One of our favorite design teams Anderssen-Voll have designed the most beautiful assortment of kitchen tool prototypes for the new Norwegian collective project called “Food Work“. Whenever I see their new prototypes, I can’t help but selfishly think “how can I get these beautiful things into Mjolk!?” Hopefully one day we’ll be able to persuade Torbjørn and Espen to get on a plane to Toronto and host an exhibition of their work.
Here is the work they created for the exhibition complete with descriptions in their own words:
Good morning moka pot. A morning without coffee is like sleep. A good morning is fueling up with your own, home-brewed espresso. This is our dream pot: a hybrid of the classic Italian pots, traditional Japanese handicraft, and Norwegian cravings for extra strong coffee. The pot is made in aluminum, with a walnut handle. The way the pot is divided tells the story of the transition from the crude to the refined – from beans and water to pure pleasure.
Tuamotu cooking top. The small gas top is your atoll of gastronomic cooking pleasures. The solid marble base and cast iron details are elements of a rustic and contemporary attitude. These are classic and basic materials adjusted to a personalized and compact way of living. Everyday luxury with high quality materials and a timeless expression.
Chef wooden containers. These are small, multipurpose containers turned in pine wood. The shape is a direct result of how the hands usually operate in opening and closing containers: a truly handmade outline.
Ori grinders and salt cellar. These grinders and cellar were results from experimenting with origami in our studio. The shapes of folds and crystals inspired the idea of milling salt and pepper. The conflict between the top and the bottom parts is a physical representation of the internal grinding process. The grinders and cellar are made from maple wood and Corian.
I was having a conversation last week about my favourite architect Alvar Aalto, and as I chirped away I mentioned the very beautiful details of Maison Louis Carré. I’m usually not one for taking others photographs and putting them on Kitka, but I’ve been compiling some inspirational photography to keep as a reference for our own home and I felt compelled to share with you these beautiful photographs.
Each set actually comes from very different places:
The first is by Doctor Casino – a Flickr user who has a wonderful eye for architectural photography.
The second was pulled from the Maison Louis Carré website.
And the third – a contemporary fashion shoot by photographer Ben Sandler.
The home itself was completed in 1959 for very famous art collector Louis Carré. Aalto was asked to make a family home in the French country side with an incorporated gallery. Aalto felt that both art and family life are not separated by one and another, in fact the tendency is the reverse. There is a very intimate connection between them.
The other stipulation the client asked of Aalto was that the home be made of materials that had lived.
This was a task that Aalto was pleased with. He sourced the stone work locally from Chartres, and treated the brick with a white plaster lime-wash. The exterior was completed with copper sheeting, pine, and a slate roof.
The exterior is perhaps one of Aalto’s most extensive with regards to landscaping – carving down the elevation from the back of the home like waves creating a visual downward movement.
The elements on the inside are just as beautiful as the exterior.
Let’s take a look…
An armchair 406 in natural leather.
Many of the lighting fixtures were produced specifically for this project.
A room surrounded by books was very important to the client.
The exterior with lime-washed bricks.
The elevations in the landscaping.
Above photos by Doctor Casino.
Some details worth taking a close look at.
Above photos from: http://www.maisonlouiscarre.fr/
This collection of photographs was something I’ve had bookmarked forever, and since it was featured in so many places I didn’t think it was necessary to share them. However, if we’re compiling photographs of Maison Louis Carré, it would be a sin to not include this set.
One of my favourite pendants, the turnip light. I’m hoping Artek will put this back into production at some point.
Photography by Ben Sandler
Just in the midst of finishing up this post our Lime-washer Ben, who is actually from Britain started lime-washing our own exposed brick wall. The elements of wood, copper, and white lime plaster are all inspired by Aalto’s natural palette and we’re excited to incorporate these elements in our new home.
I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s all finished.
It’s a rainy day here in Toronto, and I’m spending a quiet Sunday at the store reflecting on the past year and all of the amazing changes that have happened. There is nothing special about today, but it has a sort of significance for us because by this time next month we will have moved back into our home above the store.
Our mornings have consisted of talking about how nice it will be when we are back above the store, and our vision always includes enjoying coffee in various spots around the home. I go up almost every day to check on the progress, and I always find myself saying things like “Oh yes, the light is very nice here. This is the perfect place to have a cup of coffee.” In fact, there are 20 nice places to have coffee I think.
Now I feel a bit self conscious saying this next bit, but I think that if I acknowledge the stereotype all will be forgiven. Bloggers are often in the habit of apologizing about neglecting their blog, and we are guilty of this as well. We tell ourselves, once we are around nice surroundings we will be able to take more photos and talk with you more. I insist this is the truth, we will be back to our blogging ways soon enough.
Now I get a lot of people asking why we haven’t posted more photographs of the progress of our home, and I don’t really have a good answer. We’re always up for sharing most things, but this home is so intimate for us. I think over a time a mosaic of our home will be built with each post in the coming months. To just take a bunch of snaps of each room feels inappropriate. This is a space that needs time to settle in and evolve. Plus, if we show the whole house, how will we sell volume five of Mjolk?
Anyway, I’ve been holding on to these photos of Studio Junction’s new workshop. A space that we have greatly benefited from, as most of our mill work has churned out from here. New machines were buzzing away as I stopped by to visit a forest’s worth of white oak slated to be milled into doors, windows, and cabinets.
The work space is in a large brick building with a cantilevered mezzanine.
The work desk.
A prized Japanese hand saw.
A micro building model made of laminated wood.
The industrial glass windows are operable from this sliding track mechanism.
Piles and piles of white oak.
A huge slab of wenge being saved for something special – although we don’t know what that special something is yet!
The individual components for our doors.
The original light feature that was connected to the curve wall in our shop. The curve wall was originally part of an installation at the Gladtstone Hotel called “Come up to my room”. It was perfect timing because we commissioned our store shortly after and used the curved wall as a permanent feature at our store.
Seeing this, I wish we included the ceiling element as well!
The model of the infamous Courtyard House.
Only four more weeks to go. We can’t wait.
Onto Part 2 of our 3 part series on the Nakashima Studio. Today we visit the Reception house, the refinishing shop, and the lumber storage building.
The Reception house.
A vintage indigo dyed tapestry separates the showroom from the office area.
There’s a real sense of working in nature throughout the workshops.
The finishing building where coats of tung oil are hand applied to each piece.
Nakashima wall hanger.
The beautiful guest house, which we will be featuring in the 3rd volume of Mjolk. The ottomans have the original antique indigo cushions used for the Rockefeller’s Japanese home.
The traditional tea room complete with a cantilever to the garden to closer connect with nature.
The bathroom was tiled by Mira and her brother Kevin.
Hinoki and copper bath buckets.
The lumber storage building.
This is one of the most valuable collections of wood in the world, many lengths of old growth trees in the Nakashima collection do not even exist anymore.
The famous bow-tie inlay.
A specifically beautiful piece of 7′ American walnut destined to become a Conoid bench, you can see the curved line which will eventually be where the slated back will be constructed.
It’s a rainy day in Toronto so I thought I’d cheer you up with an Elodie update. I can’t believe these photos are from a month ago but whatever…she’s now almost 6 months old! It’s been so wonderful, yet challenging with the business. We really are just a mom and pop shop so we thank you all for your patience with us as we learn to balance this new and very demanding addition to our life!
These two are friends, really! Except that Isha doesn’t understand that she should stay very clear of Elodie’s very active feet.
Elodie is generally a pretty serious, taking it all in baby but when she smiles it’s pretty awesome. Elodie loves kicking in her bouncy chair, being read to (favourite book seems to be Goodnight Moon), staring at her hands in a very intense and fascinated manner, putting her foot in her mouth, chatting when the mood strikes her, licking apples, pretending to fly, staring at leaves dancing in the wind, sound effects, peek-a-boo (duh).
We also want to thank you for your lovely comments lately, especially regarding the guest cottage reno and the post about Elodie’s special gift! It’s always so nice to hear from you and we wish we could have a better system to approve the comments quicker and also answer them clearly so that you are aware that we are responding to your questions (we think you have to check back and that would be annoying as we don’t respond right away). If anyone knows of any plugins for WordPress that would help smooth this process over, let us know! In the meantime, know that we do read your comments and appreciate them very much (I even read through the infinite amount of spam we get to make sure comments don’t fall through the cracks).
Finally, we just returned home from a quick road trip to New Hope, PA to visit the George Nakashima studio. As soon as we can get the photos uploaded we’ll share a snippet on the blog.
Please mark your calenders for August 11th, because Japanese industrial designer Masanori Oji is coming back to Mjölk for his second exhibition.
Among a retrospect of Oji-san’s work he will also be debuting a collection of cutlery, a service of porcelain, and a collection of new wooden trays. In addition to promoting our new book which of course features several different artisans from Asahikawa Japan there will also be a curated exhibition of Asahikawa hand crafts present, many of which have not been exhibited in North America before. Last but certainly not least we will also be showcasing a collection of new glassware which is a collaboration between Oji Masanori and glass blowers Mr. and Mrs. Hira of Studio Preppa.
Oji-san sent us a statement about the exhibition he has titled ISSHO
ISSHO means doing something “together” in Japanese.
The word represents the link between minds and souls of people who make, design, communicate, and use objects, acknowledging the differences of viewpoint.
The movement itself of people linking together, giving respect to each other, is a large-scale, complex, and dynamic process, but it is born from a simple emotion.
“I share the same feeling together.” “Let’s eat together.” “Let’s play together.” “Let’s work together.” “Let’s be together.”
I think the happiest moment comes when everybody wants to stay together.
This time, I hold an exhibition with my friends and glass blowers, Mr. and Ms. HIRA of STUDIO PREPA.
Simple yet gorgeous tablewares designed by Oji & Design, making use of various Japanese traditional crafting techniques and materials.
Shiny and colorful cups and bowls which look like flowers secretly blooming in the grass field.
Thanks to their high-class glass refining and blowing techniques, these glasswares shine as if a layer of light is sealed in.
I believe they are the brightest in the world and quite happy to share this time and space together.
Of course, we will exhibit lots of other items made or designed by my Japanese friends, “together.”
It is my sincere hope to share this wonderful exhibition with you all!
- Oji Masanori
The exhibition will be held August 11th from 7 – 11pm for the opening reception, as well as a public showing from 12 – 5pm during the day on Sunday.