Gus McLaren animator, working on story boards, Warrandyte, Australia
4 chess pieces made by Gus McLaren, Potter, Warrandyte
single chess piece made by Gus McLaren
Gus McLaren with his wife Betty McLaren pictured in 1950's, Australia. Gus and Betty McLaren
History of McLaren Pottery - The Early Years
In the early fifties Gus and Betty McLaren moved to Warrandyte, a small village nestled in the hills surrounded by the Yarra River on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. Warrandyte was home to many artists of the period and attracted creative people from far and wide. At that time Gus was working on the Argus newspaper as a cartoonist, (previously he was a newspaper cartoonist whilst he was with the occupation forces in Japan )

During his 7 year period in the army he met renowned cartoonist Les Tanner, later of The Age newspaper in Melbourne, the Tanners became life long friends of the McLaren family. Back in Melbourne, whilst working at The Argus he came across a book on Pottery, this inspired him to dig up some terracotta clay by the side of the road in Warrandyte and fashioned some great little chess pieces from it.
3 pottery salt and pepper shakers and sauce bottle
Regus Salt shaker, ceramic
Pottery sugar bowl
ceramic fox
Gus McLaren Potter, designed animals, zebra, lion, cat and giraffe. McLaren Pottery

Regus Period

Gus and Betty soon met Reg Preston a local potter who was one of the very few in the area. Reg is a highly respected and renowned potter, well known for his superb craftsmanship. He offered to fire the pieces for Gus , and they became very close friends and remained so until he and his wife Phyl Dunn died ( in the ‘90’/00s), Gus became totally hooked on pottery from that time. Gus and Betty moved into the Preston residence for a time and worked with Reg in his studio.

Soon after, Gus left The Argus newsapaper, and began designing ceramic “earthenware” animals which were produced under the name of “Regus” ( Reg & Gus). They made moulds of these designs, and Reg taught Betty to slip cast and she became part of the team.

Gus at his turntable desk working on animation storyboards
Gus and Betty in 1950’s
Early Gus McLaren Chess Pieces, with gold-leaf decoration
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