Meet the designer – Suzanne Peculiar Pals

This week we caught up with the lovely Suzanne the talented artist behind Peculiar Pals. Suzanne works in clay without molds and custom designs replicas of your dog. A few examples of her work are below, but there are lots more on her ETSY page.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 43, married and we have a Miniature Bull Terrier called Teddy.

 What inspired you to start your business?

I originally studied Accountancy however, I had always had an interest in arts and crafts. My husband and I decided to try pottery at evening classes, we did this for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. During this time we frequented craft supply shops on a regular basis and this is where we came across polymer clay. I made a bull terrier head based on our miniature bull terrier Badger with our first block of polymer clay and I went on to sell this piece on eBay. That was the start of my business and with Badger as my inspiration many Bull Terrier items followed. I now make most breeds of Dog and I have even made a few Cats, Rabbits and a Horse!

Where are you based?

We moved up North just over two years ago to a 200 year old cottage, set in a 1/3 of an acre of mature gardens. A lovely setting from which to make my little creations.

We’re obviously enormous dog lovers here at Wagging World. We’d love to know more about your dogs.

We had a wonderful little Miniature Bull Terrier called Badger, he was our baby. The move to the cottage gave him a new lease of life and he enjoyed 6 months in our new home, but sadly passed away on the 4th July 2013, he was thirteen years, 7 months and 1 day old. We were devastated by his passing and we were unsure whether we could ever have another dog. However, our house was no longer a home without a four legged companion and in March 2014 Teddy joined our family. He is Badger’s Great Great Nephew. He may be a relation but he could not be more different! He has run us ragged and wants to be busy all of the time. One similarity between them though is a love of learning tricks, there are lots of videos of both Teddy and Badger on my Facebook page doing tricks.

Do you have a background in design?

Back in school I opted for the Sciences however, funnily enough my Art teacher at the time felt I should carry on with my Art studies. Maybe I should have listened to her! I am completely self taught and looking back at photos of my earlier work, my new designs are definitely more detailed and precise. I was recently commissioned to make three Bullmastiff Gamekeepers, this introduced me to the human form with my sculptures and I also needed to use wire armatures for this design which was totally new to me. So I am always learning.

How does your commission process work?

I ask for clear photos from both sides, front, back and overhead, along with nice clear close ups of the face front and side on. I also ask for a photo of the chosen pose if possible, this is especially important if the Dog/Cat/Rabbit has complicated markings as they would look different when they were sitting compared to when they were laying down. I can make accessories such as clothing, favourite toys, baskets, collars most things are possible, this makes my miniature creation more like it’s real-life counterpart.

Tell us about how a typical day in your life would go when you’re working on your commissions?

Teddy gets the first three hours of my day, I make his breakfast, we do a trick session and play some of his interactive games, then we go for a walk, followed by cuddles on the settee then he goes for a nap. Then I start my work, I make sure I have all the photos I need for the commission. I don’t use paints with my models, each colour is hand mixed clay, so I then need to mix my clays for that particular piece. I do not use moulds either, so each piece is truly handmade and unique. Then it’s just a case of using my hands and my long metal pin to turn the clay into the Pet I have been commissioned to make.

 Where can we buy your work?

I mainly sell through Etsy and my Facebook page, I can also be contacted direct at peculiar.pals@btinternet.com I am on Twitter and Pinterest and I recently opened an Instagram account. I’m based in the UK but I ship worldwide (which is an easy process).

I know it’s only August, but Christmas isn’t too far away. What’s your deadline for ordering for Christmas?

The festive season is a really busy time for me and my list is filling up fast. My deadline would probably be the end of September having said that I was taking Christmas 2015 orders at the end of last year! And I am already fully booked until October.

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If you’re a designer or know about an artist that you think we’d love let us know about them on info@waggingworld.com

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