Visual Art: Feeling the heat

Sculptor Nathan Scott can feel the heat – and he loves it.

Saanich Peninsula sculptor Nathan Scott works in his home studio and foundry

Sculptor Nathan Scott can feel the heat – and he loves it.

Scott, 43, has been sculpting since 1998, but it wasn’t until he was a decade in to his art form that he took total control of the process.

“In 2008 I started my own foundry to facilitate the commissions I had,” says Scott, brushing dust from his T-shirt. “I wanted to keep a better timeline and be able to control the quality better. I’m much happier with the whole thing.”

The foundry, South Island Bronze Works located next to his Central Saanich studio, now also helps other artists achieve their vision.

“It’s great to help facilitate other artists’ work,” he says.

In the past, Scott would drive hours to a Kelowna foundry to have his creations poured. “In the summer it was too warm and the wax forms would melt, and in the winter it was too cold and they’d get brittle. I was driving like a maniac to get up there, spend 10 minutes dropping off my stuff and turn around to drive back.”

One of Scott’s most notable pieces is Canadian hero Terry Fox – the statue that stands proudly at Victoria’s Mile 0.

“It was an honour (to create). … We have few Canadian heroes.” He was also honoured to create The Homecoming, a piece celebrating the 100th anniversary of Canada’s Navy, located in the Inner Harbour. “They were great people to work with. I had a lot of fun,” he says.

While he may have fun, he takes his work seriously and is among an elite group of artists who earn a living from their creative talents. “I feel very blessed. It’s not easy. You’re always promoting yourself, always doing shows, artist-in-residency …”

He works at his craft Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in his studio across from his pig barn, while up the hill his wife Janis home schools their children. “We have five kids, eight pigs and 50 chickens,” he says with a laugh. Weekends are reserved for family.

Meet Scott and learn more about his work at Butchart Gardens this summer as he takes a turn as artist-in-residence. For more information go to


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