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  • September 7, 2018

    Introducing Tetsuya Ozawa

    Funny story about Tetsuya Ozawa's first shipment to us. It sold out within days of receiving it. We never even had a chance to post it to the website, or share our interview with him here on the journal. This week we received a new shipment of Ozawa-san's beautiful work, so it's the perfect time to share John's interview with him.

     

    6 Questions for TETSUYA OZAWA

     

    ( J = JOHN’s Questions / T = TETSUYA’s Answers, translated by Reiko )

     

     

    J : Please give us some insight about who you are, you are based in Tajimi city? 

     

    T :   My name is Tetsuya Ozawa.

    I was born in Tajimi City, Gifu Prefecture in 1984. 

    Graduated from Nagoya University of the Arts in 2008.

    Then I have studied and was being an apprentice under the ceramicist Mr. Masamichi Yoshikawa at

    Tokoname-shi, Aichi prefecture. I started up my own practice in 2016.

    Currently I’m based in Tokoname (*1) , Aichi prefecture.

     

    (*1 = Tokoname City = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokoname

    Tokoname Ware = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokoname_ware )

     

     

    J : What motivates you to make pottery? Did you try to do anything else on your way to becoming a potter? 

     

    T : In my hometown Tajimi City, Ceramics are part of our life and there were so many
    opportunities to touch clays since I was very young.

    Since I realized I would like to be a creator, I think it was natural to start thinking and aiming to be

    “Ceramist” as a choice. I decided to be a Ceramist when I was in junior high school, and since then I continue

    to pursue studying ceramics in high school, university, and apprenticeship under the ceramicist Mr. Yoshikawa.

     

    J : Are there specific forms, history our cultures that inspire your work? 

     

    T : I am heavily influenced by tea culture, folk arts, modern craftwork. 

     

    I mainly used to make objects and sculpture before, but I started to become attracted by the way ceramics has

    been used for people’s daily life. I decided to start to make Ceramics for people and people’s life.

     

    Currently I am interested in how to use the technique of material layering of abstract paintings such as

    the way Mark Rothko did (*2).

     

    (*2 = Mark Rothko = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Rothko )

     

    I try to produce my ceramics with awareness of what is at my feet and what is surrounding myself.

    Like making a little tea pot to the ancient big pottery style from my local Tokoname village.

     

    J : The surface of your ceramics is very unique. I believe it is white slip over clay? The texture is very beautiful, how did you come to use this to finish your pieces?

     

    T : I use old technique called “KOFUKI ( = dusting )”.

    I put white soil on the clay which contains a lot of iron, like putting on "make-up”.

    It is a distinctive technique that creates a soft texture on the surface.

    It does make a totally different texture compared with the regular white porcelains.

     

    When I started to do experiments, I only put one layer on the surface. I was still wondering if

    I could create more complicated textures, like something with dirtiness and some roughness.

    Then the paper container that I bought from an antique store caught my eyes.

     

    I noticed I could see various colors and expressions on one bowl...such as paper wrinkles,

    dirts stuck by being used, deterioration of paints, some brushstrokes to give strength for the substrate of surface etc.

    Then I started to create my current style which is putting soil overlap and scraping off repeatedly.

    This is the catalyst for when I started to apply it to my own work.

     


    J : Is there something special about your process? Or the clay / glazing you use?  

     

    T : I originally like mat finish with complex expressions without glaze.

    However, experimentally I was looking for something where I could put a delicate gloss like lacquer finish,

    I found “Chara" lacquer which is used for Tokoname teapot.

     

    “Chara" lacquer was developed for the mass production of Tokoname teapots.

    It is a very unique glaze, It gives a subtle gloss on vessels.

     

    I think the unique and traditional technique of Tokoname-yaki helps me to create my own style. 

    All different kind of techniques that has been cultivated since ancient times, such as how to make big objects, 

    how to make teapots, and how to bake them.

     

     

    J : Besides pottery, what do you enjoy? reading? film? music?

     

    T : I like playing the guitar.

    Let’s say… I like African American music as the genre of music, especially Pop songs derived from them.

    And like… Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B and especially I like artists in my generation. They inspire and stimulate

    me a lot. I’m listening to them when I'm working in studio.

     

     

    J : Thank you very much!

     

     

    Shop Tetsuya Ozawa at Mjölk

     

     

     

     

  • August 30, 2018

    The Stone House: bathroom and guest room

    The view from the parlour towards the guest bedroom and the bathroom.

     

    A few views into the guest bedroom from the parlour. 

     

    Guest bedroom details:

     

    Companions Bed in walnut by Studioilse. Evidently this is the best bed ever.

     

    Walnut and cast iron McQueen bedside chest by Matthew Hilton (also available via Mjölk but not currently on our website).

     

    Carrie Lamp from Menu is battery operated and handy for walking to the bathroom or contending with bats at night
    (aka using as a night light to keep the bats away).

     

    Walls are painted with Belgian Wilderness lime fresco from Pure & Original Paint.
    Same as our showroom, different technique.

     

    Not that you can really see it here, but the blue, purple and green flatweave Swedish rug is by Judith Johansson. We were first introduced to her work at JP Willborg in Stockholm (I highly recommend a visit there), where we bought a gorgeous red and blue rug. We then acquired a brown and orange one via auction. So one could say we are fans.

     

    Waiting for a desk. Disappointed we cannot place a desk in front of the window but due to a second door that goes into the bathroom the bed is in the way. Mexiko Pendant from Kalmar (for some reason it's not on our website but it is available via Mjölk). A shaker box in the deep set window. Artwork found at an antique market in Tokyo. 

     

    A view into the bathroom. To the right of the door is a sandcast brass light switch by Oji Masanori from Futagami. We managed to get a few for the main floor. Adore them.

     

    New additions to the bathroom:

     

    The poetic Alma pendant light by Tham & Videgard for Wästberg.

     

    Black cabinet is a Belgian barber cabinet from the early 1800s.  Don't get me started on the trial
    that was acquiring this. 

     

    Striped rug was a surprising find from Ikea. We had bought a rug on Etsy and then forgot that we actually bought it, found this rug at Ikea which was perfect, then found out we actually did buy the Etsy rug. Super organized over here! Etsy rug is now bedside in the guest room.

     

     


    A view of the white oak console, with baskets from Ingegerd Raman's collection at Ikea. Towel rack and towels from Momogusa. Artwork bought in Japan, by Swedish artist Gunnar Larson.

     

     

     

  • August 27, 2018

    Norihiko Terayama Exhibition: Things that were arranged

    For years people have admired Norihiko Terayama's large scale flower artwork in our showroom. It was time for another visit from Norihiko and this time he brought with him some versions of this artwork to sell in his second solo exhibition at Mjölk. Unfortunately we are nervous to ship these pieces outside of Toronto, due to their fragility but there are some smaller pieces available here.

     


    Along with the framed works, there were flower interventions on found objects and antiques.

     

    Antique wooden bucket with floating flowers.

     

    Lidded urushi bowl with floating flowers (one left).

     

    Antique Lacquerware container with floating flowers.

     

    We had three flower rulers available as well. Turns out Norihiko has a few more back in Japan that he will send us. Please email us if you are interested. 

     

    Most of the Polygons sold at the event. There are a few beauties left. 

     

    Crust of Polygon, Object 1

     

    Crust of Polygon, Object 2

     

    Crust of Polygon, Object 3

     

    The opening reception was a lovely evening. It's always so heartwarming how engaged everyone is.

     

    Norihiko Terayama at Mjölk.

  • August 21, 2018

    Stone House: the parlour

    Ta da! New wall colour in the living room! 

     

    We switched out the overworked and underwhelming Elephant Grey for Pure & Original's Old Linen. We are so happy with the change. The room feels calm and warm, and it doesn't interfere with the view outside. It also has less contrast with the chair rail.

     

    I'm going to be honest, I am kind of sad that I am all caught up with these renovation posts. In July we got another shipment of furniture to the stone house. The vintage pieces have been loboriously aquired over the previous two years (remember we put our offer on the stone house back in 2016). 

     

    Furniture in the room:

    Mayor Sofa by Arne Jacobsen from &tradition in gold velvet. 

    Fly coffee table by Space Copenhagen from &tradition in smoked oak base and Pietro di Fossena marble top.

    Vintage chair by Charlotte Perriand.

    Vintage Piano by Poul Henningsen (!)

    Vintage rug Snäckorna by Barbro Nilsson.

    Vintage rug Hästhov by Marianne Richter.

    Framed drawing on left by Sean Stewart.

    Framed painting on right by Ellesworth Kelly.

     

    Accessories in the room:

    On the left windowsill, a candleholder gift from Malin Appelgren.

    On the right windowsill, a sculpture by Falke Svantun.

    On the table, sculptures by Masanobu Ando and Keisuke Iwata, accompanied by the Pallo vase
    by Carina Seth Andersson.

    On the sofa, a lovely soft Japanese Yak Wool blanket from Jurgen Lehl,
    which I used this past weekend outside on the new bench, a pillow by Jaime Hayon, and a pillow from Mourne Textiles.

     

    Vintage light fixture is by Vilhelm Lauritzen. These fixtures were site specific, for a place called Christiansborg. We actually bought one for a client project and then lucked out finding another one for our own place!

     

    A better view of the Hästhov (coltsfoot) rug, and a shaker stand for candlemaking.

     

    The unresolved corner, recently a little more resolved since we brought the second of the Peacock chairs over...

    they just begged to stay a pair though we had initially hoped to fund the purchase of one with the sale of the other.

     

    Kalmar Hase floor light brings quiet sophistication to the scene.

     

    We have been debating moving an artwork to this wall from home. It's a Joshua Jensen-Nagle piece, all moody and the right colours...but is it too glossy?

     

    What do you think?  (let us know via Instagram @mjolkshop or @juli_at_mjolk or @john_at_mjolk)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The kakelugn looks right at home in this 1840s Georgian parlour room.