ByrdCall Studio
Going two months without a newsletter is a little too long for me--I have a lot to share with you, so I'll try to keep it all brief.
First of all Welcome SPRING!  It's about time.  I'm ready; are you? 

In this issue:
  • Gmail account users, please note . . .
  • My Henry David Thoreau linocut is Published!
  • New Rya Craftspeople from Alaska to Zambia!
  • My work has returned to Off Track Art
  • Art Shows lining up for the year
  • "The Ask"
  • Spotlight on a New Rya rug-maker:  Angie!
  • Footworks Art Show for 12" x 12" Art at Carroll Arts Center!  Opening Reception:  Thursday, April 16.
Check out this little video showing the progress of this rya design I drew on a small backing.  I completed it in several hours.  I call it Fireflower.  It will be available to see (and buy!) at the Carroll Arts Center April 16 - June 5.
Showing the progress of knotting a 12X12 Rya Rug.
Showing the progress of knotting a 12"x12" Rya Rug.


Gmail Users  
I've had a gmail email account for a year or two.  Lately I am converting all my email identity to my address and phasing out my email address I've had since prehistoric days.  

I love that Gmail categorizes my mail in four columns: Primary, Social, Promotions, and Updates.  I love it.  But this newsletter which I work so hard to make tantalizing for you goes into the "Promotions" file along with perhaps "junk mail".  If you love (or really like) my newsletter and want it to be seen in your primary inbox, here is what you do:  Looking at your inbox, left-click on the Byrdcall Newsletter heading and drag it into your Primary column. Then, once a month, you will receive my newsletter where you'll notice it right away.  I'd just hate to be lost in the junk mail department with all these fun stories going to waste.


I'm Published! 
 (Not the Rya book yet!)

My H. D. Thoreau linocut print is now published in a book called  Picturing Thoreau by Mark Sullivan.  
It really is a thrill to see the fruits of your labor displayed in print. 

I don't know if you know how much my life has aligned with Thoreau ... but I have known him well since I was a child (although through this book I am getting to know him better.)  I went to Thoreau School as a child in Concord, Massachusetts, learned to swim in Walden Pond, lived as a nature-girl, majored in biological sciences, and have maintained countless nature sketchbooks through the years.  Click here to see the rest of the story...


Rya Enthralls Craftspeople 
from Alaska to Zambia
I need a big map of the world on my wall with a pin for every rya rug maker I've supplied or taught.  Several months ago, Theresa from Zambia called me and wanted to learn to make a rya rug.  Since I'm trying to put most my efforts into completing my book, I don't have many kits ready to be sent out--all of my hundreds of designs need some adaptation for the new backings before they are "kit-ready."  I didn't know what design to prepare for Theresa, and then she came up with the solution.  After seeing Erma Gebb's soccer ball design (see the Feb-March issue in the archives) she wondered if I could design a Steelers image on a backing for her to learn on. (Theresa is living with her family in Pittsburgh now--thus the Steelers connection.)
So, easy enough, I drew the image on a rya backing, calculated the yarn she needed, and started the first row for her.   She was a very quick  stud y and within about one month, it was finished and she is c ontemplating her next design.  

And the rest of the story is... Erma Gebb saw Theresa's rya and now Erma is making the very same design for family members who are Steelers fans.

OH, yes, and now you are wondering about the Alaskan connection.  I actually have many rya makers in Alaska! Recently a class of 11 students at the Anchorage Waldorf School learned how to dye rya yarn so they as a class could knot a hand-dyed rya rug!  It brought in $1,500 at the school auction last fall.  Still hope to get photos to share with you someday.


Back at Off Track Art
I am always happy to see the creative and innovative works in Off Track Art in Westminster by the library and railroad tracks.  I was an original member of this artists coop in 2009-2011 or so.  I lose track of time.

My studio time became very precious so I am no longer a coop member, but I am thrilled to have been asked to consign some of my work there this year.  Currently I have framed woodcuts and linocuts hanging there.  I also have hand-printed shirts for sale there.  In the coming months I hope to expand to greeting cards, rya yarn woven barrettes, and woven belts.  Stop by and buy something.  You will be supporting a hard-working "downtown artists' coop" and i welcome my artwork into your home via OTA.  Visit often and see the changes that are taking place. 


Art Shows Lining Up for 2015
Go get your calendar and mark down some of the dates in the right-hand margin of this newsletter. I'd love to see you at these events, but more importantly these dates will roll around, and if they are not pencilled in on your calendar, you'll totally forget them....Hope to see you!


"The Ask"
young-adult-group2.jpg If you enjoy my newsletter each month (I work so hard to make it pleasurable for you) can you think of one person in your life that might also enjoy reading the news I share?  If YES, I ask you to share or forward this newsletter to them.  It will help me to expand my readership, but also will share a unique artist's perspective  with others who will find it brightens their day.  I really appreciate it.  Go ahead and click on"forward email" at the bottom of this newsletter.  Make my day!  Thanks. 


Spotlight on Newbie Rya Artist
Angie has never made a rya rug before, but look at what she has done with a few supplies and a little creativity. Angie was new at this.  She bought a backing and a few of her favorite colors (with a little help from me for quantities and color blendings.)  She has completed her first rya and has already started on her second.  Read Angie's story.. . Click here to read in Angie's words...


The making of a 12x12 inch Rya...
OK, even though I think that all I have to do in life at this moment is finish my rya book, life goes on.  I get requests for things I can not refuse.  The call for entries for the 12 x 12 show went out and I am a sucker for challenges.  So I created a rya in a day.   Read all about it!

 I just put together a kit  (kit!) to recreate this design.  If you want to be the first to recreate this design, just email me.  The kit is priced at $90.00 and is ready to go


And again, you read to the end.
Thank you!
As I said, I should never let two months go by.  Thanks for hanging with me to the very end.  Ain't life grand?  I love you all!

Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

At the Carroll Arts Center.  All works in exhibition are 12" x 12" and priced at $144.00 including my rya FIREFLOWER.
Opening reception is Thursday, April 16
5:30 - 7:30 PM show continues until June 5.

Art in the Park
Westminster City Park
Saturday, June 6

Common Ground on Hill
I will be teaching a class in Designing and Creating a Rya Rug. July 6 - 10th.
Out-of-towners, why not make a vacation of the experience?
 Room, board, music, arts--week long camp

The Mistletoe Mart
Church of Ascension
Westminster, MD
November  12, 13, &14 
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