BACK TO JAN MCLEAN AT THE DOLLERY

Jan comes from a artistic background. Her grandmother was a sculptress and her mother a portrait artist. As a child she was given dolls that her grandmother had made in the 1950's. Jan never forgot these dolls and decided to make a doll for her only daughter to be passed down through the generations. She studied dollmaking in 1983 and she initially made reproduction dolls, learning her craft as she taught others.

In 1985, the wonderful German doll artist, Hildegard Gunzel
visited New Zealand. Her dolls were the most exciting creations
Jan had ever seen and inspired her to try sculpting her own. Her
first dolls, Chloe and Phoebe were "born" in 1987 and were
followed by Poppy and Pansy. 

*We at the Dollery remember carrying these beauties, they were superb!

It was not until 1991, that Jan's talents were discovered, when
she exhibited her dolls for the first time at the great New York Toy
Fair. She became an overnight success winning her first DOLLS
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE for Pansy. Today, Jan's dolls are
widely sought after and receive many international awards placing
her among the top doll makers in the world. Her limited edition
porcelain beauties continue to bewitch and entrance the most
discerning art and doll collectors worldwide. `Each has her own
cheeky or alluring expression, precocious or demure and innocent,
an attitude that exudes personality. 

She employs the skills of a mouldmaker, cobblers, milliners, a
beader, and a jeweler. Her happy and enthusiastic team of eight
work in a bright airy workshop with mezzanine floor at the many
tasks involved in doll-making. It is here that Jan paints every
face and with her team assembles each of her very limited
Original Dolls for her discerning collectors.

To tour the premises is a revelation, with cupboards overflowing
with rich luxurious fabrics and superb laces, boxes brimming with
headwear, furs and leathers, bright blooms and plumes, shining
beads and bows, along with custom-made jewelery pieces which
adorn her top-end dolls. For those who travel to Dunedin it is an
experience to visit her elegant store on the main street where
many of her dolls are showcased along with collectable bears.

In an effort to make her dolls more accessible to more people,
Jan designed and moulded a collection of prototypes in her
Dunedin studio which are now produced in larger numbers for her
offshore. Jan maintains full {and strict} control of quality,
spending many weeks at a time, working alongside the artists and
seamstresses reproducing her designs down to every last detail.
Collectors are assured that Jan's reputation for superb quality
and design is maintained.

Her busy design work continues, and as well as a very exciting
miniature range which she has been developing for the last 12
months, she is working on a book and also having fun working on
her “Grandbabies” series which may, she reflects, have been
borne from a lack of grandchildren to date!