Renaud Sauvé exhibition opening

October 6th, 2014


On Thursday night we held the opening of the first solo exhibition of Quebec based potter Renaud Sauvé (Atelier Des Cent-ans). We had an overwhelmingly positive response, and many people said it was their favourite exhibition we have held so far. I think this exhibition had an emotional quality added to it. Renaud created an environment filled with moss, stones, branches from his property along with paintings, drawings and antiques providing a glimpse into the inspiration behind his work.

This show was more atmospherically considered than any other we have done in the past.



A calligraphy set including works for sale made by Renaud, as well as antiques.


A soapstone black glazed pourer with stand.


An antique Swedish cabinet with a folk art still life of flowers in a pot. Inside of the cabinet is a carved reversible bowl with turquoise base.


The exterior of the pine wall featured a collection of hand “tattooed” waves plates.


Detail of the waves motif.


The low display bench primarily featured the black glazed porcelain works.




On the left is talc, made from ground soapstone from a mine near Atelier Des Cent-ans–one of the ingredients in the black glaze the potter developed. On the right is a celadon glazed bowl of moss with a plaster head and brass feet, curiosities collected by Renaud.


A Chawan tea bowl, and matching tea container.


A hammered copper handle on a black glazed lidded pot.



Linen square with hand embroidery made by Renaud’s mother, along with a black glazed tray and antique arrow head.


Detail of a carved bowl.


Black and white plate collection.


A carved rabbit “candle snuff” and South American wedding belt.



Our table featured work with both white and black glaze. This series was made specifically for this exhibition.


A charcoal drawing of Stockholm made by Renaud’s pottery teacher.


Small bowls with painted animal motifs.


The detail of a small pourer on a rock from the river near Cent-ans.


The small size white glazed pourer with a celadon drip.


A white bowl with a rim of clay found at cent-ans.


A porcelain cover with carved turtle figure.


A bowl with carved rat figure at the bottom.


Another candle snuff.


A tall porcelain flower vase with moat.


Bowls inspired by hammered metal.


A gourd pitcher inspired by the painting behind, made by Renaud many years ago.


A carved bowl featuring both black glaze, and celadon rim next to a “beehive” inspired vessel. The framed picture behind is actually made from a wasp’s nest.


A small teacup with a leaf motif.


A white oak alcove made by Renaud’s partner Gilbert with a black footed flower vase, and a white bowl with black drip.


A small flower vase / planter.


A unique bowl on a antique Korean lacquered wood stand.



“Shiva” carved hanging bowl.



One of my favourite vase forms is the “Mei Ping”, so I asked Renaud to make one for the show. It is really beautiful.


White and blue pottery on the black library shelf.


Magnesium drip footed bowls.


A large serving bowl with a celadon glaze.


A lidded bowl with hidden pattern inspired by embroidery.


A blueberry branch with red leaves in a magnesium rimmed bowl.


An oak lecture stand with exhibition catalogs.


The opening reception was really lovely, and we had the opportunity to meet many of Renaud’s fans who haven’t visited our gallery before.












The restaurant Bricco which is only a few blocks away from us provided the meat and cheese for the evening and it was exceptional. By the end of the night nothing was left.

Thank you again for everyone who came to our opening!


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Renaud: Shapes and Desire of Nature Exhibition

October 1st, 2014


We have had an exciting morning unpacking all of the exhibition works for our show tomorrow with Quebec potter Renaud Sauvé of Atelier Des Cent-ans.

Here is a small sampling of what will be available tomorrow night.

Above: Classical vase with blue “tattooed” waves motif and rain and clouds embossment.


A porcelain drinking cup with walnut display stand.


A Soap stone black glazed lidded bowl with a hand hammered copper handle.


A hand carved celadon incense burner.


A deep hand carved plate with “tattooed” tidal wave motif. Can be hung on the wall.


Candle snuffs with carved animals.


A large Mei Ping vase with crackling glaze.


A celadon glazed cup with drip.

Shapes and Desire of Nature

A solo exhibition Renaud Sauvé of Atelier Des Cent-ans
Thursday, October 2nd 7:00pm – 10:00
Artist in attendance

We hope to see you tomorrow night!

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Studioilse residency at The Apartment in Copenhagen

September 30th, 2014


In celebration of Mjolk’s debut of The StudioIlse collection for De La Espada later this month I thought we would re-post some images of Ilse’ Crawfords newest exhibition at “The Apartment” in Copenhagen.

If we had to pick our favourite Interior designer, it would have to be Ilse Crawford. Her book “Home is where the heart is” was an important reaffirmation of the importance of the home, and her interiors have an important emotional quality that transcends superficial visual aesthetic. After being so inspired and enamored with the debut of the StudioIlse collection for De La Espada, as well as her lighting collection for Wastberg in Sweden, we are proud to say you will be able to order both of these collections through Mjolk.

We will have the full StudioIlse collection for De La Espada here at the showroom later this month, and they are already on our website with images and pricing. Little by little we are slowly evolving bringing in artists that reflect more than just our aesthetics but that share our values and principals. We are very excited about this partnership, and we hope you will be too.

Back to the article:


Studioilse residency at The Apartment in Copenhagen

For three months, Studioilse led by Ilse Crawford moves into the design gallery The Apartment in Copenhagen. To achieve the ambition of a residency, Studioilse will create a homely atmosphere with kitchen suppers and lively discussions.

Ilse Crawford believes that good design supports human life and behaviour – be it a neighbourhood, a building, a room, a piece of furniture or a small object. The work of Studioilse puts this mindset into practice, designing places and things that work for people on all levels. With this in mind the studio will inhabit Tina Seidenfaden Busck’s design gallery The Apartment in Copenhagen, filling it with life as well as furniture.
“Too much design today is showcased or exhibited rather than experienced or used. What
attracts us to The Apartment setting is that this is a real apartment in a residential building
and hence a setting where the furniture and objects all make perfect sense. We wouldn’t
do something like this in a gallery where the pieces are put on pedestals. We would like to
see the rooms in use. In Tina we have found the perfect partner to explore our philosophy

– Ilse Crawford



‘Brass Cabinet’, crafted by North London manufacturer Jack Trench.



Wall lamp by StudioIlse for Wastberg


Together table and high back benches by Studio Ilse for De La Espada, hanging lamps by Inga Sempe.


Our dream bed: The Companions bed.


Companions writing desk for De La Espada, and table lamp for Wastberg.

Photos and Press release from The Apartment.

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Shapes and Desire of Nature

September 22nd, 2014


We are very excited to announce our first solo exhibition with Renaud Sauvé from Atelier Des Cent-ans. Many of you will be familiar with Renaud’s work if you have visited our store or read the 3rd volume of the Mjölk book, which features a large profile on Renaud, his work and his studio in Irlande, Quebec.

Renaud is most recognized for his hand-thrown white porcelain work with crackling glaze, but for this particular exhibition, over the course of the past year, he has been exploring natural minerals found within his province to create new glazes and new expressions. The result of his experimentation is a collection of pottery that embodies not only the artist but also his surroundings.

Shapes and Desire of Nature

A solo exhibition Renaud Sauve of Atelier Des Cent-ans
Thursday, October 2nd 7:00pm – 10:00
Artist in attendance



Renaud on Shapes and Desire of Nature:

My workday typically starts in the morning. Sitting at my potter’s wheel, I centre a ball of porcelain on the wheel and start hollowing it out to give it a shape and ultimately create a bowl, plate or vase.

However, one morning in May, instead of following my usual routine, I took a drive to a soapstone mine in the village of East Broughton, Quebec, where I dug for this mineral, which can be crushed into a powder. I had the idea to incorporate this rock dust into a concoction of different minerals to obtain a black glaze.

After testing and ensuring the mineral’s workability, I started focusing on creating new porcelain shapes because it seemed to me that this was befitting a newly discovered glaze. Although an interplay of transparency and opacity can already be achieved with a clear glaze, by adding a black glaze to my palette, I had ventured into new territory where I could highlight and amplify contrasts, but where I also had to take extra care lest the piece be too austere.

· In fact, a potter works with stones.
· Firing is the last step, and this is where the true nature of the minerals emerges.
· Through this transmutation, it seems to me that fire is the true artist at work.

These pieces, exhibited here at the Mjolk gallery, are the end result of a journey that began in a quarry and continued in my studio. It is an answer to many questions . . . or perhaps, more accurately, an outcome of my connection not only with Nature (digging) but also with the history of ceramics (shapes).
Much like 19th century poet Paul Valery, I like to compare the process of creating a porcelain vase with the geological shaping of our planet.






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Apple picking at Avalon Orchards

September 22nd, 2014



It’s been too long since we’ve been able to do much blog posting but things are simmering down now that Howell is 5 months old. Also, we’re shifting gears from running to and from the cottage every week to staying in the city, which makes for a less chaotic week.

Now that Elodie is two and a half, we’re ready to engage more with the city and its surroundings. I am looking forward to creating new traditions for our family! The first one is apple picking!!!

Several friends recommended Avalon Orchards, a no frills organic orchard about 45 minutes from Toronto in Innisfil. Originally I was going to take us to one of those places that has tons of things to do (corn maze, playground, petting zoo) but then we talked about it and figured a two and a half year old can only handle so much, and since apple picking is the main attraction, it made sense to keep it simple.


Avalon has a little shop (above) where we picked up some apple cider.


Elodie picked out the wagon – as you can see, she’s very inspired by the “Little Red Wagon” song. There were only a couple of this type and she bee lined right for it.


It was wonderful being able to pick the fruit right from the tree and taste it. They had Freedom, Nova Mac and a few Pricilla’s ripe for the picking. Not the sweetest selection, maybe these types come earlier or later?


apple_picking-8 apple_picking-9
Most excited about the teepee.
apple_picking-2 apple_picking-3
After a picnic lunch, we went on a little hiking adventure. Avalon has a really nice property with some interesting trails, that are just long enough for a toddler, and interesting and varied enough for adults.


Rare family portrait of a mother and her two kids.

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Last weekend of summer

September 3rd, 2014


This is the first summer I can remember that simply flew by us without us even noticing. I can’t believe we just spent our last weekend at the cottage for the season and the leaves are already changing colours!

Things were a little busier here more than usual, the new baby, hosting 3 exhibitions back to back, and an unusually cooler summer which meant more people stayed back in the city and kept us busy in the store.

It wasn’t all business though, we had the chance to reset our batteries more than a few weekends. Here are some fond memories we got to share with Ryuji Mitani, Junko Mitani, Ai Hosokawa, Tsubaki Hosokawa, Hijiri Kojima and Yayoi Arimoto during their visit to Canada.

Above: The summer specially around here, smoked white fish, rye crackers, cream cheese and dill, along with a cucumber salad.


Trading off playing guitar with Mr. Mitani, he covered 500 miles by Peter Paul and Mary, along with some old Kayama Yuzo tunes.


We always eat well up North.


Little Howell passed out.


Happy chubby boy.


So many photos of the lake.


Impossible to capture Sunset.

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