About Melinda

Melinda Byrd

Melinda Byrd

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.

Byrdcall Studio

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.

Rya students celebrate a newly completely rya rug.

Rya students celebrate a newly completely rya rug.

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.

Sign up for my blog or newsletter if you want to be kept informed of upcoming activities.

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.