Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.
We thought we would kick off our ‘Meet Our Makers’ monthly feature with the lovely Emma McLaren – one of the driving forces behind the birth of Walcha Handmade.
Tell us about yourself and your background leading to your handmade endeavours.
I live in on a property with my husband and two children, and we are about 60 kilometres from town. I have always enjoyed making the best from what I have at home… this includes using basic, cheap materials for my projects or creatively improving something that’s already there. I’m someone who enjoys making everything around me look lovely, and on a budget! Our distance from town means that I have to be creative with what I can access from here. I always try to keep my projects simple, cheap and easy-to-do.
How did Walcha Handmade come about?
A group of us were keen to start a working centre for contemporary crafts, somewhere where we could make use of the talent that is around the local area. We felt that a co-operative business model was the best way to do this.
What is your creative space like? What kinds of things happen there?
All my projects just have to work around my daily life! Everything happens at the kitchen table, including my children’s projects. All my materials are stored in a cupboard in the kitchen, glass front so it looks nice (and I’m constantly reminded of things I’d like to be doing!). As I’ve mentioned, all my projects are pretty simple. I used to have a blog with a friend – Thom Haus Handmade – we did it for a couple of years, and it will give you an idea of the sort of things I do.
How do you like to spend your downtime when you are not creating?
There is no switch off time for me at present. You run at full pace all the time with children, which, actually, I mostly really enjoy. My down time probably IS the time I get to make something!
What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had shared with you when you were younger?
I’m not sure, that’s a hard question!! I think I am lucky to have always had people around who have given me good advice! I do always laugh to myself though at a comment that Dame Edna Everage said once…. “the secret to my success is that I have always put my family…………… LAST.” !!!
Be sure to pop in to see more of Emma’s bright and funky signature work – Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.