Kelly Kanyok -Textile Artist, Founder, and Owner of Orphaned Wool


- Kelly Kanyok - 

Artist Biography

Kelly Kanyok: Artist & Founder of Orphaned Wool

Meet Kelly Kanyok, a textile artist, entrepreneur, and the owner of Orphaned Wool – a pattern design company specializing in Needle Punch and Rug Hooking patterns. Located in the heart of Northeast Ohio, Orphaned Wool was founded in 2017. Orphaned Wool’s memorable name was created for breathing new life into pre-loved wool fabrics.

From a young age, Kelly has been entwined with the allure of fiber arts, co-owning a small business that developed into a nationwide wholesale business. With a permanent display showroom in New York City's Buyers Mart, their creations adorned petite boutiques nationwide, graced JCPenney store shelves, and even saw exclusive designs for Estee Lauder. However, as the tides of the marketplace shifted with the influx of imported goods, the business was eventually sold, marking the end of a chapter.

As her children matured, Kelly's creative spirit rekindled. Introduced to the Art of Rug Hooking by a friend, she began designing original patterns, later expanding into Punch Needle artwork. Her transition from rug hooking to punch needle revealed a newfound creative outlet, where her passion for Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement was reflected in the intricate designs, structures, and vivid color palettes in her patterns that echo these artistic influences.

In 2019, Kelly extended her experience, sharing the art of Punch Needle through teaching. Her mission is simple – to instill confidence in every student to embrace designs, whether primitive or intricate, and enjoy the beauty of this meditative creative process.

Orphaned Wool's global footprint is marked by the availability of patterns on its website and recognition in prestigious fiber arts publications and shows:

  • Punch Needle Primitive Stitcher Magazine (2020 - Current): A recurring presence in this influential magazine.
  • ATHA Magazine (2018): Not only featured but also graced the cover as the spotlight artist.
  • Rug Hooking Magazine (2017): Celebrated in the special 'Celebration Issue.'
  • Sauder Village Celebrations Show (2017): Exhibited at this renowned show.
  • ATHA Biennial Show (2017): Participated in this prestigious biennial event.

Kelly Kanyok is not just an artist; she's an active member of ATHA and various Rug Hooking Guilds. Her involvement is rooted in a mission to cultivate the Fiber Arts Community, sharing the joy and wisdom garnered from years of dedication through teaching, creating, and fostering connections.

Artist Statement

Kelly Kanyok – Textile Artist

My passion for creating fiber arts has been part of my life since childhood. While not formally trained in the arts, working with textiles has always been a continual source of joy. Designing the patterns, selecting the color palette, creating the design, and bringing them to market are truly fulfilling. Orphaned Wool is a genuine source of joy as it encompasses everything that inspires my passion for creating and sharing my work with others.

I find the rhythmic cycle of pulling up hand-dyed wool strips to create loops in the rug hooking process, or the steady cadence of punching thread through the foundation fabric, very meditative. The Zen-like process of creating fiber art is truly a gift.

I aim to share my designs and knowledge to expand the fiber arts community. In addition, I aim to inspire other artists who want to learn these forms of artwork by providing information and guidance on how to create textile art through my website and my continued teaching.

I hope that Orphaned Wool patterns will provide you with a beautiful design resource to further your creativity; whether you enjoy: rug hooking, punch needle, embroidery, Oxford rug punching, or needlework, these patterns were created for you!

Thank you for reading! 

Kelly Kanyok- Artist & Founder of Orphaned Wool