I grew up in an environmentally sensitive community of New England where at an early age I was clearly a “nature girl” and always with a sketchbook in hand. My grandfather nurtured my ability as he was an artist, inventor, and observer of nature. As a small child, I remember him passing a bumblebee from his finger to mine. He gave me sketchbooks and paints, and actually used his own sketchbooks daily. I spent about 5 years working with my grandparents and their rya rug design and supply business called Lundgren Rya, Inc. I became proficient in creating organic designs and helping people design their own through classes.
In college, I majored in biology and minored in art, then went on to share my love of nature and the environment. For over twenty years I worked as Park Ranger, Exhibit Technician, Naturalist, and then Administrator of an Environmental Education facility. When my day became too full of performance reviews, budget issues, and general paperwork, I left gainful employment to try my life as an artist. I never looked back.
One thing always leads to another and next thing you know I was painting walls, canvas, paper, glass, and more unconventional media. My problem-solving abilities have helped me to figure out unusual ways to create art on challenging surfaces.
I show my work at various art shows and music festivals in the area. Local galleries, gift shops and, art centers carry my work. In 2011, I made an educational video about the dying art of rya rug making. Little did I know, that would change my life. People from all over the world have watched, commented, and asked how they, too, can make ryas. So I “bought back” all of my grandparents supplies and designs which had been in safe storage for nearly 30 years. I am beginning to import supplies from Finland, Norway, and Sweden. I continue to create my wide variety of art forms, but my focus is on bringing rya rug making back to the forefront.
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Byrdcall Studio is run as a “Green Studio” to the best of my ability. I recycle, Freecycle, and buy earth friendly local products for my work as much as I can. You may notice your order is sent in a recycled box…be glad a portion of a tree was spared.