Artist Profile: Marty Elkin

Marty Elkin is more than a fiber artist. She creates stunning art and happens to use fiber. Whether she is depicting a winsome Maine puffin, a pastoral tableau, or an early winter scene, Marty hand-dyes wool from her own sheep to create just the colors she needs to invite us into every piece. And she loves to teach others to needle felt! You can needle felt a Maine bird (choose from cardinal, chickadee, or bluebird) on Friday afternoon from 2-4. Marty will also give a “Begin to Spin” demonstration in the demo tent on Friday morning at 11 AM. Let’s meet Marty.

In Marty's Friday afternoon class, you can choose from three Maine birds: chickadee, cardinal, or bluebird.

In Marty’s Friday afternoon class, you can choose from three Maine birds: chickadee, cardinal, or bluebird.

Who are you? Tell us about your fiber journey.
I am a self-taught artist who thrives on teaching others about needle felting. An integral part of the process is dyeing the wool for the projects. I find myself frequently finding images that spark an idea for a new piece of art, and have piles of these just waiting to be executed.  My experience in teaching has been very rewarding with many folks who return with their own creations to say thanks for getting them started.

An integral part of Marty's needlefelting is dyeing wool in just the right colors.

An integral part of Marty’s needlefelting is dyeing wool in just the right colors.

What’s integral to your work as an artist?
Nature’s colors!  I am inspired by colors of the sky, water, animals, trees and more.

Marty is inspired by nature’s colors. Take a peek at her studio!

What’s your favorite piece of work that you’ve created?
One favorite?  I have many.  If I have to choose, it would be First Snow.

First Snow is a favorite of Marty’s. The reflections are amazing and depicted all in wool fiber.

What is your most important artist tool?
Wool from our sheep and lambs.  It is a joy to experience the natural softness.

Marty’s sheep, Diva and Delilah contribute their soft wool to many projects.

How do your balance your work self and your creative self?
Fortunately for me creativity is part of my daily life. If I am not dyeing wool or needle felting or knitting I am in the fields, the garden, or with the animals. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given a student? Needle felting is easy, fun, and therapeutic and you can lose your anxieties with it.  No counting either. Portable, colorful, and useful. Just get started and a whole new world can open up for you!

Marty's luscious Green Pastures is a gorgeous example of her fine fiber art.

Marty’s luscious Green Pastures is a gorgeous example of her fine fiber art.

What would your FC students be surprised to know about you?  Perhaps my age?  I am in my 70’s and going strong.  Life just seems to get better and better.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?   Be yourself!  Take care of yourself.  Be kind.

This is the year that YOU should try needlefelting. Marty offers “Felting Birds” on Friday afternoon from 2-4. Be sure to sign up soon at www.fibercollege.org. Marty will also be offering “Begin to Spin: Handspinning Basics” in the demonstration tent on Friday morning at 11. See you there!

You can visit Marty’s website at  
www.awrinkleinthymefarm.com

 

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