David Kenton Kring was born and raised in Frankfort, KY. He spent his childhood growing up around his family’s outdoor and workwear store. These early experiences instilled in him a blue collar work ethic while exposing him to the tall tales and stories of the men who would come into the store to shop and socialize. Many of these men provide the inspiration of his work; strong and a bit rough, weathered with hard work yet filled with a sense of humor and passion.
David received his BA in ceramics and mixed media from Transylvania University. Afterwards he began working for Kentucky Mudworks, a local ceramics supply store, where he learned more about the business of ceramics while having the opportunity to further grow and develop his personal work. He is a fixture in the maker markets in the midwest and is an advocate for contemporary craft in Lexington, KY, where he calls home. David has a long relationship with Kentucky for Kentucky/Kentucky Kicks Ass where he sells custom work.
Inspired by vintage store ads, old album art and iconic images of Kentuckians like Col. Sanders and Abe Lincoln, his functional work is reminiscent of his early childhood memories. His pots are functional first, referencing enamel campware and appear to be aged by time. Many of his forms are decorated with imagery of Americana; banjos, fish and images of country icons like Merle, Dolly and Loretta. His use of matt glazes and oxide washes create a weathered canvas for him to transfer his images onto using underglaze image transfers and custom rubber stamps of his own illustrations. These illustrations provide insight into his love of the Bluegrass state, 80s’ nostalgia and music.
This work evokes a different time, a time to sit around a campfire or table and share stories. The clean lines highlight the framework of his forms. The use of terra sigillata and layers of glaze and underglaze create the illusion of a keepsake from an earlier time, weathered and worn but still loved. This “aging” eludes to a unknown story, one best shared with friends and told with a bit of flair and embellishment, like all good stories.
We are looking forward to David’s return to the Southern Crossings Pottery Festival this year.
To see more of David’s work, visit www.davidkentonkring.com