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Elda Heidemann

American artist Elda Heidemann, began her art career as a respected oil painter but she unknowingly, found herself to be an early pioneer of straw art in the United States.

Elda Heidemann

Elda grew up in a florist environment as a child in Denver, Colorado.  When she got married she moved to a wheat  farm in Nebraska to raise her  family.   She flourished as a respected oil painter.   Her subject matter was  floral arrangements, which were inspired by the flowers she grew.

After 38 years in Nebraska, oil painter,  Elda Heidemann  moved to Kansas.

It was 1989 when she discovered a straw art community in Kansas using wheat as a medium.  As a new art form to her, she was immediately intrigued and attracted to straw art. She was later recognized by that community for her complex wheat weaving pieces.

swiss straw work, wheat weaving art, straw marquetry, Elda Heidemann

corn doll, straw art, wheat art, corn dolly, kern baby
A corn doll by Elda Heidemann

Early in her straw art career,  Elda discovered a passion for all things made of straw and a passion for applique and found herself a new artistic niche. She learned and experimented all she could.  She was one of the first Americans to dye her own wheat straws. As a result, her years of training as a painter enabled her to create color palettes in straw like none other.  She had a  business called “This and That” specializing in straw marquetry pictures.   Elda sculpted  straw art  in a way unlike straw artists in America were doing at that time.  The following images display her  masterful execution of a variety of straw art techniques. She gave her flattened straw pieces dimension, which simply was not done by anyone else in the United States at that time.  Even today,The Straw Shop is unaware of a comparable American artist.

Elda Heidemann's Purple Sash purchased by Peter Shelley
Elda Heidemann’s Purple Sash


straw marquetry, wheat art, straw art
Wheat Garden by Elda Heidemann
Victorian by Elda Heidemann, straw marquetry, straw artist
Victorian Lady by Elda Heidemann


As a  life long artist, color  was always important  to Elda, as was her  appreciation of flowers, which interestingly brought her passion full circle when she began producing her  floral bouquets again, trading oil paint with dyed wheat straw.

straw flowers, wheat straw art, Elda Heidemann,straw marquetry, wheat marquetry
Sweet Bouquet by Elda Heidemann
straw art, straw marquetry, straw still life, Elda Heidemann. wheat art, straw art
Elda Heidemann’s Yellow Rose


Rosy Morning by Elda Heidemann, straw art, straw floral
Rosy Morning by Elda Heidemann
elda heidemann, straw art, straw marquetry, wheat art,
Straw Rose by Elda Heidemann
Bouquet by Elda Heidemann, straw marquetry, wheat straw art, dyed straw,
Bouquet by Elda Heidemann


Straw Marquetry Plus by Elda Heidemann, wheat weaving,
Straw Marquetry Plus by Elda Heidemann
Flowers by Elda Heidemann, straw marquetry, straw marquetry supplies
Flowers by Elda Heidemann


elda heidemann pink roses, straw roses, wheat straw art, straw painting
Pink Roses, Elda Heidemann


Not limited to floral designs, we are pleased to show yet another example that  reflects her color mastery.

Elda Heidemann- Pheasant, straw painting, straw art, straw marquetry, straw painting
Elda Heidemann- Pheasant


Elda’s passion for straw over the years has not diminished.  Retired from actively producing art, she remains involved with the National Association of Wheat Weavers, the Kansas  Association of Straw Artists and the California Straw Arts Guild.    The Straw Shop appreciates the contributions Elda has made to American straw art as well as donations made to The Straw Shop Straw Collection.

Published 2013.

Editor’s note: In 2023 Elda Heidemann laid down her last straw.