• 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.

  • April 29, 2018

    Mjolk Showroom Refresh 2018


    Welcome to the new Mjölk Journal


    In January 2009 we started our blog Kitka. Over the years we shared our cottage renovations, travel experiences, exhibitions with craftspeople and more. Kitka will live on as an archive, and moving forward we will continue to share in this newly designed space. 


    It being our ninth year at Mjölk as well, we decided it was finally time to refresh our showroom. Luckily we had recently happened upon a product that would really inform the more major change in the back of our showroom. Pure & Original paint from Belgium came on our radar during several other recent projects and the timing was right to incorporate it in our showroom.


    In the front space we used "Milk", wooed by the name. It retains its gallery like open feeling, though there is a subtle texture added to the walls as shown in the above photo.




    New FRAMA daybed, with Piloti coffee table  by Hugo Passos.


    Renaud Sauve's pieces are really popping on the white oak Enfield table.



    Moving on towards the showroom transitional space.


    Furniture: Finn Juhl's 45 Chair, Piloti side table by Hugo Passos, Finn Juhl's France Chair, Fly Coffee Table by Space Copenhagen, and Fly 3-seater sofa by Space Copenhagen.


    Over the years, the back of the showroom has been a struggle. The addition of a shoji lightbox over a window and new permanent white oak shelving fixtures definitely helped but the white drywall was reading as bland. The limited light did nothing to make the space pop so we decided to move in a different direction, opting for the dark green Belgian Wilderness from Pure & Original paint. We used the up/down effect and it has added so much depth and texture. This colour also works really well with the various woods, brass and plant life.


    Brass Lindvall pendant lights by Jonas Lindvall and Adam Stool by Toke Lauridsen for FRAMA.





    As you can see, depending on the light, the wall colour shifts. Here the bright light from the sun through the window makes the green look paler.


    Furniture pictured: Mayor Sofa by Arne Jacobsen, Swoon Armchair by Space Copenhagen, natural leather 2207 single lounge chair by Borge Mogensen, JH5 Formakami Pendant by Jaime Hayon, brass and oak Dornstab floor lamp, brass and leather Hase BL floor lamp.


    New in the showroom is the lower backed  StudioIlse 444 bench and Space Copenhagen SC7 Copenhagen Pendants.


    The desk area is slowly getting more layers. After a refresh it's just like moving into a new home. One is reluctant to poke holes in the new paint job, or overcrowd the space. New to the showroom is the simple FRAMA shelving as seen above.


    Furniture also pictured: Hiroshima upholstered chair by Naoto Fukasawa and Harold Desk by Luca Nichetto.