A few years ago we had the pleasure of visiting with Ingegerd Råman at her studio in Stockholm. Located on the tiny island of Skeppsholmen in the heart of the city, near the Moderna Museet and overlooking the Strandvägen with important design shops Svenkst Tenn and Carl Malmsten across the water, it’s an ideal location for inspiration.
We had saved the images to accompany our conversation in Mjolk Volume IV, however, we later visited Ms. Råman at her summer home in the south of Sweden. I figure now is a good time as any to share a few snapshots from our initial visit!
The desk is where Ms. Råman meticulously lays out things of interest, both found objects and special gifts, grouped by materials and colours.
Glass work for Skruf, currently available at Mjölk.
The Swedish touch, floral arrangements in winter.
What a lovely thing to find Mjolk Volume II on the bookshelf.
A pangapanga tray by Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune
Check out Mjolk Volume IV to read John’s interview.
The other week we hosted Renaud Sauvé of Atelier des Cent-ans in his second exhibition at Mjölk. The theme this time was Bestiary, an exploration in sculpted, engraved and painted animals in porcelain.
Words from the artist:
In my mind, the attention I give animals reveals that through their movements, life remains the focal point and goes on unwaveringly. The violent convulsions of a dragon, the minute impulses of a snail or the quiet comprise and dignity of the tortoise, are an invitation to build a strong connection with them. Animals can express anything. Depending on the context of dynamics they can say anything. Sometimes just as I am falling asleep or returning to consciousness and my eyes are closed, animal images come to me. Such treasures will turn into porcelain motifs or bosses.
This exhibit gives me the opportunity to display a whole series of new works. The term “bestiary” comes to mind. The collection involves (sculpted, engraved or painted) animals that may be real or imaginary. The creatures are often strange but never estranged. At least that is my hope.
– Renaud Sauve
John, Renaud and Juli.
Reiko flower arranging.
Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of Bestiary with us. The works will continue to remain in the showroom until November 9 (many will still be around after this date, and available online).
Tuesday night we were excited to go to the opening reception for The Gardiner Museum‘s new exhibition, True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada. Curated by Dr. Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow, we are honoured that our Garden Works collaboration with Anderssen & Voll is on display.
From the press release: Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.
The exhibition was designed by friend of the shop Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc. Loved the Alto-esque paper room divider and the intimate wall colours.
During the Q&A discussion, there was a bit of talk about how a lot of the designers were married couples. Naturally we like this dynamic a lot!
In the contemporary designers section there are a lot of local designers and artisans, such as Castor, Sean Plaice, MSDS, and Bookhou. It was nice to see everyone in the same place.
The exhibition book was a nice surprise, containing some essays and the exhibition catalog. The fire tools pictured are from a project we have been working on with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere (to be launched in January).
Please go see this show at the Gardiner Museum, running until January 8.
We were recently pleased to receive Yoshinori Yano at Mjölk. At the time, his works had become unfortunately waylaid by a postage fiasco, shunted around the East Coast and Montreal before finally making it to our shop. As a result, we had to cancel our opening. Although this seemed a terrible thing, we ultimately got to have an altogether different experience. On a Saturday afternoon, Mr. Yano did some woodworking in the shop, and chatted with curious customers, press and passersby.
We were fortunate to be able to borrow some woodworking tools from Peter Tan of Studio Junction.
The result of this day is a delicate leaf. Thankfully a few days after Mr. Yano left the boxes arrived. They are now in the showroom and in the online webshop. Thank you to all who made it in on short notice, and to all who took an eager interest in the woodworking demo!
Yoshinori Yano’s sculptures are both ethereal and organic; through them he communicates a quintessentially Japanese idea of beauty in nature.
His technique is slow and measured, using simple hand tools to reveal each form, evoking emotions and ideas already present in nature: a delicate breeze of wind or the melancholy drizzle of rain.
Born in 1973 in Tokyo to a family of artists, Yoshinori Yano discovered woodworking during his studies in Capellagågarden, Sweden. Upon returning to Japan he completed a three year apprenticeship before opening his own studio in the city of Itoshima, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan in 2003.
Additionally, not pictured in this post but available via the link above are a variety of vases, mobiles and art objects.
Sculptural natural forms.
A variety of platters/trays/dishes/cups/vessels for use.
A leaf carved during our impromptu meet and greet. A vessel.
A sculpture and a wall vase.
Back in July, as an accompaniment to the Takayoshi Narita Wrought Iron Cookware Exhibition, we held a lunch with Narita-san’s friend Chef Seiko Tanaka of Hibari in Tokyo. We invited a small group of guests, some via raffle, to join us in celebrating and experiencing his cookware, dishes, serving ware and spoons.
There isn’t too much left from this exhibition, it really spoke to people, but we hope to work with Narita-san again soon.
We held the lunch in our home, whereby I am sure you can see some familiar pieces in the background! Pictured: Chef Seiko Tanaka, Studio Junction’s Peter Tan and Christine Ho Ping Kong, and Studio Tint’s Takayoshi Narita.
The table is set with wonderful stainless steel plates that look like the moon due to the finish. A stainless steel bowl and serving spoon, and iron platters really make the colourful food pop.
Guests mingling with John.
Pork roasted in the oven in the wrought iron wok.
Freshly made gyoza fried in a wrought iron pan.
This was an incredible meal, please if you find yourself in Tokyo visit Hibari.