Mixed Media Artist Amanda Hu

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We are beyond excited to have Mixed Media Artist Amanda Hu at Knitty City. Amanda Hu will be making her debut at our store this Thursday, February 1st from 6-8pm. We invite you to experience her presentation "A Printmaker's Journey: Yarn Dying and Textile Arts."

Amanda will also be at our store all day Saturday, February 3rd to show us her gorgeous hand dyed yarns. But who is Amanda Hu? Her artist bio reads:

Amanda Hu is a New York based mixed media artist with expertise in textiles, printmaking, papermaking, and book arts. She received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 after receiving her BA from Mount Holyoke College. Amanda's work explores themes of self-examination, remembrance, and family. She focuses on the intersection of meditational weaving and landscape. Her work has recently been exhibited at Albany Public Library, New York; Outlet BK Gallery, New York; David Krut Projects, New York; Kyoto Seika University, Iwakura, Kyoto, Japan; and Find & Form Space, Boston. Amanda Hu has been an artist in residence at Manhattan Graphics Center, I-Park Foundation, and the Textile Arts Center. She is currently teaching at the 92d Street Y Art Center in Manhattan and teaches a variety of workshops throughout cultural institutions in NYC including Japan Society.

After reading Amanda's artist bio, do you now understand why we are beyond excited? We cannot wait for you to meet her and for you to touch and feel her gorgeous hand dyed yarns. We would love for you to know a bit more about Amanda and did a Q and A with her. Enjoy!

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Q and A with Amanda Hu

What is your background, we've heard you are a RISDI alumni? Care to tell us a bit about that?

Yes! After graduating from one of the seven sisters for undergrad (I went to Mount Holyoke college) and studying art and art history there, I decided to go to Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. I left in 2013 with an MFA in Printmaking. It was my dream school and I am so lucky to have gone there. Through printmaking I learned a lot of skills that still carry over to my other practices such as layering, storytelling, self evaluation, and studio practice. One of my favorite printmaking methods is Monotype, which is a more spontaneous and painterly type of print. It’s very “in the moment” which I love. 

 How and when did you get into yarn dying? Who taught you?

After RISD I did a series of artist residencies, one of which was at the textile arts center which is where I really developed my love for textiles and weaving. There I I learned about natural dyeing and have since been foraging and growing my own natural dye stuffs for projects that I weave, including some garments. This was my first foray into dyeing. I’m also a knitter (as are my mom and aunt) so I decided to try dyeing yarn for knitting and the timing was such that in the fall I saw a yarn dyeing class advertised with Alice o’reilly of Backyard Fiberworks (I was already a fan of her yarn from the last Indie Untangled) at String Thing Studio in Brooklyn, so it was amazing to learn from her. From there crazily enough Alice asked me if I would like to have a pop up in her VKL booth in January and I jumped at the chance. It’s been a winding path!

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Besides knitting, do you do other crafts as well?

I am a knitter and also do weaving, bookbinding, spinning, natural dyeing, printmaking, and various other textile arts. I also just took a neon class at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn which was cool. My main thing is just that I love to learn new techniques. “Always be learning” is my motto :) I also teach various workshops at the 92Y and sometimes at the Japan Society. 

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Where do you draw your color inspiration from? What does color mean to you?

What drives my practice is the exploration of color and unexpected color combinations. I want my colors to be harmonious, subtle, and maybe a bit mysterious. I often draw from NYC life. Sometimes I’ll be walking and come across some object combinations that will really inspire me like chalk on the sidewalk next to a traffic cone, or a hand painted store front sign with funky font. I also draw from different visual artists that I find inspiring. I have one colorway that is inspired by Monet’s home garden in France. Next may be something inspired by Agnes Martin’s line work or Hopper’s night scenes, and of course Frankenthaler’s monumental canvases. 

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Since when did you start to sell your yarn? How did that come about?

I started selling basically about a month after taking Alice’s class at String Thing, and later at VKL. I also have a website (www.hu-made.com). And Knitty City is actually my LYS right now so I am thrilled to come present there on February 1st. 

What are you plans for the future with regards to hand dyed yarn? Where do you want to be in a year?

I would love to show next fall at Indie Untangled. That is my immediate goal. I don’t think I will ever get bored with hand dyeing yarn since there is color inspiration everywhere. I love dyeing yarn for knitters as they are so passionate about their projects. In the next year I would like to keep connecting with people, as that human to human interaction is the most important thing and the sharing of ideas is essential for growth. I’m grateful to have been introduced to the fiber community. Eventually I would like to release a series of naturally dyed yarns. 

We see that you are fairly new in the yarn industry, is this correct? How has it been so far?

I started last October so it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster but I love it so far! I met a lot of great people at VKL. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Hu Made. 

Thank you so much, Amanda! Come see Amanda's presentation this Thursday, February 1st from 6-8pm. If you can't make it that evening you will have a chance to meet her all day Saturday, February 3rd.

Find Amanda online: Hu-made.com

Instagram: @hu_made