Having graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990 with a BFA in Textiles, Lu began work at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia mastering hand-printed silk-screening. Her interest in process and technologies soon led her to New York City, where the commercial textile industry was in the midst of a CAD revolution. Using this new tool to create intricate wovens was an important milestone in her growth as a designer, as she came to better understand that the blending of tradition and technology was what spurred her creativity.
With that insight, Lu jumped at the chance to work for a UK-based ceramic company, with production facilities in Columbia, SA. Working in a new medium, Lu explored finishes and colors with a fresh eye, adding a new set of skills and references to her abilities as an artist. Upon her return to the US in 1997, she applied her new interests to designs for residential fabrics.
The serendipitous discovery of a cache of 1960’s vintage vinyl fabrics came about right when Lu was ready for another jolt of inspiration. She launched her own design studio in 2001 with The Lounge Set, a line of handbags created from the vintage vinyls. The collection was picked up by Barneys and Fred Segal but as the supply of quality vintage vinyl became scarce and increasingly high-priced, Lu looked into producing her own original designs. Her research led her to Custom Laminations, Inc., a third-generation family business that specializes in innovative surfacing and material treatments. Lu began to explore the design possibilities, combining her textile and print-making abilities with CLI’s production prowess.
Her current work focuses on the micro/macro aspects of contemporary print technologies, challenging the preconceptions of what digital printing can achieve.