Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meet the Designer: Ken Kantro

Ken Kantro was born and raised in New York City then settled in Lovell, Maine in 1975. Situated in the rural foothills of the White Mountains, Lovell provided the perfect setting for developing a craft and career in metalwork and design.

After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, Ken pursued a parallel interest in Eastern Philosophy and the simple straightforward art it inspires.  His deep interest in Asian art led him to accept an apprenticeship with a potter specializing in Japanese traditions. While there, he developed techniques combining clay and metal.  Ken's fascination with the flowing, light reflecting qualities of metal led to what was for him the most expressive medium.  Ken went on to study the design approach and fabrication skills of early American pewter craftsmen.  His early pieces soon become known for their excellence in design and workmanship.

Ken's first departure from traditional design came in 1978 with his Damariscotta trivet (pictured top left).  It was designed to commemorate his family's move from the mountains of Western Maine to the coastal village of Damariscotta and soon became a popular symbol of the entire coast of Maine.  With the appearance of this unique design came the demand for its translation into jewelry.  It was at this point, Ken started creating jewelry and ornaments which reflected his love of nature simply expressed in timeless design.

Ken has been inspired by the transformative power of art and the powerful process of creating jewelry and objects of beauty from the elements found in the earth.  These elements - silver, gold and pewter - when turned into molten states, assume fluid properties which can be molded and shaped in ways limited only by one's imagination and creativity. Accompanying his creative gift has been his deep abiding love of nature. The uncompromising beauty of the North Atlantic coastline and mountainous inland wilderness have inspired him to create pieces of extraordinary beauty and reality.  Ken has received many special commissions and honors, among them the American Pewter Guild Design Award. Some of his work is exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute and at museums and galleries throughout the world.

Cliptomania.com offers several of Ken Kantro's beautiful earring designs. Featured in Tomorrow's Heirloom's - Male Designers, these earrings come complete with a short bio and inspiration of the piece.  Other earrings by Ken and Lovell Design are located here.