ARTIST AT WORK: Green Lake Metalsmith Kirk Lang obtains Prestigious Fellowship

June 5th, 2012
Categorized under: Artists, Jewelry

SEATTLE –After completing his Masters of Fine Arts, serving as an adjunct professor to the University of Washington, fabricating cutting-edge kinetic and exotic metal jewelry, showing a multitude of sculptural collections throughout the Nation’s leading galleries, and having work published in an array of fancy coffee table books; one could say Kirk Lang is a terribly accomplished sculptor, craftsmen, and jeweler. But as he sees it, these descriptions aren’t all mutually exclusive. According to him, he just “likes to make things.”

At Green Lake Jewelry Works, Lang maintains a near exclusive expertise on movable design -- and clients often seek him out directly to fabricate these one-of-a-kind rings. Pictured here are a set of movable armillary sphere rings in platinum and gold.


Bloom / 5 12"x36"x4"/ brass, steel, clock parts / 2007


Lang’s work – be it fine jewelry or conceptual sculpture – is meticulous. He approaches his art with the precision and patience of a Swiss watchmaker, and much of his creations are immediately recognizable as they are dominated by these steady, reoccurring themes of time, space, and mythology. One of Lang’s most recent centerpieces, ‘Charon’ (named for one of the moons of Pluto and pictured below) took him a staggering 9 years on-and-off to complete.

Charon - Each piece, panel, screw, and bezel is entirely crafted by hand – and features a rich arrangement of materials such as fine-grain Walnut wood, sterling silver, natural blue sapphires, and fallen meteorite. With a tripod assembly and collapsible case, it invokes a kind of stargazing mystique from a golden age of armchair astronomy.


 Careful crafting of these pieces, which twist, move and include precious materials like walnut and sapphire isn’t exactly a cheap endeavor. Just his studio alone, immaculately organized and replete with a small arsenal of machining tools, took ages to assemble. The cost to create can be burdensome.

And that’s where the good news comes in: This year Lang was tapped for a substantial fellowship from Seattle’s Artist Trust, the non-profit supporter of the arts throughout Washington – where it has invested over $9 million into the region’s artists and institutions since its inception in 1987. It’s an award which represents one of the highest recognitions a Washington-based artist can receive.

 So, what does mean for the artist? Well it means Lang has a little more budget to work with…and essentially make whatever he wants (and not over 9  years, either). Only half-jokingly, he asserts,  “I’m not saying I’m going to do this…but if I felt like making sand paintings out of metal dust tomorrow, that is exactly what I would do.”

Visit Artist Trust at


What will Kirk Lang make now? He’s already been planning a new series of pieces that will grow out of the body of work he originally submitted for the award, “All I can say at this point is that the working title for this group of objects is called Constellations.  I do not want to reveal any more information than that, as I like to keep the work as fresh as possible…especially when I am really at the very beginning stages.”

 From everyone here at Green Lake: CONGRATS & GOOD LUCK!