Artist carves his own way
Tucked away in an old, converted carriage house in the historic part of Carson City, Eric Butterworth sits in his small living room and takes a minute to talk about his work.
Earlier this year, Butterworth made a break from his work as an apprentice with Timeless Sculptures to pursue his own dream of melding art with architecture.
The Maryland native studied architecture at the University of Maryland, but didn’t enter the field right away.
“I decided that I wanted to enjoy my life before getting sucked into the real world,” Butterworth said. The recent college graduate moved from Maryland to Lake Tahoe to snowboard. He became an apprentice sculpture and stayed.
Three years later, he lives in Carson City and still is pursuing life as an artist. After leaving his full-time job, Butterworth is now sculpting ways to marry his art with his training as an architect.
The inspiration behind Butterworth’s career aspiration came from a visit to Paris during college. While in France, he was exposed to artwork and historical architecture that made such an impression on him, he began to think of ways he could integrate architecture and art.
“Basically, I want to sculpt space,” Butterworth said. “One thing I feel that is sorely lacking in society is that things are becoming homogenized.
“Most people don’t know what it means to walk into a space and experience it.”
The newly self-employed artist got his first commission recently. He is working on creating “something whimsical” out of a 5,600-square-foot home in Incline Village. He is trying to make the house appear more “loose, organic and fun,” he said.
He also created his own studio out of a barn in the back of a home in Douglas County.
Butterworth’s pieces include sculptures made out of natural tree branches and pieces of wood he finds in local forests.
“Half the battle is selling the work,” he said. “Now that I’m out on my own, I’m having to do that all myself.”
Butterworth hasn’t made enough finished pieces yet to sell enough of them to make a living, but he is pleased with his career choice.
“One thing that makes being an artist worthwhile is that you can control what you do with your time,” he said. “Because it ain’t the money.”