Baran Mickle

Bill Baran Mickle Metalsmith 98110


Bill Baran-Mickle was born in El Paso, Texas and resides near Seattle, Washington, USA.

He studied fine metals, sculpture and art history at California College of Arts and Crafts, School for American Craftsmen (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Syracuse University, earning a BFA and MFA in Metal Arts and an MA in Contemporary Art History, respectively.

Baran-Mickle has had 7 solo exhibitions and has participated in over 120 group shows in the US. In addition, he has participated in 9 international art biennales. He was awarded 1st Place in Applied Art at the London Biennial (2013, England) and 2nd and 3rd Place for Sculpture at the 2011 and 2018 Chianciano Biennales (Italy), respectively. He has a number of works in museum collections as well as several public sculptures in Washington and New York states. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts – Mid-Atlantic Fellowship (NEA) and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (NYFA). Most recently he was awarded the Island Treasure Award for 2020, from the Bainbridge Island Treasure Foundation.

Alongside his art career he worked for a non-profit foundation focused on environmental issues for 21 years. He also helped found two art institutions, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Center, and two public art boards, the Kitsap County Arts Board and the Public Art Committee for the City of Bainbridge Island.

Along the way he has helped raise four children. He currently lives on a small farm with an orchard and a few goats and chickens, and works in a studio built by one of his sons.

Art Statement

I engage in a range of issues: Nature, human nature, relationships, humorous observations and juxtapositions, and light political commentary. No matter which of the issues I am drawn to, I select the forms for their sculptural features as well as possible combinations, from their silliness to their profound.

My path in working with metals has spanned from jewelry to fairly large outdoor sculpture. My comfort zone of size lies in what I term an “intimae scale.” I hand-hammer non-ferrous metal sheet into forms. I then fabricate them together. Whether small or large, I still tend to work with a requirement of fine tolerance of joins, a legacy of working as a jeweler and silversmith.
I work without detailed drawings, preferring to create as I follow the “idea” of where I want to go, but not the “plan.” In this way I feel the work is more alive, and in listening to my material’s needs as I go along, I believe I get a better work than I might have if I simply told it what to do.


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