September 4, 2011

Motherlode Toad Factory- Meet Robyn Martin

Robyn Martin of Motherlode Toad Factory
Nestled in the historic Sierra-Nevada Foothills the Motherload Toad Factory is delighted to have you share in the “Contagious, Creative Insanity” that flows out amongst the love and laughter within.
Rock wall and wine barrels Mural
Murel in a residential home

My name is Robyn Martin and I was given a wonderful legacy of a lifetime love of fabrics and sewing by my Grandmother Evaretta, an avid seamstress and quilter.  I have been creating and designing my entire life (which is a lot of years).  I lived and went to school in Southern California. Too busy making “stuff” to go to college.  I started painting murals professionally for an interior decorator in my early teens and was an enthusiastic, prolific painter in both oils and acrylics for several years.  One of my favorite memories was getting a blue ribbon at the Los Angeles County Fair in 4th Grade for a finger painting. To top off the Blue Ribbon, someone actually bought the painting.  Once I achieved the wonderful title of “Granny” (nine times) in later years, I decided that ladders and Grannies do not mix very well and I retired from Mural Painting.
The Critic
I have always loved sculpting with Papier Mache and really enjoy mixing up my own paper pulp.  My studio is my laundry room. I have an abundance of cupboards, large Formica counters and linoleum floors to help contain my many and varied messes.
Dino float
The largest project I have attempted (so far) was a float entry that was a life-sized baby dinosaur. He had an armature of my husband’s entire Toyota Pick-up truck underneath.  The next year the truck became a Covered Wagon pulled by an eight foot Monarch Butterfly.  Fortunately, (for the truck and my husband) the parade was cancelled the following year!

My inspiration must come from the creative muse gene in overdrive I was born with. I have more ideas and things to make than years left to create them. My Artistic style is best described as “Eclectic Creative Insanity” it varies minute to minute.
Besides Papier Mache, I now am creating and sculpting all kinds of critters from muslin. They are sewn, sculpted and then painted. Many of my designs are now available in both printed and E-Pattern format so others can enjoy making them too.

ECHO the Crow
My artwork is only shown on ETSY and at a once a year Boutique in my area. I did do a lot of shows and events in the past, but limit myself to only one show now, since I retired 10 years ago.  I also have a blog- please visit me at

The Motherlode Toad Factory is quite appropriate, in that I live in the Gold Country and at any given time, I am generally surrounded by toad, frog and other critter body parts waiting to be assembled.

I have a few questions for Robyn:

1.Q.  What skills have you found essential in your work?

   A. Patience, concentration and always a sense of humor.

2. Q. How often do you work?

    A. I never “work,” but I do create everyday something new and intriguing.

3. Q: What was the most significant decision you ever made?

 A. To marry my husband David of 50 years! (June 17th this year) He is very patient and understanding of my “Creative insanity.”

4. Q:  What are your favorite foods to eat?

    A. A great green salad and seafood.

5. Q: What makes you laugh the most?

    A. Everything makes me laugh. Including myself! Life is so full of things to see, do and laugh at.

6. Q: Who is your favorite artist?

    A. Monet. I love the soft colors in his water lily paintings.

7. Q: If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

    A. I would try to buy a clone of myself so she could do all the housework, cooking, etc. and I could just make “stuff” all day. But, on the second thought, I’m not sure the world could take two of me and I’d probably put it in a trust for my grandchildren’s college fund!

8. Q: What words of wisdom do you have for someone starting out?

    A:  Always try new things. Follow your Muse!  Have patience and learn from your mistakes. Insert        humor and whimsy into your life and works of Art. LOVE what you do!

9. Q: What is your favorite quote?

     A:  “I dream my painting and then I paint my dream” Vincent Van Gough

Crow on Pumpkin

Robyn,Thank you for sharing your work and story with us.  Robyn’s email is   if you would like to contact her.

Leonard and Wesley
Nyia The Mermaid

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