Not Your Grandpa’s Taxidermist

These colorful, fabric-covered buck and moose mounts and bison heads are one-of-a-kind
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Photos courtesy of Chase Halland

Inspired by the mountains of Montana where he grew up and the art scene of Seattle, Chase Halland’s work infuses whimsy in a traditionally (*ahem*) stuffy craft.

Halland, a maker, artist and woodworker in beautiful Coeur d’Alene Idaho, started Faraway Lovely, a collection of custom, handmade goods to adorn your home. His colorful, fabric-covered buck and moose mounts and bison heads are one-of-a-kind.

“My love for art and handmade goods runs deep in my bones,” says Halland. “Creating has always been my outlet. From start to finish, I put my heart and soul into every handmade piece.”

We sat down with Halland to discuss his work and what’s next for Faraway Lovely.

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How did you get started creating handmade goods and custom decor?

It really started with me making stuff for my wife. I would make her gifts for holidays and birthdays and just for fun and soon I had friends making requests for pieces. I think I always knew there was more to my creative side, but struggled with how to make the jump from hobby to career.

I worked full time jobs and made art on the side for several years until my wife and I decided it was time to go all in. It felt risky, exciting and terrifying all at the same time, but we truly felt peace about investing our time and energy into this business and seeing the potential of “what if” come to life.

Faraway Lovely

What inspires your designs?

I can’t point to one thing that inspires my designs. Inspiration can spark from other artists, designers, past experiences, or even a space where I’ll be hanging a piece. Sometimes it’s not inspiration that drives my work, but an idea that comes to mind and I can’t get that idea out of my mind until I bring it to fruition.

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Tell us a bit about your design process. 

When it comes to my design process for a custom mount, I start with the fabric I will be using. I play off the intricate design and patterns of the fabric and even the different colors to accent specific features of the animal mount I’m creating.

The fabric designs are almost endless and the creative side of me enjoys the challenge of switching up the fabric layout to change up the overall look of a piece.

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What’s your favorite part of what you do?

One of my favorite parts about what I do is connecting with amazing clients. I’ve worked with a number of clients that have supplied their own antlers for their art pieces. I get to hear the backstories of antlers that were passed down through generations, or antlers that were from their kid’s first hunt.

One client provided their father’s childhood blanket that was 80 years old. I was honored to be entrusted with a family treasure and turn it into a piece of art that could be displayed in their family home, not only honor their father, but to also give a second life to a blanket that otherwise would be in storage collecting dust.

Faraway Lovely

What does the future hold for Faraway Lovely? 

The future for Faraway Lovely is uncharted! I have a number of pieces that have taken up residency in my head and won’t leave until I bring them out.

I am working on pieces for a gallery show that I will be participating in this August at a local gallery called Art Spirit here in Coeur d’Alene. One of the pieces is a full size deer, which I’m anxiously looking forward to finishing.

As I get further along in my career, I find it necessary and even exhilarating to push myself beyond what I’m comfortable doing. I feel the only way to grow and get better is to challenge yourself often and with purpose. It may not turn out the way you envisioned, but failure isn’t fatal.

Categories: Artists & Artisans