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  • May 25, 2018

    An introduction to the Stone House

    Several years ago, lost in the midst of raising two small children and running our shop, we began to yearn for a place of calm. We were already fortunate to have the inhereted family cottage, however summers seemed even more hectic and the beach community has so much energy and structure, it wasn't providing the grounding we were craving. 

     

    We also have a serious little house on the prairie pioneering itch to scratch, and so began the hunt for a farm house. Naturally it couldn't be just any farm house. Round one included two visits to a lovely log house near Horseshoe Valley but something just wasn't quite right. Plus the 100 acres seemed overwhelming when it was discovered you can't just go wandering into the woods (you have to actually prune and create paths...no time for that!).

     

    Round two brought us out to a stone house near Belleville. The initial website images were enough to scare anyone away but encouraged by the temptation of a little getaway to nearby Prince Edward County got us through the door. Once inside we were nervous. It was rough and unlived in for a few years, and smelled so badly. Yet, there was something magical. It was August and the house was surrounded on three sides by fields of tall corn stalks. A small grouping of trees and a stream ran along the property line. It was peaceful and despite the decrepitness of the interior, the exterior stone suggested solidity, strength and security.

     

    We didn't depart sold, but we arrived at the Drake Devonshire for lunch about an hour and a half later, and within minutes of sitting down, we were feverishly contacting the agent to put in an offer. Funny how these things happen.

     

    We hope that you follow our journey in bringing this old stone home back to life.

     

     

     

     

  • 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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Non-Finito

     

    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.

     

    OPENING RECEPTION
        Thursday, May 17, 7–9pm

    Mjölk

    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.

     

    OPENING RECEPTION
        Thursday, May 17, 7–9pm

    Mjölk

    2959 Dundas Street West

    Toronto, ON, Canada

    M6P 1Z2