Fiona hails from Scotland and following studies in Anthropology, in Europe and the Near East, she returned to Britain to settle in North Wales. Formerly known as Fiona Brown Wilkinson, her equine sculptures are her trademark, but certainly not the only animal she sculpts in three distinctive styles. Several historical influences can be seen in her work, as well as a deep knowledge of her subject.
In their forms may be perceived influences from several cultural styles such as:- the cave paintings of prehistory; grave figures from ancient China; the turquoise blue glazes of ancient Persia; the tactile models of Peru; narrative forms of the Mediterranean civilizations and the decorative designs of Celtic Europe. And then there is the observation of real living animals for example the spirited grace of wild ponies wandering the hills of Wales. Horses are of particular importance for the way they express emotions which we humans can recognise: The different stances and tempers of the horse figures bear witness to our feelings about the joys and challenges of life – carrying influences from the past into exciting futures.
Every piece is modelled by hand – the more 'abstract' horses are carved – using an open, heavily ‘grogged’ clay which is able to withstand the high temperatures of the kiln firing with the minimum of warping and shrinkage.
Most of the works are fired to low earthenware or higher stoneware temperatures, in a top-loading electric kiln; some pieces may be chosen to be 'raku' fired in a small gas kiln when the pieces will be extracted red hot, thrust into sawdust and then plunged, hissing and spitting, into cold water to fix the spectacular effects of carbonization and reduction on the minerals in the glazes – fiery red copper lustres being particularly exciting flashed upon a copper turquoise glaze.