Welcome to my blog! The McLaren Crafts WordPress blog is a showcase of my handmade polymer clay creations – if you want to see what I’ve made, read tips I’ve discovered, learn from my disasters and mistakes, or see what inspires me, then this is the place to be!
If you want to actually *gasp* buy some of my creations, then you can visit my Etsy store, www.mclarencrafts.etsy.com
My style ranges from cute and kawaii to kitsch, to geeky, to whimsical. One day I may even master elegant.
I have some regular designs that will be repeated on my Etsy store, but here you will see the gifts, experiments and flights of whimsy that might not get put up for sale. All the photos of my creations will be kept in the Gallery pages – each creation or set has its very own page, with photos and a little story about what inspired me or what happened while I was making the piece.
I’ve been playing with polymer clay since I was five years old, when I “helped” my parents make our Christmas nativity scene (the sheep looked right… eventually). I’ve lost count of the number of creations (mostly gifts) I didn’t take photos of – there were “initials magnets”, dragons, angels, cats and Care-Bears, to think of just a few. I’ll probably never be able to recover photos of all my past creations, but I’ll definitely make sure I don’t lose any more photos in the future!
If you see something on this blog that you like that isn’t on my Etsy store, or if you think I can make something else you haven’t seen yet, I will consider almost any request for a commission piece. My only two rules are:
- I won’t make anything bigger than about 30cm (about 12 inches), mainly because that’s the biggest I can safely fit in my oven, and because I’m not very good at working in larger scales, and
- I won’t make anything that might get me sued for breach of licensing or copyright – lawsuits take all the fun out of the creation process.
If you’d like to commission a piece, just contact me through this store, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can include details about what you’d like me to make, or photos/images of what you’d like, that would be a huge help. I’ll then send you an estimate of how much I think the commission piece might cost, and let you decide! Bear in mind, it will be an estimate only – final costs might vary.
As for me, the person behind McLaren Crafts, my name is Sarah McLaren.
I’m a Melbourne girl, born and raised, and I love Australian landscapes, plants and wildlife (except for the spiders… and the snakes… and the sharks… and the jellyfish… and…). But I’ve also always been drawn to the images, landscapes and animals of the books I grew up with: Beatrix Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie the Pooh (with E.H. Shepard’s gorgeous artwork), Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden. All these instilled in me a love of the woodlands and creatures of Europe and the British Isles.
When I finally decided to turn this hobby (and alternative gift-source) into an Etsy venture and started designing a logo for myself and my site, I drew on three sources of love and inspiration: my heritage, my cat, and my childhood home.
I’ve always been proud of my Scottish heritage, however distant and diluted it may be!
In 2007 I had the wonderful experience of travelling to Balquhidder, the seat of my clan, and standing on the Creag an Tuirc (the Boar’s Rock) whose name became the McLaren clan motto. That experience has stayed with me ever since, and I will definitely be going back one of these days.
Nazilla, my darling little Abyssinian-tabby-mogg, is a constant source of delight, amusement and companionship.
And cat-hair. Seriously, there’s a hell of a lot of cat-hair. While I’m biased, and think she’s the most beautiful cat in the whole world, she certainly did influence my decision to use cat imagery in my logo design.
And my childhood home was half-covered in ivy, a plant I’ve always loved (and have never really been able to explain why).
I love the sinuous strength, the graceful curves and curls as it twines up a wall or tree-trunk, and I love the colour and shape of its leaves.
So I united the three loves in my logo – my clan name, a cat, and ivy, using a lovely Art Deco or Nouveau sort of feel. I’ll master those styles one of these days, too!