New downtown Livingston business features Montana artisans, artists

By: 
Dwight Harriman

Furniture builders and artists Jim Heilman and Garrick Faust had been talking for a couple of years about opening their own store for their products.

Both men specialize in reclaimed wood, mostly from old buildings at Yellowstone National Park that have been remodeled.

When Conley’s Books & Music moved recently to the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts, Heilman and Faust saw their opportunity in the spacious room left vacant, and Yellowstone Custom Creations was born.

But soon they saw they had a problem — the space was too big to fill with their own products.

Enter another opportunity: Add consignment items from other Montana artists.

Now the store is filled with a very broad variety of artwork, ranging from wildlife paintings by world renowned artist John Banovich, to log furniture by Dale Alt, paintings by Trish Wild, juniper wood art by Dan Moffett, twisted iron and petrified wood furniture by Bobby Flowers and wildlife photography by Kevin Spriggs.

And there’s so much more: Bar stools made of old saddles, needle-point quilts, toy trucks made of juniper wood, pottery, wool rugs and agates, to name a few.

Much of what fills the store is beautifully crafted log furniture made of juniper, lodge pole pine and aspen; and dressers, stands and framed art made with old wood recycled from the remodeling of the Old Faithful Inn and the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

“We’re always looking for new artists,” Faust said.

Included in the store’s wares are Faust’s flutes made of reclaimed wood from the original seating at the Red Rock Ampitheatre in Colorado and the 1904 flooring of the Old Faithful Inn.

The store has a requirement: The artists and artisans need to be from Montana, although the products don’t.

Each piece containing reclaimed park wood comes with a certificate of authenticity showing it’s one of a kind and telling where the wood came from.

Heilman and Faust see their store as a hub for local artists to come together and share ideas. Their vision is to collaborate on projects with other artists, as well as artisans working on homes.

“It’s kind of an artists’ co-op,” Faust said, with Heilman adding it is a way to “help each other out.”

“We have fun in here, man,” Faust said.

Yellowstone Custom Creations is located at 106 Main St. Store hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 224-3139.

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Dwight Harriman may be reached at dharriman@livent.net.

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