Toronto's Mjölk gallery commissions Italian designer Luca Nichetto for a restrained, elegant coffee set made of ceramic and wood.
Sucabaruca is a coffee set designed by Luca Nichetto and produced in collaboration with Mjölk gallery in Toronto. Owners John Baker and Juli Daoust commissioned Nichetto to call on his Scandinavian and Japanese design influences, which are reflected in Mjölk's own well-crafted inventory.
Sucabaruca's form calls to mind a diverse set of cultural imagery. According to Nichetto, the cone-shaped body recalls 'Carmencita,' a famous character created by Armando Testa in 1966 for the television show 'Carosello'.
The patterns are hand-engraved into the ceramic, emphasizing the uniqueness of the pieces. The tray is made of Canadian maple wood, a nod to Mjölk's home base. The cups can be stacked on top of the pitcher, giving the set a whimsical quality.
Nichetto has prototyped three colorways, from Margiela-inspired all-white to pastel tones, characteristic of Japanese architecture, and bright Pop colors that pay tribute to the Memphis movement and artist Jean-Paul Goude.
The people and places involved in producing the set are diverse: Juli Draost and John Baker whose Canadian store sources products from Scandinavia and Japan; Canadian ceramist Alissa Coe, who made the prototypes; Lera Moiseeva, a Russian designer and artist who lives in New York and helped develop the coffee set in collaboration with Nichetto´s studios in Sweden and Italy; and Elena Freddi, part of Nichetto's Stockholm team, who organized the exhibition.
Juli Daoust and John Baker's groundbreaking Toronto retail space, Mjölk, opened in 2009 and introduced Ontario to design mixing Nordic traditions and Japanese aesthetics. (Check out Dwell's story on the shop, from 2011, for more.)
When Italian designer Luca Nichetto first visited Canada from Stockholm, where his studio is based, he went to Mjölk on his friend Eero Koivisto's suggestion. He met Baker and Daoust and felt a kinship with their crisp interiors and carefully curated items. The trio decided to collaborate on a product exclusive to the gallery along with a solo exhibition of Nichetto's work. The resulting “Sucabaruca” coffee set comprises hand-carved ceramics with a Canadian maple wooden tray; currently available in all-white, two other color sets are in the works: pastel tones, characteristic of Japanese architecture, and eventually primary Pop colors, a tribute to the eclectic artist Jean-Paul Goude.