Sally Weaser Polymer Clay Designs

Contemporary jewellery blending Scotland's heritage with a modern and vibrant twist.


I have become a little obsessed with tartan lately, it all started with Dunollie House. I knew they had some exciting things happening with tartan after they had made an amazing discovery of some ancient tartan fabric, which had been hanging as curtains in the old house. It was fairly serendipitous, as I was approaching them to discuss the possibility of making some tartan pieces using their new tartan they were coming to ask me if I could make tartan from Polymer clay and so it began…

I was given the details of Dalriada Tartan Pattern, known as the thread count, and the colour codes and off I went. After many attempts to mix the exact colours I finally managed to get an accurate set of colours from which to build the pattern. I developed a process using the thread count that I now follow for each tartan collection I make. They are all made to be proportionally accurate to real tartans by using the thread count and colour codes for the actual fabric, provided by the National Register of Tartans. Firstly I have to accurately blend the polymer clay to match the required shade. Then, using the thread count for the pattern I cut the different colours of polymer clay to the correct size to represent the number of threads in the thread count and build up a block of the tartan pattern, known as a cane. This is done on a large scale, with the finished cane being about 15cm square and 5cm deep. This is then reduced through a process of gentle squeezing and stretching to achieve a long thin stick of polymer clay, a bit like a stick of Brighton Rock, with the tartan pattern running through the centre. I then use slices of this cane to make my pieces.

Tartan polymer clay.

Tartan polymer clay.

This process of building the cane from smaller elements and achieving a pattern that runs through the heart of it, echoes how I feel about my homeland. Scotland is made up of many parts but has a long tradition running though the heart of it. With these pieces you are getting your own wee bit of that. Hand making, in the West coast town of Oban, with attention to detail and a respect for Scotland’s tartan heritage, I aim to combine the pattern and medium to reflect a proud, modern and trendy Scotland.



One thought on “Tartan

  1. What a lot of work Sally, love this piece and the wee nod to Scotland at the end too! X


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