Three new artists you can meet at Kentucky Crafted: The Market – Rock Bottom Soap Co., Chad Balster Glass and Hunt’s Woodcraft

With dozens of Kentucky’s finest artists attending Kentucky Crafted: The Market, April 21-23 at the Lexington Convention Center, several will be showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market for the first time. Today, we’ll meet natural/organic beauty product makers Wes McFadden and Amy Henson, glassmaker Chad Balster and wood toy maker Ernest Hunt.

Rock Bottom Soap Co.

Who are you and where are you from?

We are a husband and wife team, Wes McFadden and Amy Henson. We are natives of London, Ky.

How did you get started in your particular discipline? What is your training?

Henson_Amy06Amy has a background in chemistry. She studied extensively and researched for several months before beginning her soap-making program. Wes is a lifelong entrepreneur. He brings his years of business experience to help grow our soap making business.

What do you want buyers to know about your work? What makes it different?

We hand make all of our products using food grade ingredients. Our goats are also hard at work making the milk we use for our soap and lotions. This allows us to control the quality of our product from start to finish. We use the cold process method of soap making that helps preserve nutrients in the milk.

Name some of your career accomplishments.

We were featured in a Kentucky Proud/Kroger commercial and our products are sold on the Kentucky Proud rack at Kroger throughout the state.

What are you looking forward to about showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market?

We are excited to be at The Market. This will be our first year,so we are looking forward to seeing some of our current customers and meeting new ones.

Chad Balster Glass

Who are you and where are you from?

I’m Chad Balster, and I was raised in Wilmont, Minn., but now call Louisville my home.

How did you get started in your particular discipline? What is your training?

Balster02I began working in a glass studio in 1996. It was a summer job that turned into a career. I was already studying for my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Minnesota. I apprenticed under a number of other glass artists over the years: John Olesen (Minnesota), Kenneth Von Roenn (Kentucky), and Mark Matthews (Ohio). I am primarily trained in hot blown glass techniques.

What do you want buyers to know about your work? What makes it different?

My work is steeped in the American Studio Glass Movement ideals and aesthetics. I enjoy the liquidity and the gooeyness of such a sublime material. I endeavor to translate the experience of glass in transition as a liquid to the finished product.

Name some of your career accomplishments.

Before opening my own glass studio in 2012, I was a resident artist at Louisville Glassworks from 2003 to 2010. In 2010, I was the designer and fabricator for the first ever mobile glass blowing studio in a van, “Juicy Lucy.”. I am also the glass department head at the Ohio Valley Creative Energy sustainable arts campus in southern Indiana.

What are you looking forward to about showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market?

I’m looking forward to showing my newest line of drinkware, the “Karine Cups.” They are the perfect bourbon glass, developed with Makers Mark Distillery and available in their Makers Store.

Hunt’s Woodcraft

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Ernest Hunt from Anderson County and I’m old enough to know better!

How did you get started in your particular discipline? What is your training?

IMG_9448_Logskidder_14 in long_7 in wide_8.5 in tallI started woodworking in an Industrial Arts class in high school. I made the first toy for my son’s first birthday about 40 years ago.

How long have you been in the Kentucky Crafted program? When did you start?

I was in Kentucky Crafted when it started, and was selling to Kentucky state parks at that time. I continued for about 23 years until the deaths of my parents and first wife, and now I’m trying it again.

What do you want buyers to know about your work? What makes it different?

Toys are made from plans and from some of my own creations by hand using different species of wood. I don’t use stains; the different woods create the colors with a clear finish on them.

Name some of your career accomplishments.

I’ve sold items to people from California to New York and Dallas to Chicago. I’ve even sold to some famous people through former Kentucky First Lady Phyllis George Brown.

What are you looking forward to about showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market?

I hope to meet new people and I will have fun making the toys. I am probably one of the oldest kids you will find.

 

Check back on Sunday to meet three more new artists who will be exhibiting April 21-23 at Kentucky Crafted: The Market.

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