Butterfield was born in San Diego, California, and received a Master of Fine Arts Degree at University of California, Davis, where she trained in ceramics and sculpture. She sculpts horses in combination of abstraction and realism. She first worked in painted plaster over steel armatures, and used natural materials such as mud, branches, and fibers. In the 1980s, Butterfield began using barbed wire, metal pipes, wood fencing, corrugated metal, and chicken wire in her sculptures. For the past decade, Butterfield has been making bronze work, cast from “stray, downed pieces of wood.” She works only in the winter, so her pieces usually take 3 to 5 years to complete. Butterfield spends time between her studio in Hawaii and on her Montana ranch raising horses. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and at Montana State University, Bozeman.
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