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THE PERFECT TABLE MAT
PEARL MCGOWN'S BELLA ROBBIA WREATH

By Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, PA

For some time I had been looking for a pattern for a table mat that would accommodate sitting a large bowl in the center without covering most of the motif since most small pieces have the major portion of the design in the center.

The Delia Robbia Wreath is perfect with the fruits circling a plain center. I began this piece several years ago at a workshop with Nancy Blood who did the lovely color plan. If you wish to order this from Gushing, know that it is not listed in their catalogue. I had a friend who had an old pattern, so I called Cushing and they did have it. I ordered it on their fine linen as I hooked it with a #3 cut.

Since I enjoy dyeing as much as hooking, I was delighted with the rich colors against the dark brown background which compliments my dark wood table.

I have long been enamoured with Delia Robbia pieces and love the pale blues, yellows and whites of the original ceramics. Someday I 'might' do those shades, but the deep shades of 'my' Delia Robbia suit my purpose well. It also would be fun sometime to sculpture the fruits. A long time ago I saw a beautiful interpretation of the pattern done with this method. However, even though I again 'might' do this, I'm afraid both of these endeavors will have to be 'in another lifetime.'

Nancy introduced me to a technique that worked beautifully in hooking the fruits. Instead of hooking something oval or circular to show the highlight in the motif, she used what she referred to as a flame or a large angular highlight. For a plum or a peach, the flame on the larger, bright cheek would be filled hi with value 1 and then worked out toward the edges to value 5 or 6. On the smaller, darker cheek, fill hi the flame with value 3 and continue out to value 7 or 8 or whatever gives you enough contrast with the brighter cheek. On an orange or apple one needs just one large flame filled in with value 1 and then work out to whichever value you can manage, preferably a combination of 7 and 8. This method really makes fruit easy and realistic.
 

DYE FORMULAS for DELLA ROBBIA WREATH
Nancy Blood's Color Plan

Background: Nancy's Color Beauties Spot 3 "Rich Loam" over Woolrich Caraway 818 Spot: NCB 111 "Margaret" over Dorr 102 Leaves: Ali Persons 10 "Bronze Green" over Dorr 102, Dorr 144, Woolrich Camel and Woolrich Mona Grey
Grapes: Ali Persons 55 "Plum" (half formula) over Woolrich Lavender 632 and Woolrich Light Blue 205
Peaches: Ali Persons 19 "Old Rose" (half formula) over Woolrich Lemon 385
Pears: Ali PersonslO? "Bronze Gold" (half formula) over Woolrich Lemon 385
Lemons: Ali Persons 107 "Bronze Gold half formula) over Woolrich Natural 100
Oranges: Ali Persons 5 "Hibuscus" over Dorr 456
Apples: Ali Persons 5 "Wine Red Rose" over Wollrich Scarlet 401
Pine cones: Ali Persons 106 "Spice Brown" (half formula) over Woolrich Sand 819
Plums: TOD 67 over Dorr's Goshen Grape

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Peggy Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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2015 Peggy Hannum
Photography by Bill Bishop of Impact Xposures, www.ixpoz.com
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