The Meadowcroft Dyers
We are a father-and-son team of independent dyers, Dave & Will Burrows.
Always interested in making things, Dave first learned to knit from his grandfather, who in turn had learned from his father, a blacksmith and wheelwright who emigrated from Wales to mine coal. Dave’s training is in art education, and he worked as a potter for much of his adult life. Since retiring from pottery, he has worked as an electrician, a bookseller, and now as a dyer. In addition to fiber work, he enjoys collecting and refurbishing mid-century modern furniture, lamps, and glassware.
Will’s education is in philosophy and theology, but he has been making art since childhood. Around age six or seven, he received lessons in basic color theory from his dad at an Italian restaurant where they put crayons at every table. He enjoys printmaking, woodwork, painting, and photography as well as digital collage and found objects. An exchange student we hosted years ago called him a “stuff-maker from garbages.” Much of his work is theological in nature, and he has designed several pieces for liturgical use.
The Meadowcroft name is borrowed from an archaeological site near our homeplace southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With artifacts dating back 16,000 years or more, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Cross Creek, PA, is the oldest site continuously inhabited by human beings yet discovered in North America. We both have a longtime interest in archaeology and once made a month-long road trip to visit ruin sites in the Yucatan.
We first got into dyeing in the winter of 2011, conducting most of our early experiments on yarn reclaimed from thrift shop sweaters. We started selling yarn as Meadowcroft Dyeworks through an Etsy store in the spring of 2012. By 2017, we had outgrown our studio in the basement of our little coal patch house. We moved our operations (as well as Dave’s residence) an hour east into a late Victorian carpenter gothic former church overlooking the Youghiogheny River.