I’ve been meaning to write about this subject for some time, but between summer and the Nakashima exhibition, we’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind. We haven’t shared much of our house yet, mostly because we are still settling in! It takes quite some time to feel comfortable putting art up (or acquiring it) and finding special textiles that take a space to the next level of homeyness.
We have a flex space that is currently Elodie’s bedroom (she’ll move to another room once either a) another baby comes along, or b) she escapes her crib and becomes ready for a big kid bed. She has been sleeping in here since December but we’ve only just felt like the room is complete. It’s a small space that is ALL windows and doors. So that makes for a challenge when it comes to shelving and art. I think ultimately though, this isn’t a play room. It’s a sleeping space and needs to be calm and minimal. There is a nice pop of nature out the window (in Canada you legally need to have an operable window in each bedroom, so Studio Junction made a clever little courtyard, where we are in the process of planting some bamboo).
The second we saw the Leander crib and change table we knew it would be perfect for our new home. I had some serious baby brain going on when I put it together but the craftsmanship is really solid and it’s wearing really well despite the odd bite mark around the edges. We invested in the bed because it also turns into a toddler bed, by expanding by about another foot and a half. The only worry I have is that if I turn it into a toddler bed now, we’ll eventually need another crib. I wish buying the toddler bed wasn’t as expensive as buying the crib. If anyone in the Toronto area is selling or sees one for sale, let me know!!!
We found this mobile via Remodelista (oddly I cannot find the post) and ultimately bought it from the maker as the store they had linked in the story didn’t ship to Canada. Another piece that is perfect for both a baby and an adult space (would look nice in a sheltered garden for example).
Pia Wallen Cross Baby Blanket is now available at Mjölk (though may not be online yet). Adult version also available.
Bunny was a birthday gift from a very lovely customer.
This carpet we bought via Etsy. John was looking for Moroccan rugs and this was added while he was lurking on a page. It jumped out at us for Elodie’s room. Since she lives in a pretty neutral world, we thought it’d be that extra punch of colour necessary to make it a less serious space. And even though it’s kid friendly, I think it’s a rug she could love and use into adulthood (that is, after her inevitable rejection phase).
Needing some storage we turned to the much loved Ribba picture shelves from Ikea.
Painting at top was commissioned by Melinda Josie, of our cats. The elephant picture was made by our friend Hollie as a birthday gift. The wood blocks with Elodie’s name are from our friends over at Ltd. Supply Kitchen Brewery (ok, they are our besties, but check out what they are up to if you’re into craft beer).
The Muji CD player is the perfect little thing for a nursery. The giraffe was a surprise gift from Jake of Machine Age Modern. Some vintage and new Moomin books. A Dala Horse from our wedding. The Chalk Piggy Bank was bought from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio (wow they’ve been busy!). Monkey is from our first trip to Copenhagen together. String is from when we tried to sell it in the shop but it proved too complicated. Portrait of us (just pregnant and not knowing it) is by Phillipa C in collaboration with what was Russet & Empire, during the first Junction Design Crawl (mark your calendar, next one is Friday August 23rd!!).
On the left was a gift from Arounna and John of Bookhou.
The print on the right is a signed and numbered lithograph that I coincidentally bought on the same day the rug arrived. Serendipitously they have the same colour scheme and sealed the look for the space. I happened to wander over to Williams on Keele, and as I was chatting away my eyes kept scouring. The print was originally in a fake bamboo style frame and I could only see a part of the gold section – somehow I knew it was a Japanese print worth checking out. I asked to look at it and was shocked, $45! I NEVER luck out with finds like this. Honestly, we debated putting this piece in our room, but Elodie liked it from the get go. She gave it a kiss.
We immediately took it to our new framing friends over at The Gilder. It costs a bit more to get a custom white oak frame but so much better than all the generic styles that are readily available.
The Hans Wegner J16 rocking chair and Artek Zebra Pillow. We use this rocking chair every day, and once this room is no longer a nursery, it will most likely move up to the cottage to continue to be enjoyed.
Moving away from the bedroom, we all know kids stuff gets everywhere. I was starting to feel like we have too much stuff, but have realized we barely have anything. We have two bins and half the stuff is for babies. Elodie doesn’t slow down much to play anyway. She likes running around and practicing skills like climbing up and down. So books and balls and babies are the only things she really interacts with (not even blocks!). The above cardboard box? Needs to go in the recycling…she’s over it.
Elodie loves her chair by Tomii Takashi. It’s the perfect size.
Not pictured is the Ikea easel, for colouring….
And yes, she colours outside of the box. This has been like this for weeks too. Ohhh we are certainly not perfect over here!
The Brasilia coffee table by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a perfect sort of coffee table. Soft rounded corners and hollow means we don’t have to worry about bumps on the head. Except when she climbs up onto the table and jumps off, a constant fascination.
She barely pays any mind to that Masanobu Ando sculpture. And if she does we just take it and move it up high. But generally she’s not all that interested in the stuff around the house. Now that’s obviously her personality, and not all kids will act this way. I find that she gets into trouble if she’s bored or tired.
In the living room there are some low shelves for Elodie’s toys.
Shhh sleeping bunny. Also, banana hands, everywhere, always.
Finally on this not so kid friendly yet kid friendly home tour, the rocking sheep (contact us for info, not on website), which for some reason ended up in our bedroom but has yet to leave. And really, it’s quite nice in our room. A touch of kid in an adult space.
Note: Based on this post it seems like we get a lot of free stuff, but it’s not usually the case. Babies bring the love.
Last week on Wednesday night we opened our doors for the opening reception of the first Nakashima retrospective in Canada. We had an incredible turn-out and we thank everyone who took the time to visit and say hello to us and the Yarnall-Nakashima family.
An Ikebana bowl specially made by Masanobu Ando, and a flower arrangement by Mira Nakashima with flowers from Coriander Girl. So beautiful!
Conoid dining chairs made with walnut and carved hickory pickets.
Beautiful lounge chairs in cherry with maple burl arms.
Asa-no-ha cabinet with a Conoid coffee table in front. Tea ceremony tools by Masanobu Ando.
Large vase by Uchida Kouichi on the left, and Urushi tea containers, and tooled tray by Shingo Tsukuda.
A Mira box / jewelry box.
Nakashima belongs in our showroom.
The most beautiful wood boxes and trays by Tsukuda Shingo.
The tori arch of the Conoid Bench.
A special vase by Japanese potter Uchida Kouichi resting on the edge of the bench.
Hand tooled wooden trays by Tsukuda Shingo.
Peeking into the rarely photographed back half of our showroom.
Tea Ceremony bowls and trays made by Masanobu Ando.
A unique collection of Calligraphy tools made by Masanobu Ando for the exhibition. Mira Nakashima was nice enough to lend us her Calligraphy brushes for the exhibition display.
One of our favourite collections in the exhibition, the desk, the Captain’s chair and the table lamp are spectacular. Hovering above is a silver glazed cross by Masanobu Ando. Ando-san doesn’t have a connection to the cross, but he saw many on a trip to Europe and thought they would make a nice wall flower vase.
Grass-seated chairs with a wall hanging cabinet.
Ultimo bench with Japanese indigo fabric.
Minguren end table with vase by Uchida Kouichi.
Black copper glazed lidded statues by Uchida Kouichi.
Hand chiseled black urushi coated tableware by famous wood craftsman Ryuji Mitani.
A collection of hammered silver works by Mami and Takejiro Hasegawa.
The Opening reception with Mira Nakashima in her summer Yukata.
A collection of woodworkers (including our architect Peter Tan) nerding out ;)
The two Johns – John Baker & Jon Yarnall (Mira’s husband, woodworker and head of the Nakashima chair department).
A big thank you to:
Fielding Estate Winery - your wine was highly complimented all evening. Thank you for helping make our evening a special success.
Sali Tabacchi – we adore your innovative program design!
Mira and Jon Yarnall, Maria and Maya for coming to Toronto to be a part of this historic event.
Please mark your calenders! Next Wednesday on June 26th we are presenting the first North American exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. The evening reception starts from 7:00 – 10:00pm, and Tomii Takashi is flying here all the way from Japan to attend the opening and meet you all.
We just received a sizable collection of work that will be making it’s debut next week, and everything is incredible. I took the liberty to photograph a sampling of what to expect come opening night, all of the pieces in this post and many more will be available for sale (and not before).
Anyone who loves wood should be in attendance to this show, please invite your friends.
Here is our little write up for the exhibition:
Tomii Takashi is known as a prodigy in Japan and is quickly becoming one of the most recognized wood workers in his field. His work exhibits very clean modern forms that are contrasted by soft tool marks. These marks leave a connection to the maker, and also reveal that such refined work can be made by the hand.
Tomii Takashi’s interest in woodworking began during his one year stay in Vernonia, Oregon where forestry is the key industry. After coming back to Japan in 1995, he started to carve kitchen tools such as butter knives, spatulas, and spoons out of twigs he gathered in the nearby hills. Although he dedicated himself to science experiments throughout his student years, he was inclined to cook and collect kitchenware, ceramics, and wooden tools and furniture. Gradually he started to dream of living by making wooden tableware, and finally in 2002 when he was 25, left graduate school and entered the “Shinrin Takumi Juku” where he learned solid wood furniture making for 2 years. He then worked for Oak Village in Gifu.
In 2008, Tomii moved to Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture and started creating wooden tableware for daily use in his workshop in Minamiyamashiro, Kyoto. All of his pieces are hand tooled or turned on a lathe into very simple and beautiful shapes.
Tomii lives with his wife, Miyuki who helps his work, a daughter and a son. They are enjoying their everyday lives surrounded by rich nature.
Incredibly deep bread trays made from one solid block of chestnut.
Hand chiseled oak tray, with small sakura dish and lotus spoons.
Large Japanese white urushi lacquer-ware bowls
Tomii Takashi will see you next Wednesday!
What an exciting week! We received the printed copies of Mjolk Volume II, and I’m always so amazed at how good the photos look after being printed. Photographs must long to be printed because there is just something that doesn’t translate to screen viewing.
After grabbing a copy for ourselves, it is a ritual for us to go over the entire book as if we are reading it for the first time. Of course we have read the book over and over, but there is something about turning the pages of the finished version that is like experiencing the book for the first time, and getting into the head space of a new reader.
There are some notable changes, we went from around 104 pages in our first book to a whopping 144 pages in the second. Of course we are still advert free, so it’s 144 pages of pure content. We’ve also learned a lot from the first book, and know what we liked and what we didn’t like. Based on these decisions we decided to focus on editorial content only, shifting from a magazine / catalog hybrid to a proper book. Last but not least I think the overall voice is clearer, as this time we set out to do the interviews and photographs while the first time was more of a mosaic from our personal travel photos.
We’ve started sending our books to our faithful stockists already, so if you’re in a city and want to get a copy of the new issue we appreciate you being patient to support your local retailers. If we’re not carried in your city yet (and there’s a good chance that we aren’t) please let your local book or special interest shop know! We’ve been picked up numerous times because of customers who wanted to buy it locally.
Above: The Nakashima article, with a tour of the Nakashima studio and houses complemented by an interview with Mira Nakashima. The Nakashima exhibit at Mjölk is July 24 (runs for about a month). Mira Nakashima will be in attendance.
The cover which is the entrance to wood artisan Tomii Takashi’s home. I hope to introduce you all to Tomii when he visits us next week on Wednesday, June 26th, for his first solo exhibition in North America!
To pick up a copy of Mjölk Volume II, visit our webshop or come into the store!
Last Thursday I went with Emily Tu, our book designer, to the press approval for Mjölk Volume 2. It was my first time going (John went last time) and I got to see what a big job printing these books is.
We get it printed at Warren’s Waterless Waterless Printing, thanks to our friends over at Pure Green Magazine, who suggested it. We like that it’s printed locally, so that we can see the paper, process, and proofs, plus they are environmentally responsible. All that AND they are the same price as others quoted (in Toronto).
Above we discuss the proofs, which are unfortunately on coated paper, which makes it tricky to tell exactly how it will be on our paper stock. This is unfortunately industry standard and the paper manufacturer has no ambition to offer an uncoated proofing paper.
The aluminum plates (our book had about 9). The plates are etched directly from the computer, so there are actually images and type all over the green, but because the ink hasn’t touched it yet you cannot see it. Where you see the black writing is where Dave, the production manager, put a felt tip marker to it.
After approving the cover, they ran it. On the left is the black plate. On the right is the stack of covers.
The press, plus the black and blue plate. Each of the three colours and black have their own plate.
Running some recycled paper through to prime the press.
Removing a page from the press.
Then the technician places it on a table where the colour bands along the side get analyzed by a computer (left), then transfers the paper to another table where they can make adjustments to how much ink is distributed along each plate (right).
This was pretty impressive, as a lot of decisions have to be made here. Of course it’s nice for a client to sign off on all pages, but we weren’t able to hang out until 3am!
The ubiquitous calendar / clock (that isn’t a clock) shop shot.
Thank you to Dave who took the time to show us around!
Mjölk Volume 2 is arriving this afternoon, just in time since we have sold out of Volume 1!