General

Luca Nichetto + Mjölk

January 24th, 2014

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Wednesday night we hosted the first Canadian exhibition for Italian designer Luca Nichetto. It was an incredibly cold night, but we were so happy to see the showroom quickly fill with hundreds of people for our opening reception.

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A platter of meats, cheeses, and our newly installed brass pendant lights by Jonas Lindvall for Wastberg.

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The exhibition was the debut of the Sucabaruca coffee set, as well as a retrospective of some of Luca’s most iconic works.

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The round tables from the Wolfgang series Luca designed for Fornasarig created a collection of “lilly pads” for displaying all of the exhibited works.

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Luca Nichetto talking to Scott Eunson who made the model used to create the porcelain slip-cast for the coffee set.

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The next morning Juli took some photographs of the showroom without people in them. Ceramic bookend for Petite Friture.

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We debuted the coloured versions of Sucabaruca during the exhibition, so these haven’t been shown anywhere yet. The collection called “pop” is a tribute to the eclectic artist Jean-Paul Goude. As well as the 1980s Memphis movement.

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The white porcelian set is inspired the fashion designer Martin Margiela.

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The pastel tones are reminiscent of the colours and sensitivity used in Japanese architecture.

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Stereo chair with oak legs for Casamania, Italy and a sandcast aluminum and oak side table for David Design, Sweden. Sitting on top is Luca’s timeline bowl for Swedish brass maker Skultuna.

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A cedar wood “Doc” car designed for part of the collection of toy cars by TobeUs – a project, 100% TobeUs, devised by Matteo Ragni.
Its goal is to take us back in time to the age of lightheartedness, if only for a few moments.

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We received two Design Lines loves tags, thank you very much for the support!

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Red Spoon vases for Salviati, Stewie floor lamp for Foscarini, and Timeline bowls for Skultuna.

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Ceramic clocks for Petite Friture.

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A ceramic floor lamp called “Vader” for Swedish design company David Design, as well as a concrete bench designed for Beijing Design week.

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A beautiful glass vase for Salviati.

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The ceramic umbra vase for Bosa.

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Sali Tabacchi designed an incredible book to compliment the exhibition. Luca had the idea of using these brass paper weights to keep the book open and lined them up on our long teak shelf.

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Luca Nichetto + Mjölk: Sucabaruca

January 21st, 2014

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Luca Nichetto + Mjolk Opening

Location: Mjölk, 2959 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6P 1Z2
Date: 22 January 2014 Time:  7 -9 pm (please RSVP)
Luca Nichetto will be in attendance.

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“The collaboration between Luca Nichetto and the Mjölk gallery started during the first visit of the Venetian designer in Canada, where, taking the suggestion of his friend Eero Koivisto he visited the Mjölk gallery, where he met with the gallerists John Baker and his wife Juli Daoust.

The warm and elegant environment, fitted out with finely crafted objects from all over Japan and Scandinavia, put Nichetto immediately at ease. During pleasant conversations with John and Juli, their common passion for design and detail have led them to think of a collaboration, which resulted in a product specifically designed for their gallery, along with a solo exhibition containing some of the projects, the designer, has created in his career.

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The product created for Mjölk is the coffee set called “Sucabaruca”. It is a project that, from the start, has been involving people from different cultures and countries: Juli and John who, with passion, collect and distribute in Canada products mainly from Scandinavia and Japan; the Canadian ceramist Alissa Coe, who made the prototypes, skillfully interpreting our project; Lera Moiseeva, designer and artist of Russian origin, but New Yorker by adoption, who contributed to the development of the coffee set in collaboration with Nichetto´s studios in Sweden and Italy; and Elena Freddi, collaborator at the studio in Stockholm, who took care of the set up for the exhibition “Luca Nichetto + Mjölk” in Toronto. All these people have enriched the project, making it an extraordinary melting pot of ideas and energy on an international scale.

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The “Sucabaruca” coffee set is rich in cultural and formal references that come from  the influences of several people involved in the project. The main cone-shaped body is reminiscent of “Carmencita”, the famous character created by Armando Testa in 1966 for the tv show“Carosello”. The patterns, hand-engraved by hand in the ceramic, are meant to emphasize the uniqueness of the pieces, as well as for the tray, manufactured using material such as Canadian maple wood, which always reveal new and unique patterns when carved. Just like in a game, the set elements can be stacked and combined as desired, indulging in the different personalities offered by 3 colour palettes, from total white, inspired by the fashion designer Martin Margiela, to pastel tones, characteristic of Japanese architectures, and eventually pop colours, a tribute to the eclectic artist Jean-Paul Goude.”

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Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2013

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Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Some things to look forward to:

+ January 22, Luca Nichetto exhibition and new product launch with Mjölk.

+ Exhibitions for:

Studio Prepa glassworks
Masanobu Ando
Ryuji Mitani
Renaud Sauvé (Ateliers des Cents Ans).

+ Mjölk Volume III (spring).

See you in 2014!

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Snow in Toronto

December 20th, 2013

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We’ve had an incredible amount of snowfall during the first few days of the week, but of course if you’re in Toronto today you can appreciate the irony of this blog post since it is raining. We can all agree that any city is much more beautiful with a sprinkling of snow so despite all the inconveniences it causes I would take the snow over the slushy winter rain any day.

During this snowfall, there were some really nice moments in our little courtyard. First being the snow falling on the delicate bamboo leaves, which remain a strong green colour.

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There are so many paintings with snow on bamboo, it’s just cool to see it in real life.

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Also on our bonsai.

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The snow creeping up onto the window sill.

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Kazumi Tsuji’s “Snow” bowl looking very appropriate.

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Elodie’s first real snow experience.

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Our view outside our bedroom to the parking lot behind, luckily with some bamboo making a small privacy screen. If you close the window just right, all you see is bamboo. Very Japanese.

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Winnipeg, MB

October 2nd, 2013

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The other week we visited Winnipeg. Why Winnipeg you ask? Well, firstly I (Juli) grew up visiting my grandmother and family several times a year, even attending a French day camp at St. Boniface for a month in the summer. More recently though, we have made quite a few friends through the shop that are from Winnipeg. Some events were happening all at the same time so we figured it was a good time to visit.

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It was Elodie’s first airplane ride and she was surprisingly amazing for a very busy 18 month old. Although I think a 2 hour flight is her maximum, she stayed in our lap and was quiet the whole flight (not as good the way back, but what can you do!). We rented a car and made our first stop The Forks for some lunch. We were going to go to the children’s museum but Mike from Scandinavian Modern told us about this amazing park right next door.The Variety Heritage Adventure Playground had plenty to do to burn off some of that toddler energy.

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After a long play session Elodie passed out in the car and we drove around town.

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We then visited Little Sister Coffee Maker, a new cafe in Osborne Village, co-owned by our friend Nils Vik of Parlour Coffee and his sister-in-law Vanessa. I am so embarrassed that I didn’t get any proper photos. Travelling with toddler made it hard to get in the zone, and we thought we would have time to visit again (we didn’t), so I only got two shots!

Regardless, the atmosphere is really lovely, and the details are all there, right down to the colour scheme and fresh flowers. Honestly, this is the type of cafe we would go to daily if given the opportunity. They actually use legit Iittala mugs and serve incredible croissants and baked goods. I had a mocha and it was the best I have ever had. John had a pour over, which not many places take the time to do. In order to get Elodie to sit still for a few minute we placated her with her very own cookie. She responded with a fairly adept impersonation of Cookie Monster (nom nom nom) and refused to share even one bite of her cookie with us. She is her mother’s daughter.

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A cute post box turned trash bin.

We were pretty tired after our busy day so we headed back to our fancy digs at The Fairmont to grab some room service and put Elodie to bed. We ended up with a double room suite (it was the only room available, I swear) and it was worth every penny. When your kid goes to bed around 7pm the last thing you want to do is sit in the dark for the rest of the evening. Also the room service was surprisingly good for a change.

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If you are familiar with Winnipeg then you will know that Stella’s is an institution at this point. I used to go with my grandma to the location in Osborne Village and it’s as good now as it ever was. Best breakfast in town – actually I wish there was one in Toronto!

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I know this looks pretty average but they make their own jam and bread which are two huge factors in the best breakfast category. We ate here both mornings.

Some architecture:

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The Exchange area

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Winnipeg City Hall

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Centennial Concert Hall

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Manitoba Museum and Planetarium

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The first diorama in the museum is the bison hunt, a classic. I always insisted on visiting the museum, every single time, dead of winter even (three buses).

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A newer diorama of a Ukrainian homestead. Looks like a William Kurelek painting!

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Old murals

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Tyndall stone, a limestone rich in decorative fossils, is widely used in commercial applications in Winnipeg. Our friend Thom made a gorgeous coffee table out of this material.

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The iconic The Golden Boy, perched on top of the legislature building.

Another post to follow!

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Quebec

September 4th, 2013

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Last week we took a little road trip, sans bébé, to visit our friends Renaud and Gilbert. They live in paradise and are exceptional cooks so you’re all very lucky we returned. We were ready to give it all up and live the country life. It’s quite a reminder that we don’t interact with nature enough (at all?) in our hectic city life. We will have to make more of an effort to head out into nature more often, especially with our little outdoorsbaby, who collapses in a heap of despair every time we try to bring her indoors.

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Gilbert and Renaud (pictured at right chatting with John) are building their own three storey home, with a wood shop on the main floor basement and a lovely ceramics studio just off the kitchen on the second floor. Both are exceptional craftsmen and the details of their home and work show it. We’ll be featuring their studio and home in our next Mjölk volume.

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Their property is nearly self sustaining, with a large garden patch, and a beautiful river that runs through it for swimming, contemplation, clay digging or rock hunting.

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They have a cat who is a real cat. He goes outside all night long and then passes out exhausted in the morning to sleep the day away. I didn’t realize that this seat was his special place. He made do.

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The neighbour down the lane owns the whole big property, and has a donkey, three (?) dogs and about 11 cats.

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The neighbour’s guest house (barn) and house.

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The house is still under construction as you can see but it has such a nice comfortable vibe. Left over Paella made by Gilbert for lunch before we hit the road.

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On our way home we stopped in Montreal for a day. We stayed at Hotel Gault near old Montreal.

With only a day we started at Olive & Gourmande (Renaud recommended it and it was around the corner from our hotel) for some coffee and light breakfast then headed up to Jean-Talon Market.

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Feeling kind of lazy we soon found ourselves at Cafe Ellefsen. We had considered doing a feature on it for our next book but found out from the owners that they recently sold it and that it will have to change themes before the end of September. I think the owners are looking for a new location. We had some coffee and then found that it was lunch time so we ordered some Smørrebrød and poutine (when in Quebec…).

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With full bellies we walked over to the Mile End neighbourhood. I don’t think I’ve ever been over there! The last time I was in Montreal was in younger years when we went for the nightlife and slept most of the day away. Now it’s the opposite, we’re in bed by 8! Soon we’ll be sporting practical clothing and shoes and backpacks to hike the city streets (never). So I am not sure if Mile End always had things happening or if it’s a relatively newer hot spot. It has some nice design shops, restaurants, cafes and clothing shops (above was my favourite). Worth visiting the neighbourhood as it’s away from the crowds and more youthful.

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All in all a relaxing little holiday!

Sorry we’ve been so quiet lately…we hope to get back into the swing of things this fall. We hope that you all had a really nice summer, though didn’t it seem so short this year? We don’t have too much planned for the fall at Mjölk, besides restocking the showroom for the holiday season and focusing our attention on finding new Scandinavian products and the blog. Hope to see you soon!

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