February, 2012

Ando Masanobu Opening party

February 27th, 2012


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

February 25th, 2012



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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Mjölk interview on Monocle Radio program “Section D”

February 15th, 2012

We’re pleased to share our interview with Monocle Radio that debuted on Valentines day!

You can listen to the program by following this link

We are episode 18 and our interview is about halfway in. Special shout outs to Anderssen Voll, Andrea Maack, Lovisa Wattman and Borge Mogensen!

Braun photo via Dasprogram

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Masanobu Ando solo exhibition at Mjölk

February 14th, 2012

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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Plants in the shop

February 8th, 2012


It’s starting to look like plant week on the blog. Not only did we get some plants for our home, we also went to Sheridan Nurseries to get some simple terracotta pots and some extra plants for the store.

This Ming Aralia plant looks especially Japanese in the back of the shop. Now I wish we got another for our home.


This little potted plant reminds us of a tiny pine tree.


A little bonsai tree now in our front window. Feel free to drop by and make sure I’m taking proper care of it.

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Nesting Part 1: Bringing in some nature

February 5th, 2012


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!

Mjolk_nature-3 Mjolk_nature-8

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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