Meet Molly Chase, an artist of many trades

Aside from her upcoming show on Friday, June 3rd as part of Bay View Gallery Night (BVGN), Molly Chase is a working artist with her hands in many professions. I met Molly in her salon chair as she is one of the best in Milwaukee for curly hair. We quickly became friends after the time we spent together in the salon, often looking directly at her macrame pieces.

Chase is one of those people who can turn something from nothing into anything you want and more. It’s a big statement, but it’s true. During the quarantine when the salons were closed, she shifted her business to professionally organizing and decorating for clients. She can organize a space while making it chic with her style and handmade art.

I was lucky enough to purchase one of her favorite pieces which she made out of macrame and a piece of driftwood in the shape of a shark’s tooth. Now she presents a whole collection of similar items of different materials and sizes for everyone to add some texture to their art collection.

Your #BVGN show is in the Freya Salon – what’s the connection there?

I was one of the original owners and co-owner of Freya with six others about 15 years ago until I decided to give up some responsibility to pursue my other art projects. I have focused my hair business on curly and textured hair after realizing that many salons do not offer this specialty. Milwaukee has a large market for diversified hair care. I still keep a chair in Freya and display my macrame work on the walls. It has come full circle for me that my third show can be seen on the walls of the salon that I helped set up.

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Where do you find your inspiration and materials for these beautiful macrame pieces?

I’m a very visual learner, so I look to Instagram a lot for inspiration for crafts and usually teach myself how to make things I love. Not to sound cliché, but I love long walks on the beach and that’s where I find the driftwood that serves as a base or support for my pieces.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve made?

One of my favorite pieces that I actually sold to you [Sandy]– it was a smaller one made of driftwood that looked like a shark’s tooth. I fell so in love with the shape of the driftwood and wanted the end product to have animal-like characteristics, which it ended up having. While not working in the salon during the pandemic I have had plenty of time to create more pieces hence the show I have on June 3rd. Oh, and another favorite piece to see (and buy) at Freya – it’s made from a set of real donkey bones and is a total statement piece that can work in both modern and rustic spaces.

What’s next on your creative radar?

I work as an interior designer for private clients and run some other crafts. I’ve always wanted to teach people how to make macrame and use natural-based dyes for interior fabrics, but I’m concentrating on my own macrame for now. I’ve called Milwaukee home for as long as I can remember, and I enjoy helping to bring that aesthetic into other people’s lives while also organizing it for optimal, well-designed spaces.

Where can people see your work and/or contact you?

My Bay View Gallery Night Show is at Freya Salon – 2318 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. – instead and you can see some of my work on my Instagram profile @mmmolly_ccchase. I also do custom art and personalized interior design. And of course I continue to style and cut hair at Freya, which has been a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over Milwaukee.

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