Lady Victoria Cairns,
the Lady of Finavon, at work in her studio.
Born in Australia, Victoria has travelled extensively and has studied in Europe and the USA. She is married to the Scottish Baron of Finavon.
Early training in fashion design and an inherited talent for modelling and painting (her father, Erik Oberg, was a skilled portrait and landscape artist and her mother a talented seamstress) has been melded with a keen interest in history and a desire to bring to life notable characters from turbulent past times.
She has recently relocated from Scotland to the Gold Coast in Australia with her husband, David.
At home in Scotland with her two Shelties, Winnie & Monty.
Using contemporary sources such as paintings and tapestries, Victoria works on the creation of each figure from the initial sculpture to the tiniest detail of embroidery.
Because an accurate representation is critical to create a life–like figure, Victoria will spend hours and days researching the character, the events that shaped them and the fashions of the day. She then spends as much or more time on the detail. For example, often completely embroidering a scale replica of an intricate fabric design captured centuries ago by master portrait painters.
The quality of her work has been recognised with exhibitions at the National Museum of Scotland, the New York Doll and Toy Museum, feature articles in magazines and an invitation to apply for a US green card on the basis of her original works.
Victoria does it all! From the initial sculpture to the creation of a mould, the pouring of the head, arms, legs, the creation of a body in realistic flesh-coloured material.....
If there is one thing that really makes everyone sit up and take notice, it's the costuming. Victoria designs and makes the underclothes (for without an accurate foundation, the clothes will not 'sit' right) then the outerwear. If the original dress has been embroidered (such as Elizabeth I's Hardwick costume), she scales it down and embroiders it in rich detail. Her fabric dolls get the same treatment; a true artist at work...