General

Anderssen & Voll + Mjolk: Garden Works

February 3rd, 2015

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We never formally got to introduce all of the individual works in the Garden Works collection by Anderssen & Voll, so I thought I would share each piece  along with some words by A&V.

 

Anderssen & Voll on the Garden Works Project:

Research has taught us that people who do gardening are happier than people who don’t. Either gardening makes you happy or you are more inclined to do gardening if you tend to be happier than the average. Anyway, the conclusion is the same: gardening is good for you. For this project we chose to work with natural materials to ensure that the products would tolerate heavy use and still age with grace. This is closely linked to the Japanese notion of “Aji-ga-deru” – a patina in the object and an understanding of the object that can be obtained only through long term interaction between the object and the hand. The collaboration with John, Juli and the team of Toronto artisans and crafts people has been amazing in terms of the contribution to expression and content from everyone involved. We can’t imagine how these results could have been reached with any other people in any other way.As the Norwegian manufacturing industry is in decline, the presence of Norwegian designers on the international design scene is growing stronger. These opposite motions may be seen as a paradox, but on the other hand, one thing might be following the other. Without a strong industry as a unifying platform, the designers spread out to form a richer and more varied field. Norwegian design should be viewed as an independent exporting industry of its own: Made in Canada – Designed in Norway.

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Herb Pot

The herb pot containers are primarily meant as safe havens for the pots of fresh herbs you buy at the grocery store. In our experience these herbs lead an unsafe existence once they hit the kitchen counter: heavily plucked and with no designated place to stay.

The pots are made from hand thrown terracotta, the side opening promotes watering the soil from the bottom instead of from the top, which displaces soil and exposes sensitive root systems. Watering from the bottom promotes healthy root growth and as a result, a bigger plant.

The opening on the side also allows you to pour away excess water 20 minutes after watering.

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Herb Pot Large

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Min Watering Can

Indoor gardening is a miniature world. Clean, cultivated and controlled. In this context, we wanted to work with the watering can as a precision tool: a big, softly shaped wooden handle with references to kitchen utensils, a relatively small volume of water leading out in a long and precise spout. The ornamental dialogue between the sensuous shape of the handle and the drawings of the wood grain is something we really appreciate in this product.

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Water Bulb

The water saver has basically the same function as a PET-water bottle turned upside down. The water is filtered through the soil and seeps slowly into the pot. We adapted this function to a sculptural glass object that mimics the plant and that would be nice enough to park in your flower pots even when it’s not in use.

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New Mexico Cactus Pots

Cacti and succulents enjoy being watered directly into well drained soil. Their roots should never be standing in water. Our answer to this was to lift the pot on a short stem above the water collecting disc. The ornament on the disc as well as the chosen colour palette (not pictured) is influenced by our image of sun baked landscapes and the natural habitats of cacti: New Mexico, Arizona or even closer destinations like The Canary Islands.

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Anderssen + Voll at Mjolk exhibition and opening night

January 27th, 2015

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On Wednesday January 21st we co-hosted the first retrospective for Anderssen & Voll with the help of the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
We had an incredible turn out, between 500 – 600 visitors within a 3 hour window. Thank you everyone who came to the opening and came out during the rest of design week. Of course if you want to visit us, the exhibition will be on for most of February.

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Oslo Sofa and Grid cushion for Muuto, blankets for Røros Tweed and Jøtul wood stove.

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A little reveal of the Oslo sofa and Grid cushion.

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The Ori pepper / salt mill, Wrong for Hay. We picked up the soft green version for our home and are really enjoying it.

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The prototype of the Good Morning Moka pot, soon to be put into production.

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The rest sofa and ottoman for Muuto, Elephant tables by Wrong For Hay and blankets for Røros Tweed.

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The Tibu bar stool in the classic A&V colour palette. These are produced by Italian company Magis.

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The magical Yoko lamp for Foscarini.

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One of the product collaborations produced locally in Toronto: “New Mexico Cactus Pots”. The design consists of a clay pot floating above a sculpted saucer. This allows for proper drainage, so the cactus is never sitting in water, thus ensuring a happy life.

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The Min watering can, the starting place for the Indoor Garden Works project. We settled on producing the watering can in brass or copper with an oak or walnut handle. Nicest watering can ever?

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The Glass water bulb is a water saver that automatically waters your plants if you go away on a trip, or keeps thirsty plants like ferns hydrated if you can’t keep up with watering them.

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The hand-thrown herb pots, the idea being to water the herbs from the bottom instead of from the top, which displaces soil and exposes sensitive root systems. Watering from the bottom promotes healthy root growth and as a result, a bigger plant.

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We were awarded Best in Festival: New Work, the highest prize for the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, for this innovation!

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The collection together.

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Elodie testing out the Tibu stools, colour coordinated and all.

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The soft sage green float candle holder on a solid oak Elephant table.

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The grey glass water-saver in practice.

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Some photos from our opening night: thank you to all of our generous sponsors, you really helped make it a special night, along with all our wonderful guests!

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VOSS water kept everyone hydrated.

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Parts and Labour provided some incredible catering using fresh Norwegian seafood from DOM International, and Jarlsberg cheeses from Norseland.

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Espen Voll and Jan-Terje Studsvik Storaas from our sponsor, the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

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Norwegian seafood soup shooters.

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Mushroom tart.

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Whipped Smoked Cod Mousse on Kettle Chip.

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Creamy Cold Water Salad Shrimp on Rye Toast with Pickeled Quail Egg

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Speech!

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From left:

Espen Voll, Torbjorn Anderssen, John Baker, Juli Daoust Baker, Jan-Terje Studsvik Storaas.

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Thank you also to Innovation Norway for your contributions!

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Anderssen & Voll + Mjolk

January 12th, 2015

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Please join us for the first North American retrospective of Norwegian Industrial Design Studio Anderssen & Voll exhibition their most iconic works to date, along with the launch of a new Collection of Indoor Garden tools made by Toronto based Artisans.

Opening reception Wednesday Janaury 21st from 7:00pm – 10:00pm (Open to the public)
Anderssen & Voll will be in attendance during the reception.
Catering by Parts & Labour
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Creativ Boards

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Creativ Boards

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Thinking about Aureola

December 28th, 2014

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The bustle of holiday shopping is over, and now it’s time to start working on getting some production underway.
We’ve been talking all weekend about our second project with Luca Nichetto and Lera Moiseeva, a teapot called Aureola.

Here are some images taken recently by Blaise Misiek of our first round of prototypes.

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Mjolk 5 year anniversary

December 22nd, 2014

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We’re so happy to announce of 5 year anniversary. It was actually Monday of last week but unfortunately we weren’t in the most celebratory mood, so we are celebrating today!
In some ways it feels like we haven’t been open very long, and in others it feels like we have been open a lifetime. The whole retail scope has completely changed from when we first opened, peoples shopping habits have changed, stores have become vastly more sophisticated visually all in a very short period of time.

It makes it even more important to continue to develop products with the designers we admire and respect like the CEREMONY collection by Claesson Koivisto Rune, Sucabaruca and Aureola by Luca Nichetto, and a new collection by Anderssen & Voll launching next month. We plan to  host more exhibitions with an even wider range of artists, designers and artisans and expand our mjolk books. These things are an extension of Mjolk and a result of all of the experiences we have had since we opened.

In celebration of these new projects we thought it would be fitting to give away Sucabaruca cookies, and even a Luca Nichetto cookie made by our friend Lindsey Gazel to celebrate the limited edition collection of Sucabaruca coffee sets which are made right here in Toronto.

We look forward to another 5 years at Mjolk, with all of us still here at our home and store in Toronto.

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There are too many people to thank for the last 5 years, but we will try to thank you in person whenever we get the chance.

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So long my friend

December 15th, 2014

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Last night we said goodbye to our beautiful friend Isha. She was 18 years old and her kidneys and other ailments had caught up to her age.

We found her (and handsome Grover) at the Toronto Humane Society. If you’re ever looking to adopt, please don’t pass these older cats up – they still have so much love to give and receive.

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