• May 17, 2018

    Non-Finito Exhibition


    On Thursday, May 17 we hosted Brian Richer of Castor with his first solo stone carving exhibition at Mjolk.  The show runs until the end of the month so pop by in person if you can! Otherwise, here's a little pictoral overview of the show.


    Non-Finito Vase, limestone - $700 (edition of 3 - for brevity we are using the term edition to mean there will be a maximum quantity made, though they aren't technically an edition because they are made by hand)


    On the left is a wood stand holding Brian's tools, which Brian made himself. 


    Non-Finito Bowl - $700 (limestone, edition of 3)


    Close up of tools.


    Brian's handmade tools on the left.
    We also left some of our antiques in the mix, as they complimented the stone work beautifully.



    Non-Finito Alabaster Cube - $975 (edition of 1) and the only piece made of alabaster.




    Non-Finito Copper Bowl - $1200 (edition of 1)


    Close up: Brian grew the copper onto the marble bowl.


    Non-Finito Tall Flower Vase - $2400 (limestone, edition of 3)


    Non-Finito Stool - $2400 (limestone, edition of 3)


    Non-Finito Shaker Table - $5400 (limestone, edition of 3)


    "There's a Judd in that stone!" - $5400 (limestone, edition of 3)


    The stone carver: Brian Richer


    The night of the opening was so much fun. New and familiar faces turned up to see the work, enjoy a cold Ace Hill beer and some truly lovely Japanese inspired stew made by Matty Matheson. Thank you Matty for the food and your time serving and chatting with all the guests. Unfortunately I neglected to get a photo...too busy enjoying the evening. Check out the highlight reel on the @mjolkshop instagram.


    Finally, a shout out to Ace Hill brewery for supplying our beverages for the evening.



  • May 10, 2018

    Non-Finito Exhibition at Mjolk









    The Captive (or ‘unfinished’) figures of Michelangelo are the primary inspiration for the series by Brian Richer. The Creative Director at Castor Design is also a trained stone carver. He has worked on many architecturally significant buildings in North America, and has explored captives for years.  


    The Captive sculptures are simple forms, carved using only hand tools, mallet, and chisel. Unlike most sculptors—who built a model and then marked up their block of marble to know where to carve—Michelangelo always worked freehand. He saw the sculptor’s job was to reveal the work that already existed within the stone. In these figures one can still see the grooves from the chisel, the process of the work, revealing the hand of the sculptor.


    The Captive collection is one that presents classic forms (such as a stone bowl, a Shaker table, a Donald Judd chair, etc.) emerging from rough blocks of Indiana Limestone. Each object is partially consumed by the natural material in either a roughed or rectilinear shape. The series ascribes the same value to these pieces of furniture that is given to Michelangelo’s figures. The result is both recognizable and venerable at once.


    Non-Finito: a solo exhibition of captive stone carving by Brian Richer. Ace Hill drinks and stew will be served at the opening reception by Brian Richer and chef Matty Matheson.


        Thursday, May 17, 7–9pm


    2959 Dundas Street West

    Toronto, ON, Canada

    M6P 1Z2

  • May 8, 2018

    Studio Tour: Brian Richer of Castor Design

    In discussing our upcoming show with Castor Design's Brian Richer, we had the opportunity to pop by and check out his studio space.




    Brian demonstrating a lighting prototype, and on the right, a stone carving exploration for The Captive exhibition.


    There are some really interesting experiments and studies on display.
    An example above using cellophane tape and light.


    The office space contains a portion of the table from their long gone Oddfellows restaurant. Fun fact, we had our joint bachelor/bachelorette party in the Castor/Oddfellows camper van, of which you can see a model of on the top shelf.


    Out front of the office/packing/workshop in a small shipping container is Brian's stone carving studio.


    A plaster bust of Elvis.

    Tools of the trade.
    Antique mallets and chisels handmade by Brian. 




    Shop details.

    Brian carving a slab of limestone.


    Non-Finito: a solo exhibition of captive stone carving by Brian Richer. Ace Hill drinks and stew will be served at the opening reception by Brian Richer and chef Matty Matheson.


    Click here for more details.


        Thursday, May 17, 7–9pm


    2959 Dundas Street West

    Toronto, ON, Canada

    M6P 1Z2

  • May 7, 2018

    Detour Cafe in Dundas, Ontario



    We recently had the pleasure of working on the Detour Cafe renovation. Located in Dundas, Ontario (next to Hamilton) is a classic little Ontario town, with a charming main street. About midway along the strip you'll find a stand alone Victorian house, with a cafe on the main floor and nice patio on the side. We had visited Detour with much enthusiasm in the past so when our client asked us to help them reimagine the space, we were more than happy to oblige.


    Detour Coffee is now accompanied by Dear Grain heirloom breads, and they have started to serve open faced sandwiches which I cannot wait to try.





    Probably the most significant changes occured with the investment in new Oak flooring from Relative Space as well as using Pure & Original Lime fresco paint in Bone. What an incredible difference this subtle textured natural paint gives to plain old boring drywall. Mjölk is now a representative in Toronto and the surrounding area for Pure & Original Paint.  


    We were able to reappropriate the banquettes they already had, but changed the proportions and painted them out with the really soft and pretty Farrow & Ball Vert de Terre. The Josef Hoffman chairs were a lucky find at Williams in our Junction neighbourhood and have the very cool history of having been previously used at the Toronto Public Reference Library.


    Hanging above the tables are Mass Pendants in copper by Norm Architects.


    Top it all off with some greenery in terracotta pots, a brass Min watering can, and some antiques to add texture and warmth. On the tables we have pink Kin tea light holders, brass Fundament candleholders and Acorn vases from Svenskt Tenn.


    On the other side of the cafe the first major thing we proposed was turning the squared off insert into one with an arch, and the effect is astounding. 


    We found the antique mirror at local Junction antique shop City Furniture, the last stop on our search and it was exactly what we were hoping to find. The long brass candle snuffer is by Stian Korntved Ruud.








    Dedicated Detour customers may recognize the repurposed counter with its new bright top. The Oak flooring was extended up the back wall. A pass through window allows for customers to see the bread oven for Dear Grain breads. The cream coloured swing doors have always been there but they've been freshened up with a bright coat of paint and the brass fixtures have been polised, making the doors look brand new.


    Above the counter are the w162 Dalston pendant lights by Sam Hecht & Kim Colin.




    A grain library sits in Weck jars in the window, and some product is available to purchase as well, including Detour coffee beans, Preservation Society and other artisan products.


    On the other side is a water station, with a Svenskt Tenn tray, Low Vase by Jaime Hayon and a large sconce in brass by Malin Appelgren.




    At the coffee station, the milk and cream are served in elegant Georg Jensen jugs, AJ Otto bowls for lids and stir sticks have never been so classy as they are in the Oji Masanori brass tool holder.


    A small Ikebana vase adds an easy burst of colour.



































    The exterior was great as it is, and the addition of some gold foil lettering adds a beautiful final touch.