March, 2013

Marimekko, With Love at the Textile Museum

March 27th, 2013


After yet another amazing lunch at Santouka–best ramen in Toronto, maybe because our inaugural ramen experience was in Sapporo, Hokkaido–we headed over to the Textile Museum to finally visit Marimekko, With Love (on until May 12, you still have time!).

There is plenty of historical eye candy for fans of the label, and an interesting joining together of artifacts from the local owners of Karelia, the Toronto shop that originally brought Marimekko (and many other Finnish brands) to Toronto back in the 1970s. We particularly enjoyed this portion of the show, since we are doing similar things with Japanese craft.

I just have a small sampling of what is in the show, as it’s best to visit if you can!


Fabric samples, fashion photography…




Vintage slideshows from both Marimekko and Karelia. The Karelia slideshow was of particular interest to us – it was so neat to see their exhibitions and parties. Is this what it will be like for us 30 years from now? All I know is they looked like they are having a good time, and so are we!


Personal letters and internal memos.


My two favourite pieces of clothing in the show (naturally).

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Mjolk exhibition: Studio Note / Norihiko Terayama

March 21st, 2013


We’re so excited to announce our 2nd exhibition of 2013. We will be hosting Japanese industrial designer and conceptual artist Norihiko Terayama, in his first solo exhibition in North America. Norihiko will be coming all the way to Toronto from Kanagawa, Japan to be here for the opening reception which is April 9th from 7 – 10pm.

If you’re in Toronto, we hope you can make it!


Garden ruler
A collection of foraged plant specimens placed in one centimeter increments.



The Awaglass (awa meaning bubble) is inspired by the experiential aspect of an hourglass. The captivating visual of time slipping away. The vessel contains a clear liquid that looks like water. It seems ordinary at first but after one turns the vessel over bubbles begin to form creating an unexpected moment.



F,l,o,w,e,r,s ruler
A ruler with handpicked flower blossoms placed in 1cm increments.



Floating flower

A ceramic vase inspired by the cherry blossoms hanging over a pond, the petals fall and float on the water’s surface.




A set of cups that appear to be broken and re-mended with gold, inspired by traditional Japanese pottery that use real gold for repairing cracks.

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Stockholm part three: Finding Japan in Sweden

March 17th, 2013

stockholm_mjolk_kitka--3 copy

The next day we visited Japanese boutique shop Kiki, owned by husband and wife team Naoko and Nori Akechi. It’s probably strange to say one of our favourite shops in all of Stockholm is this beautiful shop carrying Japanese goods. It seems wherever we go, we can’t be too far away from Japanese handcrafts.

One aspect of the shop that blew us away was the single servings of tea in small ceramic cups that were given to each of the customers as they came in the store. During the dark cold weather here it warms the bones and allowed you to slow down your pace a little to enjoy the nice articles on hand.


A beautiful black lacquered cedar chest with iron hardware. The bottom right is an amazing safe deposit box.

stockholm_mjolk_kitka--6 copy

During our visit there was an exhibition on Japanese ceramicists Tsunehisa and Keiko Gunji.


Nori’s reflection in the mirror.


The Nendo Illuminated by Wästberg event was an installation of lamps in various configurations ranging from planters, fruit baskets, ice-buckets, and bird cages.


Though not directly Japanese, our CEREMONY set is inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony. Here is Eero Koivisto talking to some Swedish journalists about the tea set.


Canadian designer Patty Johnson co-exhibited with us, this is her “Haida chair” made by Swedish furniture maker David Design. So beautiful in person!

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Intimate photos of Terunobu Fujimori projects and their residents

March 12th, 2013

japanese tea room fujimori terunobu dandelion house

This morning I came across this fantastic collection of photographs depicting the projects of Terunobu Fujimori and their residents.

It’s so nice to see the scale of the people in their own homes, as well as their interaction in the unique spaces.

japanese tea house fujimori terunobu coal

japanese architecture fujimori terunobu charred cedar house exterior     japanese homes fujimori-terunobu

japanese homes fujimori terunobu charred cedar siding

Charring cedar wood for cladding.

fujimori terunobu too high japanese tea house

Professor Fujimori and his “Too tall tree house”.

All photos from here

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Stockholm part two: Finding Japan in Sweden

March 9th, 2013

After this trip to Stockholm, I think we’re going to have to come up with an updated guide in Volume 2 of the Mjölk book. We discovered some new places, and met so many great people!

Here is an additional sampling of our most recent trip.


It has become a bit of a ritual for us to start our first night in any city by trolling the streets in search of a restaurant we have never heard of before. Since we were staying in Södermalm it wasn’t very difficult to walk down the street and peer into the windows of cozy restaurants and find something that looked interesting.


We walked by Blue light of Yokohama and saw this black circle with three copper pendants in the window.


In the next window was a brown vase on light blue tiles displaying an Ikebana arrangment.




Who doesn’t like Izakaya? It’s also a good sign when you see a bench of people talking and enjoying their food. We decided this would be our first meal of the trip!


The food was exactly what we were needing after a long flight: Classic Japanese comfort!

More to come all week! Stay tuned!

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Stockholm Design Week 2013

March 3rd, 2013

As you may know, we went to Stockholm recently. This was perhaps our best trip to Scandinavia, and we were extremely surprised we would enjoy Stockholm in February as much as we did. There is something about a country that has learned to make the best out of the cold dark winters. It seems there isn’t a restaurant or bar in the city that isn’t lit in the evenings with candlelight, and even the shopkeepers keep large torches on the sidewalks in front of their shop, beckoning you to come inside and warm your bones.

I would like to start this introduction with a big thank you to Monocle’s Hugo Macdonald, the host of radio program Section D, who interviewed us during our visit to the Stockholm Furniture Fair. If you would like to listen to our interview it starts around 40 minutes into the program (around 3/4 of the way), episode 70.

We have to keep a some fodder for the print version of Mjolk, but we hope you enjoy the few teasers we’ve created for our most recent trip.
There will be a few normal (aka non instagram) posts to follow soon.


Amazing packaging, is there anything better than exploring a grocery store in a different country? Though I have a feeling the one on the left is maybe from the UK, the brand Saltå (right) has a butik in Söder.


The best part of this season is having Semla buns and heated milk, they’re filled with whipped cream and meant to fatten you up over the winter. Needless to say, there were a few days where we had double fika.


IMG_5255 IMG_5245

The Canadian Embassy is right in the center of the city, near Sergels torg. We met up with Eero Koivisto to help set up the display for the CEREMONY party.


This was the first time we’ve visited during the winter, and Stockholm didn’t disappoint.

IMG_5271 IMG_5279

We headed out to Kastellholmen to check out the Nendo installation, “Illuminated” for Wästberg. We love how they place candles outside to greet guests during the cold night. More on this installation another day.

We were fashionably late for this party, which in Stockholm terms means too late, as the party was over. We decided to pop into Hotel Skeppsholmen for a coffee, and then proceeded to walk back into town. But alas while we were crossing the bridge we ran into Mårten Claesson and Ola Rune! They were on their way to the Glass Elephant opening party in a bunker, so we joined them.


The next day we attended the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. Surprisingly it was our first time visiting. Although we saw plenty of nice designs, we already work with the best companies so this was more a casual visit. Nendo was the guest of honour, and this their installation “80 sheets of mountains”. We didn’t bring our camera to the show and I regret not getting a better snap of it! Check it out over on Designboom.


It was recommended to us to visit Speceriet for lunch, where we ran into Jonas Lindvall and his lovely wife and daughter. He designed some brilliant lighting for Wästberg which was originally used in Speceriet and their larger formal restaurant gastrologik. He generously introduced us to the head chef and took us on a tour next door at gastrologik. Jonas Lindvall designed both restaurants, and although we had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful white and copper space we didn’t get a chance to have dinner there.



Chairs designed by Jonas Lindvall with Copper pendant lights hanging above (soon to be available at Mjolk).


This usually sits outside the entrance of the restaurant, we loved the design.



“To be perfectly Frank”, an exhibition by Michael Anastassiades at Svenskt Tenn.



IMG_5336< Fika time with (more) Semla buns. IMG_5339


One of our favorite stops in Stockholm is seeing mid century galleries Jacksons and Modernity.


Our official event listing in the Stockholm design week guide.


The party at the embassy. It’s hard to tell how many people came in this photograph but we had at least 300 people come to the event. We were blown away with the turn out, and it was so nice to be in such good company alongside Claesson Koivisto Rune and Patty Johnson.


A late night stroll for a night cap with Eero and his lovely wife Deta.


We had to stop in to visit one our our favourite people Pia Wallen, a designer we have been working with before our store was even open. This is the view from her studio.


The amazing staircase we walked up on our first visit to Pia’s studio. We now know better and opt for the elevator.

There’s plenty more to come, stay tuned!

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