Women performing different tasks.

Women performing different tasks.

For my textile class, we created our own patterns and screen-printed on sheets of textile.
The purpose of this lesson was to investigate and practices the art of screen- printing using our original pattern and color combination. We visited the Fibers Art department of the Art Institute of Chicago. I learned many different techniques to screen-printing, and I am proud of how my pattern manifested.

Pattern Artist Statement

Title: Customs
Length: 2.5 Yards

  • This pattern shows many of the activities that are a custom to African women living in villages. These are some of the responsibilities and activities that women are most proud of, because it showcases their respect for tradition.

Due to these customs, many Africans are discriminated against as a result of how media has been portraying these customs. It would be most effective to convey this story through pattern, due to that many African countries are huge producers of fabrics. Also, patterns are used to express one’s point of view, story, or history. Please, bear in mind I do not agree with every single custom.

The imagery of this pattern is in a puzzle form, therefore they are different shapes. Collectively  they resemble women performing different tasks. The colors on the patterns are bright and illuminating. These colors display the loveliness of African culture.
I chose white, blue, red as the three colors to brighten up my pattern.
White in sub-saharan culture symbolizes an ancestral spirits and my pattern is about traditions, which is a way of connecting with the ancestral spirit.
Blue symbolizes trust, most of these women in villages are trusting their traditions by following it.
Red symbolizes happiness. While exercising these tasks,  the women perform them with joy.

The reason that I chose the colors listed above is because they create harmony together. Blue and red are primary colors. White is a neutral color. It goes with everything!

In the process of creating this artwork, we looked at pattern symbolism. Patterns  has been a way to communicate for more years. We investigated ways different cultures used pattern symbolism. We  focused on Kente pattern symbolism, Egyptian pattern of symbolism and the Noun project. The Noun project is a project in in which to create an universal language. We also examined different textiles, which helped us through the process of deciding which textiles we will use.

I chose cotton as my textile because, cotton is most durable and flexible textiles. The printing section of this project rested on your textile.
Before printing on our sheets of textiles, we traced our patterns on a silk screen and retraced it with drawing fluid. We waited for the drawing fluid to dried, and then applied the screen filler to cover, to cover in the pores in between our patterns.

We put tape around the inside and outside of the frame edges, covering the joint between the frame and silk. We put our textile sheets on the table, while lowering the screen over it. We washed the drawing fluid with cold water, and dried it out with paper towels. Next, we put  a generous amount of ink on top of the silkscreen with our  pattern traced in. We used a squeegee to pressing the ink  across the pattern forcing it onto the textile. The amount of silkscreens you use depends on how many layers of color you have. In my case, I used 3 silkscreens, one for the background color, one for the outline, and one for the inside coloring.  Over all, I had fun and learned how to screen.


Silkscreen after applying  drawing fluid and screen filler.

Silkscreen after applying drawing fluid and screen filler.