Jeweller, photographer, painter, entrepreneur, father. Dutchman Marc Lange (1972) has many talents, but above all else, he is a jewellery designer. He was seen as a rising star by the age of 21, and by 2001, had made a name for himself by opening his own shop, which doubles as a workshop in the heart of Alkmaar. His fame has since grown both nationally and internationally, and his style is a pure, original one that blends luxury and femininity with a hint of brutality. His hands create the most beautiful pieces of jewellery that effortlessly appeal to a wider audience, and his motto is that since design is all about originality, it is crucial to keep on finding ways to be inspired.
Marc comes from a creative family, with both artists and musicians on his mother’s side. It was no surprise, then, that he ended up with excellent artistic genes. He exhibited talent and the wish to become a jeweller at an early age, and attended the Vakschool Edelsmeden in Schoonhoven. He then took his first steps towards what would be a glorious career. It was at the Vakschool that he discovered his love for special materials such as titanium and zirconium. Titanium is a hard, rigid metal used widely in aviation, aerospace and the medical sector. While experimenting, Marc found out that it was possible to make beautiful jewellery using titanium as well, the matte grey colour giving the material a modern look. In addition, you can play around with the colours to your heart’s content: heating creates the most intense shades. Zirconium has a lot in common with titanium. Also a hard material, it has its own beautiful anthracite grey form. Traditional precious metals such as gold, platinum and silver can have a new, exciting and contemporary lease of life when blended with these modern metals. Lange uses diamonds as the cherry on the cake for all his creations. Just like titanium and zirconium, diamonds are hard-wearing; in fact, they’re the hardest gemstone on earth. In addition, the richness of diamonds ensures a striking contrast with high-tech titanium and zirconium.
Contrast is a running theme throughout Marc’s work; he’s always on the search for contradictions in his designs. Contradictions between materials and colour schemes, between matted and shiny techniques, and between different shapes such as straight and round. Contradictions that can combine in a unique way because they complement one another. In doing so, Lange has been inspired by his environment and the journeys he takes. From the shape of the canyons and natural parks in the west of America, the sleek architecture of the skyscrapers in New York, to the minimalism of Scandinavian design and the hyper-modern buildings in type old towns in city centres.
A ring that typifies this search for contrast is Ozephius. High-gloss bands in yellow, red and white gold blend smoothly with titanium and zirconium. Twelve randomly placed diamonds provide a casual dose of glamour. Ozephius is contemporary, accessible and elegant.
To help keep himself inspired, Marc Lange takes part in national and international design competitions, and has enjoyed great success. Over the last few years, not only was he able to reach the final of the Dutch Design Competitions (Nederlandse Ontwerp Wedstrijden or NOW); he won, attaining first place in 2007 and 2014.
It was his necklace, Sparkling Vortex, that won him the prize in 2007. This creation was inspired by the taste sensation that can be found in a cocktail: the unconventional materials of titanium and zirconium are blended with gold and diamonds in a swirling rotation. The result is surprising and the beauty overwhelming.
Seven years later, he proved once again that even a small country could act as fruitful grounds for huge talent. This time, it was his Silhouette Fireworks ring that won it; a showpiece that Lange designed for Princess Amalia, the future queen of the Netherlands. In his design, he connects the past, present and future. The ring depicts fireworks in honour of the celebration of 200 years of the realm, and displays the silhouettes of monarchs Willem I, II and III along with Wilhelmina, Juliana, Beatrix and Willem-Alexander. Amalia can be seen in miniature as the prelude to a new beginning.
Marc’s creations can also be regularly seen in the spotlight at special events. He exhibits his work at international events each year such as the Sieraad, International Jewellery Art Fair at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. He is also present at the Het Juweel fair in Rotterdam and major art events. In participating, Lange is demonstrating that he is at the cusp of art and handicraft and that he is eminently capable of bringing these two aspects together.
Marc Lange Sieraden, www.marclange.nl