Baran Mickle

Bill Baran Mickle Metalsmith 98110

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Butterfly Girl Becoming

Butterfly Girl becoming The face starts out just like raising a bowl in silversmithing parlance. Areas are bumped out in a version of the chasing-repoussé technique with just hammers. After a (good) while, the face is refined to a desired extent. Facial features, eyes for instance, are planned, plotted, taken out and irises added back in. Then the hair is contemplated and put together after pre-texturing and forming many sections. Hair taking shape. Monarch Bhutan Swallowtail

DADA Becoming

DADA Becoming As you examine “Dada”, for instance, you can see the five main sections that would be assembled to be one sculpture. They are basically made in reverse order to their assembly. The head was made first, and put into place last, and covered with the “Dada” plate. The head is composed of seven elements, ears, flower, face and head and neck forms. All are fabricated together. The flower is also made of several parts, including internal nuts to accept the long bolt the comes out of the hummingbirds beek.The jacket is composed of five sections, pre-textured, formed, and fabricated. The shirt section is composed of five sections. The shirt of three; the tie of two formed, fabricated and oxidized and is added cold. The tie clip is also added cold.The internal structure secures to the wooden base and holds the matching-fitting tube to the neck. And another internal nut and bold system more firmly and securely attaches the head to the base and is fixed with another bold system at the back of the jacket.The assembled sculpture is firmly attached to the wood base around the bottom edge. Internal structure. Shirt with tie and tie pin are attached. Final attaching the head to the base. Title plate

Bill as Silversmith

Bill as Silversmith Sample of the Silversmith process. (Incredibly compressed) Raising: Flat sheets of metal are formed by blows of the hammer in rows (circles) over steel or wooden stakes, compressing (or stretching) the metal toward a specific form. After one complete “course” (rows all the way to top), the metal form is softened (annealed) and the next “course” continues moving the metal up and in. This is tangentially similar to “throwing” a ceramic vase from a lump of clay. Moving the metal is very slow. Each “course” can only move the form between ¼ and ½ inch inward, upward, before annealing the entire metal form and starting a new course upward. There are many types of hammers to move the metal in directions, surface treatments, etc. not unlike different paint brushes. Plannishing: Once the desired form is achieved, and a smoother final surface is planned, the same process is performed for plannishing. The hammers for this are either flat or slightly curved plannishing hammers. Light taps overlapping gently in courses until desired surface is achieved. Again, the process is very slow. Silver bowl for competition, the “21st Sterling Design National,” 1980* “Torso Bowl”. Sterling silver with applied strips of brass, copper.

Starting 2020 with new and exciting information to share with you.

LIFE   Island Treasures: Cantwell, Baran-Mickle are latest inductees to storied artistic pantheon By Luciano Marano • January 13, 2020 8:15 am Two new Bainbridge art world icons, Bill Baran-Mickle and Dominique Cantwell, are now counted among the illustrious ranks of Island Treasure Award recipients. Award officials confirmed the duo’s nomination earlier this month, capping a secretive selection process which mandates anonymity on the part of nominators and approval by a final five-juror panel, its members drawn from island-based cultural organizations and individuals long associated with local arts and humanities entities (schools, theaters, libraries, etc.). Both winners expressed surprise, gratitude, and humility upon being informed of their selection. “I got very verklempt,” said metalsmith Baran-Mickle. “I’m very shy, and so what I’ve done for my entire life, basically, is worked in small groups. That way, I get to know people. Otherwise, I’m not that great socially; I’m … introverted.” Cantwell, though more familiar with the pressures of the spotlight through her work at Bainbridge Performing Arts, was equally taken aback. “I’m still surprised, I’m stunned,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve earned it yet. I mean, if you look at the other winners and the other nominees and their bodies of work, it’s really humbling to be on any list that those names are on.” Conceived in 1999, the Island Treasure Award honors excellence in the arts and/or humanities and is presented annually to at least two individuals who have made outstanding contributions in those areas and the community at large. Candidates for the awards must have lived on Bainbridge Island for at least three years and have displayed “an ongoing commitment to their chosen field.” Past winners have included such Bainbridge luminaries as Bob McAllister, Frank Kitamoto, Gayle Bard, David Guterson, Kristin Tollefson, Kathleen Thorne, Sally Robison, Johnpaul Jones, Janie Ekberg, John Willson, Diane Bonciolini and Gregg Mesmer, and Cameron Snow, among others. Previously officiated by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge, the Island Treasure Award is now an independent organization, its committee chaired by Cynthia Sears. Baran-Mickle and Cantwell will officially be presented their awards, and a cash prize of $5,000 each, at the annual reception, to be held this year on Saturday, Feb. 29 at IslandWood (4450 Blakely Ave. NE). Tickets will go on sale shortly. For more information, contact info@island or visit Bill Baran-Mickle: Sculpting culture in founding times Bill Baran-Mickle is a modest, soft-spoken man as well known for his metalwork and sculpture as for his contributions to various panels and boards, including during the founding of two of Bainbridge’s premiere cultural entities. Also, he’s the guy behind the iconic Battle Point Park sundial. Said one nominator: “He is the first person that comes to mind when asked who is a vibrant, contributing part of our creative community.” He has worked with metal in various forms and exhibited his work in many venues around the world for nearly 40 years, having initially discovered a love of jewelry making while in high school, including several solo shows and more than 100 group exhibitions of varying sizes across America and in several European countries, too. He is also an accomplished writer. Baran-Mickle’s articles about art and artists have appeared in journals such as Metalsmith, and American Craft and Sculpture. To date, he himself has been featured in nine books, including the noted 2005 encyclopedia “The Sculpture Reference Illustrated,” wherein his work was selected to represent and illustrate the “Fabrication” entry. He moved to Bainbridge in 1998, and was a member of the founding board of both the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (he has served on both the Education and Acquisitions Committee) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network. “I love these small working groups where you have this enthusiasm and everyone’s just giving and they’re listening,” Baran-Mickle said. “There’s not a lot of judgment, they’re listening and evaluating … and you just keep moving. And so to me it’s a very creative process, which fits in to the things that I do; from the writing, from the blank page, to making something that hadn’t been there before.” As central as both institutions are now to the island art scene, Baran-Mickle recalled there was a time when things were less certain. “No one thought anyone would go down to the corner for a museum,” he said. “The Art Walk [organizers] that they had … they didn’t think [people] would go even up to [Town & Country Market].” But the times, they have a’changed, obviously. And the previously long-held suburban stigma that Baran-Mickle said once ghettoized art on the island has successfully been dispelled. “Part of the problem with whether it’s a restaurant here or clothing here or art here is a lot of people had the attitude that you just have to go to Seattle,” he said. “There was an attitude that, to have quality you have to go to Seattle because that’s the place — this is just a suburb.” But that casual cache is exactly what he dearly loves about the place, and now others are seeing it, too. “It’s amazing to be in T&C in almost your pajamas … you just have to run into the store, and you run into people that do amazing things,” he said. Of course, although it likely would never occur to him, there are may who consider Baran-Mickle one of those people, as reflected in his selection as an Island Treasure. In the words of one nominator: “Bill has contributed an enormous amount of time and energy to the Bainbridge cultural community. His work as an artist [and] visionary has helped our island have the vibrant art community it has. He doesn’t ask for recognition (or payment) for his efforts, he works quietly connecting with people and making a difference.” And he’s still at it, long after BIMA’s doors have opened and BARN classes have begun. Most recently, as a member of the Public Art Committee, Baran-Mickle was instrumental in the Something New program, which brings an annual revolving assortment of …

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Suleiman This is a young Arab man whose very name translates to “Man of Peace.” The man wears a popular hat, an embroidered kufi, and its tag on top reads “Ahlan Wa Sahlan,” which translates as a common “Welcome” greeting response. He also has the ubiquitous agama lizard peaking over his shoulder.

Butterfly Girl

Butterfly Girl This bust is about things that are endangered. All the butterflies are all on the endangered species list – those that are landing on the woman as well as those emerging from the pattern on the woman’s blouse. This caution about species in Nature that are endangered also reflects upon how society needs to care more for our human female futures. Butterfly Girl becoming The face starts out just like raising a bowl in silversmithing parlance. Areas are bumped out in a version of the chasing-repoussé technique with just hammers. After a (good) while, the face is refined to a desired extent. Facial features, eyes for instance, are planned, plotted, taken out and irises added back in. Then the hair is contemplated and put together after pre-texturing and forming many sections. Hair taking shape. Monarch Bhutan Swallowtail As you examine “Butterfly Girl”, you can see the two main sections that would be assembled to be one sculpture, the head with hair and the body. However, there are at least 40 elements that are fabricated together or joined cold. The silversmith in me likes the forming of the parts, the large blouse, the face. The puzzle art was creating the hair. The hair is made of 10 sections, pre-textured then formed and fabricated to shape around the face. The jeweler in me liked to make the butterflies. The nickel-silver butterflies are the “pattern” on the blouse. At one or two points the wing begins to lift up, becoming…. The larger butterflies use a variety of techniques including married metals. The butterflies are all on the endangered species list, including Bhutan Swallowtail and Monarch and Mazarine Blue butterflies. As you examine “Vitruvian Raven,” you can see ten main elements: Rectangle, Oval, Base (which is an old-style computer hard drive), Computer Charger and connector, Electric Plug, Raven, a branch, lichen and a section of an Aloe Vera plant. Broken down, there were a minimum of 110 pieces formed, fitted and fabricated together to make this sculpture. Additionally, there are some internal and understructure elements not included in the 110 pieces. It also does not include the “beak-ectomy” where I did not like the original beak, removed it, made a new one and added it on. The point is, there are many evaluations, adjustments, remakes along the way to reach the expression I feel works best for my purpose. This is still “holloware,” as in the silversmith’s trade. A hollow form sunken, raised with multiple hammer courses, plannished and fabricated with the same fine tolerances as a fine silver coffee service.

Artist Spotlight: William Baran-Mickle

Artist Spotlight: William Baran-Mickle This month we are featuring Poulsbo artist Bill Baran-Mickle. His sculpture Inciting Hope is one of the pieces featured in the Sculpture Forest’s new Augmented Reality exhibit. William Baran-Mickle is a metalsmith who has been creating metal artwork for over 40 years. Like another Forest sculptor, Jeff Kahn, he started his artistic journey by making jewelry in high school. Bill found jewelry out of necessity when he and his family moved from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay area. He was not into the sports scene, so he found his place in art classes. Things got started when he won an art scholarship for a pendant he created. Bill went on to study at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He spent a year making jewelry and smithing projects after graduating. He liked metalsmithing so much that he returned to graduate school at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts in New York. Besides being an expert metalsmith, Bill found he also liked to write about art. After working as a metalsmith for several years, Bill decided to return to school again to study art history at Syracuse University. Since he came from an artmaking background, he was put on probation for a semester to see if he could handle it. He could handle it and he graduated with his Master’s in Contemporary Art History in 1997. He has written dozens of articles for journals such as Metalsmith and Sculpture. His work has been included in nine books, and his artwork was featured in The Sculpture Reference Illustrated. Bill’s sculptures are generally not well suited for outdoors, as he learned when someone tried to dismantle his first outdoor project in New York. So, he was very excited by the opportunity to show it virtually outside at the Sculpture Forest. He was impressed with how detailed each of the AR works are when he visited the exhibit onsite.Inciting Hope shows two hands releasing paper cranes into the air. Bill was inspired by his son’s origami and he liked the idea of making metal sheets look like paper. It is part of a three-part series based on Hibakusha, which means “survivor of the bomb.” This is a term designated for the victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Cranes symbolize happiness and good fortune in Japan and legend is that folding 1000 paper cranes leads to a wish coming true. Bill got the idea for this series when he lived on Bainbridge Island. There has a strong relationship with the Japanese farmers who lived in the community. Bainbridge Island’s Japanese community was the first in the United States taken to concentration camps. Yet Bainbridge was the only community who gave back the seized property to those who returned. The Bainbridge Island Review was the only English language newspaper to criticize the internment at the time. Bill’s Hibakusha series was prominently featured in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, of which Bill was instrumental in founding. Bill grew up in Santa Barbara back before Reagan made it well known and then lived in the beautiful Presidio in San Francisco. Coming from a very large family, Bill wanted to go off on his own and lived in Bellingham for a year. Then he went to upstate New York for 20 years, teaching on and off. He came to the Pacific Northwest as a became a board member of the Laird Norton Family Foundation in Seattle, later becoming its president. While Bill wanted to move out here, his wife accompanied him and she also came up with the idea.  They had relatives who already lived in Bainbridge, so they landed there in 1999 and lived there for over 20 years. The themes in Bill’s work often involve humor as well as social, cultural and political commentary. “I tried environmental commentary, but apparently I’m too subtle,” Bill says shruggingly. “I think because I come from making jewelry, I like a certain elegance, and that doesn’t work when you’re trying to comment on environmental problems.” He often works with symbols such as flowers in his sculptural wall reliefs. “I go into what society or time has put onto those particular flowers or herbs. Sometimes they’re healing and medicinal, sometimes they’re religious, then I pair them with a scene to make a commentary.” He also made a sculpture featuring binkies stacked between coffee cups as kind of a statement about being a busy parent who loves coffee – he has three sons, including twins. He’s had to take breaks sometimes but he’s never worried about creative blocks as he knows he’ll be in a different space when he returns to his work. He used to make drawings before starting on a piece, but over time he has learned to let the material speak to him. “It’s definitely a dialog. It’s good I work alone so people don’t hear me talking to myself.” His early inspirations were Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, and David Smith. Then after learning more about art history, he became a fan of Bryan Hunt. There are many artists he admires, but not many people make the type of work that he does. He laments that there aren’t many metalsmiths around anymore since it takes so much time to master; many schools focus more on jewelry making. Because he is rather shy, Bill got into writing as a way to meet other artists and learn about their processes. He learned that you can’t always look at a piece of artwork and know what it means. So, through his writing, Bill is able to bring out what artists mean. He makes an effort to deconstruct “artspeak” into something more simple to understand. It’s also a way to break up his artmaking. Lately, Bill has been making more wall reliefs. He has found that his more complicated three-dimensional pieces, which he calls “Bill’s Follies,” take way too much time. He finds that the wall reliefs are almost …

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Price Sculpture Forest augments reality

Photo Courtesy of Price Sculpture Forest Scott Price, found of the Price Sculpture Forest in Coupeville, stands next to “Inciting Hope,” by William Baran-Mickle. Actually, the statue isn’t physically there, but a new Augmented Reality exhibit at the sculpture park makes it look like it is. This is the only such art exhibit in the world. Whidbey Weekly March 2, 2023 (pg 8)Price Sculpture Forest augments reality By Kathy Reed Whidbey Weekly Whidbey News Times Augmented reality exhibit to open at Price Sculpture ForestCutting-edge technology is on its way to the natural, idyllic setting of the Price Sculpture Forest.By Kira Erickson • February 21, 2023 1:30 am sculpture-forest/ The Price Sculpture Forest in Coupeville is boldly going where no museum, gallery or art exhibition has ever gone before. It has just launched a new AR exhibit of four sculptures. That is correct – AR, as in Augmented Reality. Visitors to the sculpture forest now have the opportunity to see four sculptures that aren’t physically there. This exhibit is the first of its kind in the world, and it’s right here on Whid- bey Island. —-Using digital technology on our mobile phones and tablets, this augmented reality experience merges the real world with the digital world, making the sculptures appear in front of us. “Here, augmented reality refers to merging an interactive, 360-degree digital creation with a real-world setting around it,” explained sculp- ture forest founder, Scott Price. “A real-world sculpture has been digitally transformed into augmented reality and will be placed onto a real-world sculpture pedestal within the real- world forest around it. Through the app, you will experience both the digital world and the real world, seamlessly blended together from all viewing perspectives.”

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