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Chanoyu: A solo exhibition for Masanobu Ando

Posted at 3:14 pm in General,Mjölk


Thursday night we hosted our second solo exhibition with Japanese potter Masanobu Ando. We were very happy to see so many familiar faces coming to greet Mr. Ando again during his second visit. Thank you very much for making him feel at home.


One of the only sculptures in the exhibition, a “box of air”.



During the exhibition we had a focus on Tea Ceremony tools, and the center of the Tea Ceremony is the Chawan or Tea Bowl.


A tea whisk stand, and cloth holder.



I really love these silver glazed ceramic trays, and wanted one for myself but alas they sold right away.



A torch shaped wall vase, such a symbol for humanity it’s something every ancient society has in common.


Maybe some of our favourite pieces in the show are these large scale wall-mounted flower vases.


Flower plates.


A “Coffee Ceremony” Chabako. All of the beautiful implements fit in the gorgeous bamboo basket below.



A specially made Tea box with objects made or commissioned by Mr. Ando. Sorry this also sold right away.


For a limited time, full sets of coffee cups!


A unique Mizusashi with a geometric handle (a water jar used in the Tea Ceremony).


Amazing ceramic pedestals for serving food or display.


A special edition of the coffee funnel in a silver glaze.


Mr. Ando performed a special Tea Ceremony in our front window. People crowded around him from the inside and wrapped all around the front window. It was quite the spectacle, I wish I took some pictures! If you have any, please send some to me.


A close up of some of the special Tea Utensils, I’m sorry none of these are for sale.



Please let us know if you see anything you might be interested in.

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Masanobu Ando: Solo Exhibition

Posted at 12:26 pm in General

05.20.14.Mjolk6792 05.20.14.Mjolk6793

We are really excited to announce our second exhibition for Japanese potter and Tea Master Masanobu Ando. For this exhibition we are diving further into our exploration of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. We will be offering Tea Ceremony tools made by Masanobu Ando, considered the highest level of expression in his work, as well as a large collection of unique ceramics for the home.

The opening reception will be held Thursday May 29th, and Masanobu Ando will be hosting a public Tea Ceremony for our visitors.

Above: One of the unique Tea bowls made especially for the exhibition.


A wall mounted flower vase.


A silver glazed coffee funnel.


One of our favorite pieces, a beautiful black and iron glazed footed bowl.


A silver glazed milk pitcher.


We will also be selling a special Chabako (Traveling tea box) put together by Masanobu Ando commissioning work from some of the most renowned artisans in Japan. It is a really special collection for anyone interested in learning Chad?.



We hope to see you next week!


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New works by Tomiyama Koichi and Masanobu Ando

Posted at 4:50 pm in Mjölk


I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying a nice relaxing end of the year holiday. We’ve had a busy season entertaining Christmas shoppers, moving back upstairs, unpacking into our new home, and providing the finishing arrangements for our most ambitious exhibition yet.

Although everything moved relatively smoothly for our holiday shoppers, there were a couple of parcels that didn’t make it in time for the rush. Now that they’re here, it might be for the best as it freshened up the showroom, and saved us from frantically placing new orders to re-stock our shelves.

As mentioned in the Post name, we have a new collection of goods by wood artisan Tomiyama Koichi, and ceramicist Masanobu Ando. Interestingly enough, the packages arrived together and their contents would satisfy even the pickiest coffee connoisseur.

So I present to you Mjolk’s obsessive coffee drinker collection!


Top left: Coffee trough – hand carved from a single block of chestnut wood, it is incredible to see in person ($150).

Top right: Star coffee dripper – the perfect dripper for “pour over” style coffee ($80).

Bottom right: Coffee scoop. The scoop is made from chestnut and the handle is made from aluminum that Koich-san reclaims and hammers into shape ($65).

It’s not hard to believe that we own the set already, so in case you didn’t know what a coffee trough was or a dripper here is how we use our coffee gear:


Here’s our coffee scoop which started it’s life as the pale chestnut in the above photo. The coffee stains the wood a nice walnut colour over time.


This jar was a collaboration between glass artist Kazumi Tsuji (who we represent in the store) and wood artisan Ryuji Mitani.


After the coffee beans are ground, they are transferred to the coffee trough.


This allows the grounds to be added to the dripper neatly. A little tip to keep the paper filter attached to the ends of the dripper and to prevent the paper from breaking is to wet the paper before you add the grounds. This removes the paper taste and warms your mug up for you – always remember to remove the water before making your coffee.





We received a handful of these tiny beautiful milk pitchers by Mr. Ando ($50). I’m so sorry we have already sold out of the Masanobu Ando mug!


A silver glazed ceramic platter by Masanobu Ando ($140) with a specially made wood spreader by Tomiyama Koichi ($38).


Our dining table, chairs, and a nice little coffee break.


Finally a new addition is this hand tooled Japanese walnut tray made by Tomiyama Koichi ($340). The depth is created by gouging the tray with a chisel, the edges are softened but retain their square shape.

Glasses above by Tsuji Kazumi available for $85.

Please note that these works are limited and unique so they might not be added to the Mjolk web shop,  please contact us for availability.

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Ando Masanobu Opening party

Posted at 10:25 pm in General,Mjölk


Now as promised, some photos of the opening night of Ando Masanobu’s first solo show in North America: “Kita Wou Omou Utsuwa”.


Our black library was emptied out to show off the collection of white ceramics. These was the section of multiples people could actually take off the shelf to take home with them.



The exterior banner.



A collection of coffee cups, and coffee drippers, some of the most popular items of the evening.


One of the special things we did for the exhibition to keep to the nordic theme was make glögg.


It made the whole place smell amazing. Thanks to Lauren who put it together for us!


Ando-san’s ceramics (a part of our personal collection) make perfect serving dishes for the almonds and raisins to add to the glögg.


Box of Air sculptures. Flowers by Coriander Girl.


During the early evening local artist Tomori Nagamoto brought over some tea ceremony tools so Mr. Ando could perform a traditional tea ceremony for the opening of the exhibition. We were invited to be the guests for the first two cups.


The tea ceremony itself is a beautiful ritual. in the beginning Mr. Ando serves the guests some sugar.


He then cleans the drinking vessel with hot water and discards this water in a bowl, and wipes the cup with a clean cloth.



The green tea is added and whisked together with the hot water. The cup is carefully inspected before handing the cup over to the guest.



After we finished our tea, Mr. Ando invited other guests to take part in the ceremony.


Whisking the green tea.









A big thank you to Takeya Daisuke, my brother Frank, and Lauren for helping put together the exhibition.

Thanks again to Coriander Girl for providing our flowers, and Easton’s for putting together our delicious spread of charcuterie.

Thank you to all of the people that came out to visit the exhibition Thursday night and came the next day on Friday for the public opening.

Last and most importantly, thank you to Ando Masanobu for traveling all the way to Toronto to attend the exhibition, and for allowing us to share his beautiful works with our customers.

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Ando Masanobu opening

Posted at 3:43 pm in General,Mjölk



On Wednesday we drove to the airport with artist (and translator for the week) Takeya Daisuke to pick up Mr. Ando. The next day we emptied the first half of the store and carried in a huge 4″ thick Douglas Fir slab bench we had SMASH make for the exhibition. The bench is inspired by the long wood planks we saw at Ando Masanobu’s studio that he uses to display his work.


We really love the display bench, it might have to stick around after the exhibition. It just displays ceramics so nicely.


Let’s take you through some of the objects featured:


From left: a large colander, medium colander, and a soap dish.


The special art piece made for the exhibition is “a box of air”. Inspired by the volume within the Japanese bedroom, it allows the user to recreate this sacred space by placing a small stone or flower in the middle of the square.


A unique glazed bowl.


A ceramic pitcher inspired by antique enamelware.


Magnesium, copper, and bronze coated ovenware makes these pieces appear as if they are rusted cast iron.


A dinner plate, soup bowl, and renge soup spoon.


Two ceramic coffee drippers, for pour over coffee.


A cream pitcher and milk pitcher


Renge soup spoons, so beautiful.


A single stem ceramic wall vase.


The front riser features the set of flower dishes and a silver coated ceramic dish.

There are some works still available, so if you live in Toronto please visit us while the exhibition is still running over the next week. We’ll have some photos of the opening party with Mr. Ando in the next day or two, so stay tuned!

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Masanobu Ando solo exhibition at Mjölk

Posted at 9:00 pm in Mjölk

Join us next Thursday for a solo exhibition of Japanese ceramicist Masanobu Ando

“Kita wo omou utsuwa”

A study of crockery and its relationship to everyday life in the north.

Masanobu Ando will be here at the store for the opening reception Thursday night between 7 – 10pm. We’ll be serving Glögg, and a selection of cheese and charcuterie.

We hope to see you there!


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