Octopus Sculpture

William E. Nutt

Biography/Artist's Statement



Sea Lion Sculpture


While in many ways always an artist, my route to full time stone sculpture has been a bit circuitous. I received a degree in geology from Dartmouth College. While there and for a while thereafter I competed nationally and internationally in kayaking, and at assorted times was U.S. National Champion, Number 1 ranked U.S. paddler, U.S. National Team Member, and competed in 6 World Championships, finishing as high as the top ten. I also designed kayaks that were used by much of the National Team and used to win the Gold Medal in the U.S. Nationals. Kayaking gave way to the study and practice of mechanical engineering - an art and a science. Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, and an M.S.M.E. from the University of New Hampshire led to work in research and development at Creare, a private consulting firm. There, I was Director of Laboratory and Fabrication Services, and Principal Investigator on numerous projects, including ones for NASA, DOE, DOEd., and DOD. I also won a number of awards from NASA and patents.

But the fine arts seduced me away. I am now a juried member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) and the New England Sculptors Association (NESA) and my sculpture appears in various private collections along the eastern seaboard, from Maryland to NYC to northern New England, and in the United Kingdom. Additionally, stone carvings and stone reliefs of mine have been displayed in juried shows at museums and galleries along the east coast, including the Cape Museum of Fine Arts and the Ward Museum of Wild Fowl Art. I am presently represented by the Art of the Sea Galleries in South Thomaston and Rockland, Maine, and Studio 260 in White River Junction, VT. In the past when I still painted, my work was carried by the Red Roof Galleries located in various places in NH. But for the time being I have abandoned painting. You will find me exclusively working in stone.

Many have asked me, "How does one go from engineering to an artist sculpting stone?" To that I have two answers: "One, how could I not; and two, I don't find there to be much difference between art, science, and engineering." Like great works of art, the theory and results of engineering and scientific discovery can contain incredible beauty, elegance, artistry and meaning. I have often marveled at how these traits show up in mathematical equations, theory, numerical models, computer programs, and in all kinds of engineered devices.

In addition to being found in many contemporary human endeavors, art has also been a part of virtually all cultures, past and present - from the caveman's petroglyphs to the latest in bizarro, multi-media installations. Given the consistency that it has appeared, I believe that art, in all probability, is an innate and essential aspect of human life specifically, and most complex life in general. A peacock's plumage, the markings of a tropical reef fish, a flower, and an artist's creation are all much the same. They are in response to an inherent appreciation of esthetics that pervades life.

Life in turn provides the inspiration for most of my sculpture. I carve reliefs and full three-dimensional pieces from marble, limestone and dolomite, which are themselves, strangely enough, the metamorphosed remains of life. Although most of my work is representational, the degree of realism varies. A rhino, a ptarmigan, a walrus, algae, shells, orchids and sailboats are typical subjects. I like to apply a high level of technical skill, and superb finish detail and quality to all of my pieces.

Commissioned work

I have done and will continue to do commissioned sculptures. My basic approach to such work is that I will do a commission only if it is of a subject that interests me. Furthermore, I take great care to insure that the buyer gets exactly what they want and it is precisely what I want to carve. This is not easy but I believe it can be done.

If you are interested in commissioning a piece please contact me and we can further discuss details. And be sure to browse my online gallery of marble sculptures.


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