Showcasing the Arts


2018-19 Governor's Awards in the Arts:
Award Artists




Michelle Lyn Strader and Frederick Bartolovic

Silver Run Silver Run Ceramics

Silver Run Ceramics is a collaborative line of functional ceramic ware created by artists Michelle Lyn Strader and Frederick Bartolovic. On our small farm in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky, we put forth our unique strengths as ceramic artists into collaborative works which speak to our experiences on the farm. This manifests itself through contemporary forms that are highly functional and versatile, embellished with primitive and sometimes mythical imagery depicting animals and nature. We strive to create a narrative within each piece; whether it is the relationship between predator and prey, intricate balances observed in the natural world, or our interpretation of ancient symbolism or folklore. Composing allegorical motifs with decorative symbolism, each piece is thoughtfully conceived as a one of a kind functional artwork.

Michelle and Frederick produce forms that are primarily thrown on the pottery wheel or sometimes hand-built using either porcelain or dark stoneware clay. After drying and trimming, the ware then becomes a blank canvas on which to paint or draw. We use colored clays, or underglazes, to paint the unfired greenware, and then employ a process known as sgrafitto to carve into the ware and create detail and implied texture. We also use a process called mishima where the lines of the drawing are carved into the piece and then filled with underglaze. Paper patterns, stencils and underglaze pencils are sometimes used to add layers and create depth. After illustrating, each piece is dried slowly and then placed inside a kiln for an initial firing, or bisque firing, that permanently dehydrates the clay. What emerges from the kiln is called bisque ware. The bisque ware is then sanded, washed and covered or lined in either clear or white glaze and fired again in the kiln to roughly 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. We continually strive to make each piece as usable and functional as it is beautiful and unique.

The bourbon bottle sets created for the 2018-19 Governor’s Awards were designed to highlight the natural world that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has to offer. The inspirations for these pieces were native flora and fauna found throughout Kentucky. Inspiration for the forms were garnered from our state’s rich history as the bourbon capital of the world. The bottles are completely functional and make great storage containers for everything from bourbon and other libations to olive oil or vanilla extract. The ceramic forms are both dishwasher and microwave safe.





Page last updated: July 8, 2019
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