame and windows.
A little seating alcove in the courtyard.
An amazing collection of everyday utility design from around the world. I purchased the perfect ice cream scoop.
The studio entrance with buzzer.
The path from the entrance heading towards the studio.
Right after the Jasper Morrison shop visit we walked down the street to visit another iconic London based shop Labour and Wait. A place we have always wanted to visit, and they did not disappoint. The facade is beautiful with its rich glossy green tiles. Inside, it’s what a true neighbourhood home goods store should be. We picked up a nice white oak twine holder to be used in the shop.
A little more from our trip later…
Another month, another exhibition! We invited Japanese maker Takayoshi Narita of Studio Tint to join us for the first international solo exhibition of his cookware. Using a combination of iron and stainless steel, Narita crafts cookware items that are beautiful functional objects that have been greatly considered in both use and feel. His items balance themselves, perfectly weighted by each handle. They are a true indication of his skill, dedication and respect towards his practice.
He works with a technique known as wrought-iron. Each piece begins as a flat plate of either iron or stainless steel. They are then heated and softened in a coal oven, removed and hammered into form. This process is repeated until the final results are achieved. Narita has been working in this medium for the past 19 years and his products are sought worldwide.
He arrived in Toronto with stacks of stainless steel plates, bowls and spoons, all with their own unique surface texture. The stainless steel changes over time, staining and polishing with use.
The wrought-iron works included fry pans, woks, plates, spoons and the most charming wall hung vases. These pieces act similarly to cast iron cookware, they have a natural non-stick surface but heat much faster due to the thickness of the hammered surface.
To view more of the works please head to the Mjölk website!
We were lucky to host Takayoshi Narita and his collaborator Seiko Tanaka for several days. In that time we arranged a lunch workshop, a meal prepared by Seiko using hand made tools by Narita, something that we will be sharing with you shortly!