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A Guide to the Best of Southern California : SHOPTALK : The Return of Sunderland-Heale

November 11, 1990|JUDITH SIMS

ONE-OF-A-KIND hand-painted china, hand-painted and woodblock-printed fabrics, and woodcuts are manufactured by Lesley Sunderland and husband Jonathan Heale in their home in Wales. It is literally a cottage industry: Sunderland "bakes" paints on the luxurious cotton drapery fabrics in her AGA oven. Their wares are now on display--and for sale--at Wilder Place on Melrose in the first Sunderland-Heale show in four years. During that time, they worked almost exclusively decorating a private residence in England.

Their china pieces, made from Wedgwood china but dishwasher-safe, include tea sets, jugs, coffeepots and bowls. Prices run about $70 for a soup bowl, $200 for a coffee pot. The fabrics, sold by the yard for $375 to $400, are described as Fortuny-like, neo-baroque or contemporary Renaissance. Some fabrics are first "streaked" with paint, giving them an antique look, then block-printed with abstract or floral designs and finally embellished with gold. Other fabrics depict trees or animals. All of them would look right at home draping majestic beds in castles--or framing great Southern California views. "Their stuff is very special," says Wilder Place owner Jo Wilder. "They don't follow trends."

Wilder Place, 7975 1/2 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 655-9072.

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