June 18 2016 “Jan McLean Dolls” by Carol D.

June 18, 2016 “Jan McLean Dolls” by Carol D.

Synopsis and photos by Pat D.

What a fun program! Carol inserts so much humor and enthusiasm into her programs, so it was easy to fall in love with this talented doll artist and her creations. Carol shared how Jan McLean became involved with doll making, her adventure into the world of retail sales and a PowerPoint slide show with many of these amazing dolls. Carol also shared a wonderful array of her own Jan McCLean dolls from tiny to tall, along with large info boards loaded with beautiful pictures. Thank you Carol!

Click here to see more pictures on the CDC Shutterfly Site

(For Cleveland Doll Club Members only)

A native of Dunedin, New Zealand, Jan McLean is regarded as one of the most well-known and highly respected contemporary doll artists.

Jan McLean comes from an artistic background. Her grandmother was a sculptress and her mother was a portrait artist. As a child Jan McLean was given dolls her grandmother made in the 1950’s. They had wonderful faces made from fine paper marcher modeled from the faces of children, very like the dolls made in Europe in the 1940’s. Jan never forgot the dolls, and while researching her family history, decided to make a doll for her only daughter to be passed down through the generations.

She studied doll making in 1983, and 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.

With little previous experience in porcelain doll making or entrepreneurship Mrs. McLean made her international debut at the 1991 International Toy Fair in New York City, mainly with her dolls Poppy and Pansy, along with a few other early original sculpts. During that year’s toy fair her talents were discovered and she became an overnight success. She sold over $40,000 worth of samples and had over $1,000,000 in orders for her dolls. Her doll “Pansy” won a 1991 Dolls Award for Excellence.

After her debut in 1991, Jan McLean Originals began producing high-end dolls in small editions. These “artist original” dolls sold for several thousand dollars each and were hand produced in editions ranging from 20 to 100 pieces.

program-display-9     program-display-6

After winning an excellence award at the New York Tory Fair, McLean received hundreds of orders for her dolls, and was even asked to create a doll for Disney enterprises. These initial sales provided the capital to launch her business. McLean developed her company, Jan McLean Originals, first from home, and then from a larger studio with eight staff members consisting of a jeweler, beader, seamstress, milliner (hat-maker), cobbler (shoe-maker), as well as record-keepers, secretaries and marketers.

Now her dolls are frequently acclaimed as masterpieces. Jan designs, crafts, and styles sophisticated porcelain and vinyl dolls which are prized as an art form in international markets. Her work continues to receive publicity, and her participation and awards at trade fairs strengthen the reputation and value of her product. The unique product and its market niche helped McLean to enter foreign markets with relative ease, as her dolls are sold around the world. Jan has created three products: the porcelain chubby childlike dolls and the tall thin, elegant adolescent dolls, and the vinyl lollypop doll collection.



Jan McLean Dolls Fan Site   www.janmcleandolls.info/about





2 thoughts on “June 18 2016 “Jan McLean Dolls” by Carol D.

  1. Hello Cleveland Doll Club,

    While the team at the Jan McLean Dolls Fan Site is most flattered that you included an array of our graphics and information, it would be expected that this doll club cite their sources for this information. The given biography on this post includes verbatim sentences from the biography of Jan McLean published on our website http://www.janmcleandolls.info/about/ , and despite the fact that they are blended with other versions of Jan’s biography available of the web, they are nonetheless the product of our work and research. We appreciate and condone the spreading of knowledge, beauty, and art in the beautiful presentation that you have put together; however, it is etiquette to give credit to the author(s) whose work you have decided to include in such a presentation.

    We kindly request that you include a link to the page on our website, http://www.janmcleandolls.info/about/ , as part of a “Sources” or “Works Cited” section on this post so as to acknowledge the time and experience required for us to publish such information for collectors, such as yourselves, to enjoy. It may also be prudent to cite the other author(s) whose work you have used.

    Kind Regards,
    Amanda Schaefer (Jan McLean Dolls Fan Site editor)

    • Hello Amanda – I must apologize for any impropriety on putting Jan McLean info onto our website. I am new at creating blogs and maintaining our website.
      I have put your link at the end of the article under sources, but is there another place I need to put the link?
      If you would rather I do not include your info I put in the synopsis, I can remove it and guide folks to your website instead. I do appreciate all the work you put into your website.
      Thank you for your help. Best regards, Pat Dutchman

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