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.
July 24, 7-10pm
Mira Nakashima and family in attendance.
2959 Dundas Street West
Mjölk is honored to present the ?rst Canadian retrospective of works by legendary architect and craftsman George Nakashima, and his daughter, architect, designer and head of the Nakashima Studio, Mira Nakashima. We are proud to showcase a large collection of iconic works by George Nakashima as well as new works from Mira Nakashima’s Keisho (continuation) collection. Mira Nakashima, along with her daughter Maria, and granddaughter Maya will be special guests in attendance.
Exhibition runs July 24th to August 30th.
Please note that the store will be closed July 23-24 for the installation of the exhibition. If you are looking to pick up something from our regular collection, please give us a call/email and we can accommodate your request!
The Nakashima furniture collection will be complemented by a curated collection of art by some of Japan’s most famous contemporary artisans. This group of artists include potters Masanobu Ando and Koichi Uchida, wood artisans Ryuji Mitani and Shingo Tsukuda, and metal artists Takejiro and Mami Hasegawa.
The group of artisans will provide a living context to the Nakashima collection and offer visitors an exclusive opportunity to see and purchase works by artists who seldom show work outside of their native Japan. We believe this group of artists capture the spirit of the Nakashima’s work and carry on the mission of providing beautiful well-crafted items that go beyond their basic function and provide something beautiful that enriches the soul.
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.
It was such a treat to have Kazumi cook for us!
I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine! I just wanted to let everyone know I spent the day yesterday updating our website with around 20 new items! Please take a look when you have a moment.
We’ve also started to get some exciting new shipments to freshen up our showroom for the summer. There were too many to photograph, but here is a little sampling of some notable new works available.
This is pretty incredible, the Tati coatrack by Mats Broberg & Johan Ridderstråle. Also pictured is the Gallery Stool.
Finnish shoes not for sale.
Brass “Fanny vase” by Ami Katz. We’re thinking of getting one for the cottage.
The long awaited brass and silver cutlery by Masanori Oji for Futagami. We exhibited the prototypes last summer, and we’ve had people waiting ever since to get their hands on them. They are now finally available and added to our online shop.
A few weeks ago we headed to Japan for a whirlwind trip to gather content for volume 3 of our book and to visit with friends. First stop was a day in Kyoto. It’s kind of embarrassing but we’ve been to Kyoto twice and still haven’t visited a temple or garden. I demanded that next trip we make it a priority. But this time we had another agenda – glass artist Kazumi Tsuji traveled in to say hello and to introduce us to another artist. We have an exhibition with Kazumi on May 30th.
A cute sweets shop, and playing ball at sunset in a back street.
As many East coasters can relate, we were desperate for a hit of spring.
John was obsessed with the potted trees. We wandered through Gion over to Pontocho to find some dinner. We ended up at a Japanese bbq joint where we grilled some amazing marbled beef. I am sparing the vegan/vegetarians from the obligatory gross raw meat photo. You all know what it looks like!
After a wonderful stop in Tajimi to visit Masanobu Ando, we headed over to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. We were treated to an incredible cold soba lunch, to which we realize we have never truly had soba before. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the place but it’s renown and the outside looks like ^^
The space is so simple and calm, just three tables. The owner, pictured, does it all.
Love the plant.
The pottery has been used for 20+ years and has a beautiful patina. It’s the kind of thing that needs special care, like hand washing, but creates such an integral experience.
The owner made the indigo textile rug draped over the Tsuitate in the front entrance. She does it as a hobby! Next door there is a nice antique shop with plenty of indigo pieces but we didn’t have time or cash (we always forget how Japan is still quite the cash society).
We stopped in for a coffee and cheese toast at the famous Cafe Marumo. The cafe is designed by the founder of the Satsuma-Mingei-Furniture movement, and it was the local hang out for philosopher Soetsu Yanagi, and other famous Japanese writers. The cafe opened in 1956 and is a part of a Ryokan (Japanese style Hotel), but you can just visit the cafe on its own.
3-3-10 Chuo, Matsumoto-city
8.00 – 18.00 (open 7 days a week)
End of the cherry blossoms, but still photo worthy I guess!
A beautiful vintage book shop.
We stayed in Asama Onsen at a ryokan. Usually we stay in the super mod ones, but this was our first classic ryokan experience. It actually took awhile to relax, though we desperately needed it. After a bath and dinner served in our room, we passed out at 8pm! The other plus was all of our meals were included, and since we usually stay at modern ryokans we got really used to the gastronomy Kaiseki experience which we weren’t enthusiastic about. Here the kaiseki was more approachable, still delicate and beautiful but everything just tasted delicious.
By the time we returned to Tokyo I was over carrying my camera around! We met up with Masanori Oji and Taku for izakaya.
A platter of sashimi and sea urchin. So delicious!
We’re looking forward to sharing some more photos with you this week!
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.