Ernest Patton


The Patton Family
Poplar with house paint.
20″ x 26.5 x 11.25″

Earnest Patton
(b. 1935)

Born in Holly Creek, Kentucky, Patton attended school through the second grade. He married in 1963 and had four children and now resides on a 30-acre farm outside Campton, Kentucky. Patton worked a sharecropper for a tobacco farmer. He also drove a school bus and worked as a mechanic in order to make ends meet.

Patton is one of the leading Kentucky wood carvers of the Campton School. “I ain’t no mean man,” Patton proudly proclaims. “I cares for what I do and I do right. I had to do right by Daddy because he had no job, so I quit school to work tobacco. I do right by my family, but I’ve had to work like a mule.” He has only one regret: “sure wish I learned to read and write.”