Mark A. Sutherland (1954 – )

Mark Sutherland’s work reflects a lifelong love of ships and the sea. His earliest memories are of playing with boats on salt water, while summering on Nantucket. In many ways that spirit of early childhood has never left. At age eleven his fascination for models was catalyzed into reality by a chapter in E. B. White’s “ Stuart Little” where the main character “Stuart”, a mouse, sails across Central Park Pond in a graceful schooner model. So, Mark began building models and to date has never stopped.

After one year in college, he moved to the coast of Maine, in the early 70’s, to pursue boat building. Working in various boatshops and shipyards gave him a firm grounding in construction and design of vessels. He also worked as yacht delivery crew and taught sailing. He’s had the opportunity to sail many types of boats, from reproductions of 19th century craft to modern yachts. All of this experience has influenced his model making. He has also restored several small craft, designed and built several more for his own use.

His professional modeling career began on Nantucket in 1979, where he began doing repair work and took on a commission for several models in bone. His period of interest lies in the 19th and early 20th century sailing vessels, working in half-hulls, bone models, and weathervanes. He has shown his work extensively and written an article for the Nautical Research Journal.

He is continuously trying to expand his knowledge and skill, and synthesize into his craft a feeling for history and art. It is his desire to elevate the craft of model making to an expressive decorative art.

“The object of my work is not so much to make an exact miniaturization as it is to capture the ‘essence’ or ‘soul’ of the vessel and create a piece that stands on its own artistic and esthetic merit while still being true to the original.

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