Martin Bielke was born in 1896 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Early in life he worked as a blacksmith. Starting in 1933, he taught himself to make violins, and in 1942, he started making bows as well. He made around 200 bows during his career, many inspired by Tourte and Peccatte.
In the 1960s and 70s, Bielke was a very influential American bowmaker and repairman. He trained William Scott and Roger Zabinski, two excellent lutheirs who are still working today. He retired at the end of 1970.