Female Maker Spotlight: Part 1

 

Today, we're spotlighting creative women following their passions and building unique businesses. Whether working in ceramics or weaving, jewelry or illustration, they're an inspiring example of determination and self confidence. Today and tomorrow, we'll be sharing two of our favorite female artists challenging the status quo and building a new kind of creative business. 

Anna Monet

Jewelry MakerAnna Monet Jewelry


How did you start making jewelry pieces like this?

I started working with horsehair because I was researching Native American craft. As an immigrant in California I was really trying to connect with the makers, with the original settlers through the materials that they use. So I started researching the materials they’d been using and found out that horsehair was very prominent in not only Native American art, but also many ancient cultures of makers and people. And I decided that I was going to take this material and start playing with it. But what was important to me was not to culturally appropriate, but rather create something with a more modern twist on the ancient materials. 

Where do you get your inspiration?

Nature, mostly. And my travels. I’m inspired by Californian nature a lot. Like some of the colors I use are local from California, like redwood bark, for instance, it comes from the redwood and is found in the forest. So it's kind of a way of telling a story about the region and people and the craft. 

Is there another female jewelry maker who you admire or look up to?

I have many, many talented jeweler friends that I look up to. And many of them are my mentors and just amazing women in business. So I have many. But I would just give a shoutout to Sophie Silverstein of Slate and Stone Jewelry, she works with me in the same studio and she is in the same beginning of the business, blooming, sort of stage. I think it’s important to find women who are in the same level as you in business as well as the people who inspire you. I think Vivian Westwood genuinely inspired me a lot because of her fashion sense and the message behind her fashion. She was very aware about sustainability and the things industrialization does before this even became a very spoken issue for everyone. 

What is something you’re proud of that you’ve done so far in starting this business?

I’m proud of my sourcing and the people I choose to work with. I’m proud I can support indigenous people by getting my horsehair from Native Americans. I’m proud that I can seek help from local people. If I need someone to assist me, I can support local makers and women makers and we can all just elevate each other through building this business together. 

 

 Credit:  Knitty City

Credit: Knitty City

Amanda Hu

Textile ArtistHu Made


How did you get started weaving?

I started about three years ago. My background is actually in printmaking, but I took an artist residency at Textile Arts Center, where I learned things like weaving and sewing. 

What is your inspiration for the work that you make?

I'm really inspired by natural color, because everything that I weave is dyed with plant material. And kind of like extracting different colors form different plants and different woods and bugs. So I’m kind of driven by my color palette. 

 Credit:  Hu Made

Credit: Hu Made

 Credit:  Hu Made

Credit: Hu Made

Is there another woman in weaving or textiles who you admire?

Probably my mom, because she really got me started when I was younger. She’s like a master sewer and knitter, so she’s my inspiration. 

What is something you’re proud of in your work?

I don’t know if I have that, but I definitely have a favorite part of it. I’d say my favorite part is, you kind of make stuff in a vacuum in your studio or in your house, and then the favorite part for me is getting to see people try things on and actually use what you make, so that’s like the next step. And getting the feedback.