Susan was born in 1952 and grew up in England near Cambridge. Her grandfather, a veterinarian and horse breeder, gave her, her first pony at the age of four, establishing what would become a
life-long passion for horses.
Since her early school days Susan had drawn and painted avidly in her free time and this love of art and creativity continued through her adult life. She became fascinated by the work of the Impruneta terracotta artisans and encouraged by the Mariani family Susan began to make her firstsculptures. In 1998 Susan held her first exhibition, the success of which led to a second exhibition at the Galleria Tornabuoni the following year. In 2000 Susan made the decision to dedicate her time to her equestrian sculpture, so uniting her love of horses and art.
Susan Leyland’s sculptures are one and only unique pieces, modelled in an artist semi-fireclay of different colours. The sculptures are also made in the MITAL clay of Impruneta extracted from the hill behind the terracotta factory. Each sculpture takes about a month of painstaking work to make, evolving from the initial basic form to culminating in the final surface finish. When the sculptures are completely dry they are fired for a week in a furnace reaching a temperature of over 1000°. Prior to beginning each sculpture Susan undertakes extensive sketches and studies of horses. All the sculptures are signed.