|It was a summer day in 1993 when, as a 16 year old, Sam Sutherland picked up a chisel offered by the master California sculptor John Cody. By the end of the day, "my indifference to art had vanished," Sam says: "the exhilarating process of creating had begun." His apprenticeship with Cody in Los Olivos, California, lasted three years. The experience was ambitious, intense, revelatory. Sam soon traveled to Auxonne, France, to cut stone with an international team reconstructing a medieval castle. Two years later Sam sculpted stone for the restoration of a 17th-century hillside home near Ventimiglia, Italy. The team used a pulley system to bring in materials over a valley creek and up to the structure. Back in the United States, Sam studied art and business at Warren Wilson College and the University of North Carolina, in Asheville, where he earned a BA in management in 2001.
For the following eight years, Sam carved in his studio just outside Asheville city limits, selling pieces, some sculpted on commission, for diverse clients. Sam also worked on building projects for De Santana, an Asheville stone company specializing in Spanish colonial hand-carved stone architectural pieces. Sam returned to his hometown, Santa Barbara, in 2009, where he has established a studio. He creates pieces on commission and for exhibition and sale. Consultations are free and without obligation. Sam is also available to conduct workshops worldwide, as well as apprenticeship programs for locals - that is the way, after all, he got his start.
|Marble. Alabaster. Granite. Serpentine. Steatite. Travertine. Limestone.|
|For California sculptor Samuel Flynn Sutherland, each of these stones, unique in character, provides raw material for bold art. Both personal in artistry and universal in accessibility, Sam's sculptures are manifestations of exacting, physical work. He uses a wide range of tools, from the timeless hand-and-mallet chisels used by the builders of Mesopotamian ziggurats, Egyptian pyramids and Michelangelo himself, to the modern diamond-blade saw.
Sam's creations are robust and refined. As fine art, they encompass, in addition to abstract forms, Greek mythology, Gothic imagery, the animal kingdom, archetypes of heroes and villains, and the worlds of literary figures Robert Jordan and J.R.R. Tolkien. As decorative and functional pieces, Sam's work encompasses stone flourishes for buildings, fireplace mantels and more, including benches and fountains for inspired gardens. Stone sculpture weds the beauty of stone with the beauty of shapes. With his carvings, Sam can bring humanity's most durable, and perhaps oldest, art form to you.