This section is important to collectors of McLaren Pottery and will hopefully provide a definitive explanation as to the identification & “authenticity” of the ceramics we produce. Unfortunately, there has been some very unhelpful mis-information circulating around collectors of Australian Ceramics by a minority of “so-called” experts. Here we seek to clarify the exact historical background & genesis of our work, particularly the well re-known animals. It is important to note that it has ALWAYS been the case that Gus McLaren designed the animals & his wife Betty produced them.

Except for very early prototypes of the animals, ALL animals have been a collaboration between Gus and Betty McLaren from the late 50’s to the present day. Back in the mid-50’s, Betty was originally trained by well known Australian potter, Reg Preston, to slip cast as she was a part of an early joint business Regus [ Reg & Gus ].

In the late 1950’s Gus & Betty set up their own business called Yarraridge Pottery, Gus produced the wonderful and unique designs of the animals, and worked together with his wife Betty, to produce the animals. His designs reflect his background as a cartoonist and well known animator. For more information see the HISTORY section of this website. Later to come, will be an inclusion of recent video-taped interviews with both Gus and Betty McLaren commenting on the history and process of their work.

Moulds were made of these early prototypes and Betty has always been integrally involved in the production, slip-casting, and extensive hand-working which includes piecing together, cutting & stripping pieces of clay adding to the basic shape of the moulded animals, scribing designs and decorating & glazing the animals and salt & pepper shakers and, although now in her 80’s still does so to the present day.

There has been some confusion regarding the signification of marking on the bottom of the pieces. These marks, one, two or three refer to the potential coloured engobes [under-glazes], Green, Brown & Blue respectively. Because the engobes are all brown at the bisque stage, it is important to know the potential colour at the glaze firing stage, for best positioning in the kilns to optimise the glazed colour . See below for markings. Click thumbnails below for more info