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Around the house

Posted at 10:17 pm in Home Reno


I hope everyone is having a nice week! It’s been a busy month here, and we found a little bit of time to show you a few new things around the homestead that have been inspiring us lately. If you follow our instagram you have probably already seen photos of our mid century Danish piano. We finally got it all tuned up and it sounds pretty good for such a tiny pianette.

In the festive spirit we have our little Aarikka elves sitting on the ledge.


Our Rosemary bush and Bay leaf tree. The bay leaves come in handy for making soups this winter!


Studio Junction lent us their Danish coffee table to be used as Elodie’s play table. Little friends Miffy and Totoro sitting on Elodie’s African chair, a gift from Tomii Takashi (complete with red crayon).


Advent Calendar bought on our yearly pilgrimage to The Finnish Place. Marimekko with little pockets. Elodie loves discovering the treasures, though it seems that the pleasure in finding out surpasses the enjoyment of the object. Usually she just says More! More!


An antique Zulu beer fermenting pot in clay, such a nice shape and pattern.


A mid century Cleo Hartwig sculpture of a dove, next to a brass bowl by Luca Nichetto for Skultuna.

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Left, we bought the most interesting looking tree on the lot (Georgian Bay Xmas Trees outside No Frills on Pacific – convenience!). All of the trees are full and perfect looking but they didn’t feel right. Then we saw this scraggly thing and well, home it came. Tree skirt by Marimekko, from The Finnish Place.

On the right is Elodie’s decorating.


Left, a Royal Copenhagen vase and to the right the only work of a Japanese National treasure that we will ever own, a unique tea bowl by Tatsuzo Shimaoka. The lines in the bowl are actually from ropes that were embedded into the clay, the bowl has a gold repair to the rim.


A vintage wood-mold Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto, along with a collection of 3 Tutsi baskets from Africa. Some of the tightest weaving I have ever seen, and such an incredible form and pattern.


Isha update: happy cat.

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Nakashima Opening

Posted at 7:59 pm in General,Mjölk


Last week on Wednesday night we opened our doors for the opening reception of the first Nakashima retrospective in Canada. We had an incredible turn-out and we thank everyone who took the time to visit and say hello to us and the Yarnall-Nakashima family.



An Ikebana bowl specially made by Masanobu Ando, and a flower arrangement by Mira Nakashima with flowers from Coriander Girl. So beautiful!


Conoid dining chairs made with walnut and carved hickory pickets.


Beautiful lounge chairs in cherry with maple burl arms.


Asa-no-ha cabinet with a Conoid coffee table in front. Tea ceremony tools by Masanobu Ando.


Large vase by Uchida Kouichi on the left, and Urushi tea containers, and tooled tray by Shingo Tsukuda.


A Mira box / jewelry box.

Nakashima belongs in our showroom.





The most beautiful wood boxes and trays by Tsukuda Shingo.


The tori arch of the Conoid Bench.


A special vase by Japanese potter Uchida Kouichi resting on the edge of the bench.


Hand tooled wooden trays by Tsukuda Shingo.



Peeking into the rarely photographed back half of our showroom.



Tea Ceremony bowls and trays made by Masanobu Ando.


A unique collection of Calligraphy tools made by Masanobu Ando for the exhibition. Mira Nakashima was nice enough to lend us her Calligraphy brushes for the exhibition display.



One of our favourite collections in the exhibition, the desk, the Captain’s chair and the table lamp are spectacular. Hovering above is a silver glazed cross by Masanobu Ando. Ando-san doesn’t have a connection to the cross, but he saw many on a trip to Europe and thought they would make a nice wall flower vase.


Grass-seated chairs with a wall hanging cabinet.


Ultimo bench with Japanese indigo fabric.



Minguren end table with vase by Uchida Kouichi.




Black copper glazed lidded statues by Uchida Kouichi.


Hand chiseled black urushi coated tableware by famous wood craftsman Ryuji Mitani.



A collection of hammered silver works by Mami and Takejiro Hasegawa.




The Opening reception with Mira Nakashima in her summer Yukata.








A collection of woodworkers (including our architect Peter Tan) nerding out ;)




The two Johns – John Baker & Jon Yarnall (Mira’s husband, woodworker and head of the Nakashima chair department).

A big thank you to:

Fielding Estate Winery – your wine was highly complimented all evening. Thank you for helping make our evening a special success.

Sali Tabacchi – we adore your innovative program design!

Mira and Jon Yarnall, Maria and Maya for coming to Toronto to be a part of this historic event.

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Tomii Takashi exhibition: June 26, 2013

Posted at 3:12 pm in Mjölk


We were so thrilled to host the first North American solo exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. Thank you so much for everyone who came out to the opening reception, and for the people that came to visit us the following days who weren’t available for opening night!

There are still plenty of amazing pieces still available and on display at Mjolk, so please drop by in person to see the work before it’s gone. For our supportive international customers, please hold tight as we will be adding the works to the website soon. If there is anything in particular you wanted to inquire about, don’t hesitate in dropping us a line.

Above: Wall vase (sold out)

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Window decal by Sali Tabacchi.


Turned bowl with natural urushi lacquer-ware coating.


An incredible solid walnut salad bowl!


Wooden coffee mug with natural urushi coating.

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left: White urushi turned bowls
right: chestnut serving tray


A hand chiseled oak tray with porcelain tea cup and saucers by Renaud Sauvé.


Chestnut canoe bowls.


A collection of serving trays on our black library shelving.


A hand carved chestnut bowl with black urushi salad servers.


A chestnut tray with specially made white-urushi plum blossom and clover dishes.


A fantastic collection of wooden cutlery.


Cherry soup spoons.



Japanese lacquer-ware sake cups.


Elodie received the nicest gift from Tomii-san. This kid officially has an amazing chair collection at 15 months old, thanks to this gift and the Børge Mogensen Shell Chair given to her by Thomas Graversen of Fredericia. This chair is especially novel for her since she can sit and get up easily from it, though because she is used to climbing onto chairs, she’s had to practice a bit. Last night she kept practicing backing into it. Too adorable.


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We had a very engaged turnout, and Tomii-san was happy to discuss his process with all who were interested.


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Talking shop with fellow woodworkers Peter Tan and LUBO.

Thank you Tomii Takashi for visiting us and sharing your beautiful works with Toronto!

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Tomii Takashi: 1 week away!

Posted at 8:37 pm in General,Mjölk


Please mark your calenders! Next Wednesday on June 26th we are  presenting the first North American exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. The evening reception starts from 7:00 – 10:00pm, and Tomii Takashi is flying here all the way from Japan to attend the opening and meet you all.

We just received a sizable collection of work that will be making it’s debut next week, and everything is incredible. I took the liberty to photograph a sampling of what to expect come opening night, all of the pieces in this post and many more will be available for sale (and not before).

Anyone who loves wood should be in attendance to this show, please invite your friends.

Here is our little write up for the exhibition:

Tomii Takashi is known as a prodigy in Japan and is quickly becoming one of the most recognized wood workers in his field. His work exhibits very clean modern forms that are contrasted by soft tool marks. These marks leave a connection to the maker, and also reveal that such refined work can be made by the hand.
Tomii Takashi’s interest in woodworking began during his one year stay in Vernonia, Oregon where forestry is the key industry. After coming back to Japan in 1995, he started to carve kitchen tools such as butter knives, spatulas, and spoons out of twigs he gathered in the nearby hills. Although he dedicated himself to science experiments throughout his student years, he was inclined to cook and collect kitchenware, ceramics, and wooden tools and furniture. Gradually he started to dream of living by making wooden tableware, and finally in 2002 when he was 25, left graduate school and entered the “Shinrin Takumi Juku” where he learned solid wood furniture making for 2 years. He then worked for Oak Village in Gifu.

In 2008, Tomii moved to Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture and started creating wooden tableware for daily use in his workshop in Minamiyamashiro, Kyoto. All of his pieces are hand tooled or turned on a lathe into very simple and beautiful shapes.

Tomii lives with his wife, Miyuki who helps his work, a daughter and a son. They are enjoying their everyday lives surrounded by rich nature.


Incredibly deep bread trays made from one solid block of chestnut.


Hand chiseled oak tray, with small sakura dish and lotus spoons.


Large Japanese white urushi lacquer-ware bowls


Tomii Takashi will see you next Wednesday!

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Souvenirs from Japan, J & J edition

Posted at 8:30 am in Travel



A few weeks ago we shared some of the treasures we brought back for Elodie. This is our small, but lovely haul.

A beautiful ceramic jar from Zakka (sorry, I can’t find their website…zakka is used in a lot of shop names).

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A Boro or Japanese Patch work Tea bowl coaster in various indigo fabric with beautiful quilt stitching.


Minä Perhonen socks. Yup, just socks! What a gorgeous shop though. Classic mid-century modern interior (see the website, I felt uncomfortable photographing it).




We were planning on buying a Chemex so we grabbed one of these measuring sticks from Farmer’s Table (who incidentally moved locations and no longer have a cafe). We have since purchased our Chemex and have been enjoying it every morning.




The most stunning hand towel we have ever found. It is so nice we can’t even bare to use it in our water closet, so it sits on our bench. It’s made of hand spun cotton with natural indigo dyes. The best part is, we’ll be carrying these textiles in our shop very soon!


A wabi towel holder. It even hangs crooked. For the cottage…

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We absolutely love this stoneware oven dish. They only had three available but we’d love to pick up one more (or three more!). Everything cooks perfectly in it, and it’s ridiculously easy to clean. So far we’ve made meat pie and mac and cheese.

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Kazumi Tsuji Dinner

Posted at 10:00 am in General,Mjölk


On their last night staying with us, Kazumi Tsuji cooked dinner. Kazumi lived in San Francisco so her cooking is a mash up between Japanese, American, and Italian.



We used a mish mash of tableware: Teema (for some reason we only own four cereal bowls, but there were six of us), beautiful lacquer bowls bought from Sabita in Sapporo on our honeymoon, Kazumi Tsuji glasses, Masanobu Ando plates…Japanese cooking is all about the small and many plates, so it’s fun to get to use an assortment of beautiful pieces in one sitting.

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(Clockwise from top left)
Mussles in a white wine and garlic sauce
Spinach salad with toasted sesame seeds
Eggplant and zucchini, hands down the crowd favourite. I wish I knew what she did!!!
Tomato, steak and onion…stew?

It was such a treat to have Kazumi cook for us!

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