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NAKASHIMA: A Retrospective

Posted at 1:08 pm in Mjölk
Round Cluster Dining Table_7-L George Bending


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!
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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.

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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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Mjölk update!

Posted at 2:28 pm in Mjölk


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.


Vass cabinet by Claesson Koiviston Rune, Ilse Crawford lamp, Copper patina oil lamp, funnel vase by Renaud Sauve, Cast Iron river stone door stop by Makoto Koizumi, and Rocket stool by Eero Aarnio.


This is pretty incredible, the Tati coatrack by Mats Broberg & Johan Ridderstråle. Also pictured is the Gallery Stool.


Finnish shoes not for sale.


Our hinoki pail and stool, Brass and mouth blown glass vase, ceramics by Masanobu Ando, and Tin sake pitcher and cups.


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.


The most beautiful teapot by Masanobu Ando, along with an Ando milk pitcher and Masanori Oji “Sun” pot rest.


New black lacquer-ware bowls and cherry soup spoons by Tomii Takashi. Along with a specially made white-lacquer lidded cutlery box. Tomii Takashi will be at Mjölk June 26th!!! Save the date!

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Hey, we went to Japan (again)!

Posted at 7:49 am in Travel


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.

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A cute sweets shop, and playing ball at sunset in a back street.


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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!

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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!


Matsumoto castle.


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We stopped in at a beautiful shop / cafe called Laboratorio. There is also an Arts & Science store on the first floor of the building.


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!


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Photos from Junction Design Crawl 2012

Posted at 2:52 pm in Mjölk,The Junction


Last night was the 2nd Junction Design Crawl, and it was such a nice surprise to see so many familiar faces. Thank you to everyone who came out to explore the Junction and all of its unique businesses.

Our event was the tardy launch of Mjolk book volume 1. We had a bunch of special goodies on hand from Iceland and Hokkaido for people to buy as well as highlighting the makers and designers featured in our first volume.


The wrapwrap by Naoto Yoshida, the wood business card case by Masakage Tanno, and a very special hand carved Ainu bear from Hokkaido.

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Kami cups, Pia Wallen and Iris Hantverk.


An Iba Takahito stool was on hand with our book – bookmarked to the page with an article on him.


This Ainu bear is perhaps the nicest one we have come across, it was kind of heart wrenching to see it go, but we know it went to a good home!


Something we were specifically excited about: all of the small Icelandic goodies we imported.


Opal and Topas candies, as well as Icelandic hot dog mustard.


Very cool wild herbs.


One of my favorite things in the world is show and tell. We thought it would be neat to display some things from our own personal collection, items we’ve picked up during our travels that continue to inspire us.

Many of the works are by artists we admire, or items that lead us to carrying a specific artist in our store.



Some wood spoons by Ryuji Mitani, and ceramic spoons by Nathalie Lahdenmaki.

On the left a plastic box, cherry wood cooking shovel, and box of air by Masanobu Ando.


A mix of objects including a copper Tapio Wirkkala bowl, Lisa Larsson fox, hand carved wood fox from Asahikawa, Japanese lacquer coated kin tea light holders by CKR.



We were so busy that we didn’t really have much of an opportunity to visit all of the shops in the neighborhood! This is just a sampling, but I’m sure there will be a lot of photos on the Design Crawl blog shortly, so stay tuned.

Mason’s beautiful cup light installation and harpist in the train platform across the street.




Russet & Empire and Phillipa C‘s picture booth.




Articulations front window – there was more inside but it was too busy to get a quick peek (same for Opticianado). Sadly never made it over to Narwhal or Telephone Booth Gallery. Hopefully their exhibits will be up for a little bit longer!

Until next year……


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Nesting Part 1: Bringing in some nature

Posted at 2:09 pm in Home Reno


Recently we found out that because of the delayed permits, our renovation is not going to be complete until the fall. As a result, we figured we better make ourselves feel more at home in our temporary apartment, because we’ll be spending a lot of time there in the early baby days. So the first thing we did was head over to ecostems to buy some plants!

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On the left are some special edition Kin tea light holders by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Seventy-five were made for disaster relief in Japan through the shop Sfera. Coated with traditional Japanese Urushi, we have a black, red and green version.

Large furry Dala horse was bought off Ebay.

On the right is a Pure Nature Pillow by Dorte Agergaard. We will have more stock in the shop soon (we just need to order pillows for the cases).




Encaustic artwork is by Beverly Owens.


Photographic artwork is by Joshua Jensen-Nagle (our first art purchase).


We bought this wall vase by Masanobu Ando on our honeymoon in Hokkaido. We will be hosting Ando-san on February 23rd at Mjölk for an exhibition of his amazing ceramics. We’ll post the invite this week!

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