About Us

Byrdcall Studio, LLC

You have discovered Byrdcall Studio, LLC–your source of all things for the rya rug maker in the Nordic midcentury modern tradition.  Owned and operated by Melinda Purcell Byrd the Studio was founded in 2000 as a functional artist workshop for a multitude of Melinda’s artistic endeavors: floorcloth design and construction, print making, oil painting, glass painting, and mural design and construction.  On rare occasion she would design and create an original rya rug.

Melinda is a granddaughter of Bill and Angie Lundgren of Lundgren Rya, Inc. in Northboro, Massachusetts. The Lundgrens were the sole distributors in the USA for Sweden’s Bergå yarns and rya supplies. They had thousands of customer across the United States.  Melinda grew up around ryas and rya designers. After college, she often worked with her grandparents learning their rya skills and helping to keep the rya supply business alive despite changing “fashion trends” making Scandinavian arts less appreciated and available globally in the mid-1970s. As the Lundgrens approached their 80’s, they counted on Melinda to act as primary designer, teacher, and business manager. That was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

3o Years Passed and during that time . . .  Lundgren Rya, Inc. was sold, several years later the business was dissolved and supplies put in storage.  Melinda married and moved to Maryland where she worked for about 20 years as an environmental educator and Nature Center Administrator, then decided to change gears and become the artist which was always in her heart. And Byrdcall Studio was born, 2000.

 

Byrdcall Studio

In 1999, she left gainful employment to live and work as an artist. She researched with the newly-formed Google search engine to find what on Earth was happening with rya rug making. Nothing—it seemed.

Another decade passed when she was asked by the Carroll County Times photo-journalist to record a video on the dying art of making rya rugs. Her rya supplies were nearly gone, so she agreed to share what she knew in case there ever was a resurgence of the art. The interest in the YouTube video has been incessant. Melinda’s Rya Video. She soon realized she needed to write it all down as a book. She bought back her grandparents’ supplies and moved them home to Byrdcall Studio to help her help others.

At the same time, Norwegian rya supplies were being exported to the USA for the first time in decades. Suddenly Melinda had a reliable supply of the highest quality rya supplies shared with you.  In addition, she now buy woven rya backing by the bolt in various sizes from Finland and Norway.

At this time, Byrdcall Studio, LLC is being operated as a cottage business from the home-based studio. Appointments for visits are welcome. Classes are scheduled throughout the year. The long-awaited book has been printed twice–a hardbound edition in March 2020–followed by a paperback edition in July 2020. Melinda Byrd looks forward to helping you towards your rya goals.

About Melinda

Melinda Purcell Byrd grew up in Concord, Massachusetts about a half-hour drive from her grandparents in Northborough. In the 1950s they were among the first in the United States to import Swedish supplies for the rya rug making craft through their business, Lundgren Rya. From them, Melinda absorbed the art of designing rya wall-hangings and rugs. She designed and made her first when she was in 6th grade. She worked alongside her grandparents for years and has continued in this Nordic art form her whole life.

In addition to being a rya designer and a diverse visual artist, Melinda served for over 20 years as an interpreter of nature. She was a seasonal ranger in Colorado, worked with school children at Massachusetts Audubon, and then taught in Nature Centers in Carroll County, Maryland. Her honed interpretive skills are now shared with you and her students.

Melinda established Byrdcall Studio in 2000 as an answer to her “calling” to creativity. Before her total immersion in reviving the art of rya, she spent over a decade painting, carving, creating woodcuts and linocuts, and hand-printing on clothing. Some of her shirt art can still be found in the Byrdcall Etsy Shop. Her passion for this art form has convinced her that reenergizing the rya rug craft is her “special purpose” in life.

She lives in Woodbine, Maryland with her husband, John, and their black lab, Gypsy. She is passionate about nature, gardening, creating and eating delicious foods, and brewing her own beer.

If you would like to keep in touch, sign up for the e-newsletter. Melinda can be reached at  byrdcallstudio@gmail.com. Follow the story at Byrdcall Studio on Facebook.

About Melinda

Melinda Purcell Byrd grew up in Concord, Massachusetts about a half-hour drive from her grandparents in Northborough. In the 1950s they were among the first in the United States to import Swedish supplies for the rya rug making craft through their business, Lundgren Rya. From them, Melinda absorbed the art of designing rya wall-hangings and rugs. She designed and made her first when she was in 6th grade. She worked alongside her grandparents for years and has continued in this Nordic art form her whole life.

In addition to being a rya designer and a diverse visual artist, Melinda served for over 20 years as an interpreter of nature. She was a seasonal ranger in Colorado, worked with school children at Massachusetts Audubon, and then taught in Nature Centers in Carroll County, Maryland. Her honed interpretive skills are now shared with you and her students.

Melinda established Byrdcall Studio in 2000 as an answer to her “calling” to creativity. Before her total immersion in reviving the art of rya, she spent over a decade painting, carving, creating woodcuts and linocuts, and hand-printing on clothing. Some of her shirt art can still be found in the Byrdcall Etsy Shop. Her passion for this art form has convinced her that reenergizing the rya rug craft is her “special purpose” in life.

She lives in Woodbine, Maryland with her husband, John, and their black lab, Gypsy. She is passionate about nature, gardening, creating and eating delicious foods, and brewing her own beer.

If you would like to keep in touch, sign up for the e-newsletter. Melinda can be reached at byrdcallstudio@gmail.com. Follow the story at Byrdcall Studio on Facebook.

Rya Rugs

Enjoy the adventure of learning all about rya rug making. The interest in this art which goes back to the days of the Vikings is surging in the Nordic countries, the USA, and beyond. We have communication resources that allow us to share with one another like never before. Come along as I share with you the gifts I learned from my grandparents years ago as well as the lessons I've learned in the past decade as I researched the the book RYA RUGS--Design and Make Your Own. Make rya a reflection of your own artistic interests and favorite colors. Let me help you.

I currently provide rya yarn from Norway, USA, and Sweden (maybe someday Finland!)

I carry all sizes of the Rauma rya backings from Norway and bolts of woven backing from Norway, Finland, and the USA.

Needles, Needle organizers, Sample packages, and kits are all available to you.