ByrdCall Studio
Happy Almost-Summer!
Just wanted to keep you up to date on some of the adventures of Byrdcall Studio.  

This issue, I'll try to keep short and sweet because I know your time is valuable.  In this issue you will find valuable information about the rya book, for T-shirt-lovers, and an Alzheimer's Fundraiser at a local Ale House.  It is best viewed on a monitor rather than a smart phone, so save it for a moment when you want to relax with a cuppa something and studio stories.  

In this issue: 
  • I want YOUR picture with your hand-made rya!
  • Last Chance for Taking a Wine Glass Painting Class -- bid on May 17!
  • Farewell to Hot August (Blues) Music Fest
  • Three Ways to get a Byrdcall T-shirt
  • Still time to register for Classes at Common Ground on the Hill July 2016!
  • Some very cool rya images sent in by viewers


Your Photo in my Rya Book?

    As my writing of the book is coming to an end--or at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel--I am looking for more fun elements to add to make it become one of your favorite how-to books with personality

If you have made an off-loom rya recently, or ages ago, and would like to have your photo included in my book with your rya, now is the time to take action.

I want to do a double-page photo spread of the many faces of rya. I want to show that men and women, young and old, from all over the world are enjoying the resurgence of this Scandinavian-based craft.  You (YES, YOU!) can help me make this a fun page of faces and ryas.  Won't you be part of this book enhancement?  And won't it be fun to see everyone else doing what you have been doing--or soon will be doing?


Byrdcall helps with Fun Fundraiser
for The Alzheimer's Association
What's in it for you!?

Is Alzheimer's Disease something that you would like to help in fighting?  I have joined with some great and caring girlfriends, The Boozum Buddies, to do what I can to generate funds to support this worthy fundraising event which will culminate with a Walk to End Alzheimer's coming up in September.

I'm not asking you to walk with us or fund-raise, but you can help by just going to Oscar's Alehouse in Eldersburg, Maryland on Tuesday, May 17 between 11 AM and 11 PM to eat lunch or dinner or enjoy the incredible lineup of microbrewed beers from all over the USA.  Oscar's is donating 10% of every dollar spent there that day!  That adds up.  Plus the Boozum Buddies have assembled an amazing array of Silent Auction items which will be in Oscar's that day.

And click link above to see how you can get a free Great Blue Heron organic cotton T-shirt while they last.

Can't go, but want to help with a contribution:   Click here to make a contribution and see the Boozum Buddies.


Say it ain't so---
No Hot August Music Fest for Byrdcall Studio

Woodcut of John Mooney I sure hate to say these words, but I will not be at Hot August Music Festival in Cockeysville this year.  I don't even remember how many years I set up my tent there--at least 10.  There was a time when there were just three other vendors and myself on the slope of the hill where I could use my spotting scope to look into the eyes of the great performers.  The Festival has grown dramatically.  My T-shirt business boomed to where I needed friends there to help me handle all the sales and orders.  I've made many friends there over the years--you know who you are.  Keep in touch. You  have been so much fun.  Maybe now I can just go and enjoy the music!

The reasons I must stop showing at Hot August is the change in direction of my studio work coupled with the fact that I can no longer reliably order and receive the Comfort Color shirts that everyone loves.  So I have seen the writing on the wall and made the big decision this month.  

Hot August friends, how will you get your next shirt?   Just follow this link to my etsy shop.


The WORD on Byrdcall T-Shirts

I am still figuring out how to keep the Woodcut and Linocut T-shirts on your backs.  Here is the latest.  Where will you find my shirts in the coming year?

  • Remember the Today I Will Create shirts I featured in the last issue?  Except for the ones several of you purchased, they are all now at Off Track Art, the artist cooperative at the corner of Main Street and Liberty Street (Route 27) in Westminster, MD.  I decided to keep them all together so you will be more apt to find your size and favorite color.  Still $25.00 
  • I will be at Art in the Park again this year on June 4th at Westminster City Park with all my shirts.  I will be displaying them by SIZE, not design.  So when you walk in the booth, you won't become catatonic wondering which design bin to look in, you simply go to the bin holding the size you want.  Making a choice will be much easier.  I will still take orders if I don't have the design or color you want, but you'll have to choose from the shirt blanks I have on hand--since I can not count on receiving blanks from Comfort Colors with any regularity.  OK?  Sure. Do you remember last year I said in a spring newsletter that 2015 might be my last at Art in the Park featuring T-shirts?  True, I thought that.  But it is much more likely that this will be the last year because my world will be exploding with rya at this time by next year.
  • The third way you can get a shirt from me is to go to the T-shirt section of my etsy shop.   I am very fortunate to have two very good-looking very good friends who came by the studio the other day to model almost every design I have hand-printed from the woodcut or linocut.  Liz Mortati and Andy McEvoy spent a couple of hours taking pictures of each other in fun poses to best highlight the shirts. 
  • (Andy modeled for me years ago, so you may notice younger bearded versions  as well as Andy-of-today.) Theoretically I can list on the drop-down menu on etsy the exact available shirts on hand for "Buy-it Now" sales.  The trick will be to remove from the listing each shirt as it sells to keep the listing up-to-the-minute.
I need to reduce my shirt inventory.  

You can help me out by stocking up at Art in the Park.

Lastly, I will be featuring SHIRTS during the Carroll County Artists Studio Tour on Dec. 3- 4th.


Still Time to Register 
for your Rya Class at 
Common Ground on the Hill!

If you've been thinking about signing up, do not delay. We are going to do it again this summer.  I will be teaching the second week:  July 3 - 8 in the afternoon.  So if you are interested, mark your calendars, but more importantly, sign up. The class write-up is as follows.

Reviving the Art of the Rya Rug from Scandinavia

     Rya is the word for woven shag rugs and bed coverings woven in Scandinavia since the Viking era. In the early 1950s, backings were woven for export so that fiber-artists without looms could learn this age old craft. Students will learn how to design and knot a pillow-size rya, a wall hanging, or small rug. Very basic designs as well as more intricate ones will be discussed and demonstrated.

     Students can select backing size and rya yarn from approximately 100 colors provided by instructor. Students can design on graph paper, draw the design on the backing, or simply ad lib with no design at all. The knot can be mastered in minutes, and the skillful techniques learned quickly, but larger backings may require more time than we have during class to complete, however, students will gain the confidence to complete these on their own. Participants should bring: tote bag for supplies, notebook, pencil, eraser, good scissors, and potential design inspirations.  Instructor offers all supplies needed for traditional rya project

NOTE: Email instructor for specifics on design possibilities and materials costs:  
All levels; limit 12 students; ages 15 and older. 
Material fees: $100 and up depending on project size.
   Periods 3 & 4 ~ Melinda Byrd
Go to their web site.  There are so many classes to choose from; don't forget that you want to sign up for my class. ;-)

For my past students, please stop by my class later in that week with your projects from last year to inspired my 2016 students.  
Click here to go to Common Ground web site

                       The Common Ground Mission:
To provide the opportunity to teach and to study various musical instruments and art forms representing various ethnic and cultural traditions. To sponsor a series of musical and artistic events from cultural and ethnic groups who are marginalized in our society or who are in conflict with each other and listen to their voices, e.g., Indigenous People, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Euro-Americans etc. To encourage and facilitate dialogue, by way of the arts among different cultural traditions, in order to discover that this artistic common ground unites us, and that, as a result, the world might become a more human place.   


Rya Projects Recently Completed

As of today, I am looking forward to receiving some fun photos of you with your rya.  Up until now most people send a photo of just the rya...which is wonderful...keep them coming.
First Rya made by Sarah Neylan from Chesterfield, NH.  Lovely.
I went to Keene State College, just a few miles from there.

I have mentioned this before, but want to mention again that it you create your design on a graph paper, and make a nice clean photocopy of it before you mark it up as you work (to keep your place), it is possible that a reader who sees the completed rya will contact me and say "I would like to make that rug."  If it happens to be your design, and if you keep good records of how much of every color you used, and how long you made your pile, I can sell the same supplies as a kit with your graph and pay you a commission for the designing work for each one sold.  I have not worked out the logistics yet, but what a great way to get more designs in circulation.  Keep track of your supplies and color combinations.  I'd love to work with you.
Richard from Finksburg, MD just completed this rya project for a friend who who was unable to do so.  He is a very kind friend indeed.  (Richard has made about 5 or 6 ryas.)


Enjoy Your Spring 2016

I just had the pleasure of peeking into my bluebird box and finding that the 5 blue eggs are now 5 pink baby birds keeping their parents very busy.

I wish you a similar joy this spring.

Shake out your rya rug, take a nice picture of yourself with it, and send it to me before May 15th.  Thank you so much.

That's all, folks!  See you next month!



Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

June 4, 2016
10 AM - 4 PM
Rain or Shine

December 3 & 4
10 AM- 5 PM

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