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Episode 301 - Life Imitates Art
Group Of Seven Luncheon
Bear Grass and Pine Cones
For this Canadian wilderness table we used as our inspiration J.E.H. MacDonald, “Falls, Montreal River.” J.E.H. MacDonald was a member of Canada’s “Group of Seven,” seven renowned artists who, between 1912 and 1928 traversed the country, each interpreting Canada’s landscapes in their own unique way.

This table presented us more of a challenge as we didn’t try to replicate a still life. Instead, my friend Yael Dunkelman, an art dealer and consultant suggested we take our cues from the colours, textures and mood captured by the artist. It’s a very casual setting, done on bare wood, accented by stick placemats. We created the table for seven because of the “Group of Seven,” but you can set it for as many guests as you wish.

The china for this table is actually a combination of two different colours of the same pattern and the fine salt glaze on this service makes it rustic and ultra attractive. Many of us enjoyed similar serviceware in the 70's, most of which is now packed away in storage. Pull out your old pottery, it’s back in vogue.

The bear grass centrepice looks very nice on the table as do pine cones and river rocks. These inexpensive design elements (I found them in the backyard!) help to keep the theme top of mind and also help keep names straight when we used the rocks as place cards. Final table details include natural coloured plaid napkins wrapped in raffia and tied with greenery. Boxwood, cedar and pine all work really well to finish our rustic look.

Courtesy: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON (416) 979-6648

Courtesy: William Ashley China Ltd., 55 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON (416) 964-2900