Illona was born in Copenhagen in 1954. Her father was a painter and her mother was a potter. Illona grew up in a workshop, literally with clay in one hand and a brush in the other, exhibiting for the first time at the age of seventeen. On leaving college, she opened her own studio gallery in Copenhagen.
Illona later moved to Scotland and is now well known throughout the country for her expressive sculptures.
Ilona works in bronze and ceramics. She creates her bronze sculptures by taking a wax copy of a sculpture, and cast it in what is called "the lost wax method". A copy of the item to be sculptured is moulded using wax, the wax sculpture is then encased in a plaster mould the wax is melted out and filled with molten bronze. Each piece is slightly different and only small editions are made.
Her sculptural ceramics are made in stoneware, fired and then hand painted. Her figures are acutely observed and are full of character. Illona also creates more abstract pieces, but still loosely based on human forms.
Her work is featured in numerous private and public collections world-wide.