Nostalgia Print

Initially, the only requirement for my pattern making final was a packed layout in two colors.  I was very excited because when I doodle, I often fit the elements together just so and this assignment was right up my alley.  A week or so later, however, the instructor changed her mind and decreed that the print must be autobiographical in some way.  I was crestfallen.  I didn’t want to talk about myself, I am myself!  Why should I have to explain anything to others?

Reluctantly, I started thinking about what it is that makes me “Claire”.  At first, I was so stubborn, I was going to just draw what I had planned on drawing and assert that, as a contrarian, it was autobiographical.  But then, slowly but surely, I began to remember moments.  I would pick out specific objects from various memories and draw them.  Some of these memories hadn’t been accessed in so long, they startled me when I could recall them with such clarity.  Inside jokes, old past times, so many things packed into just a couple of decades!

The tile I came up with looked like this:


Which would have created this pattern:

initial pattern

Unfortunately, the photo emulsion was too gloppy and was unable to capture such fine lines, and I had to rework the pattern.  Because everything had to be bigger, I was forced to choose fewer elements.  The print turned out great, and in hindsight, I think the first one would have been too busy.

See if you can spot the repeat!



This semester, I’m taking a class called “Pattern Design and Print”. For this project, we needed to screen print four yards of muslin using the same elements in different ways.  I work best when I have a theme to work off of, and the week before this was assigned, my friend’s dog had had an unlucky encounter with a skunk, stinking up her house.  I decided to avenge my friend’s nose through art.

I preferred to use stencils rather than photo emulsion for two reasons: I could make stencils quickly, and I could change them out easily (I was only given two screens to work with).

I started by thumbnailing shapes for the skunk.  At first I thought I wanted a linear skunk with its legs splayed out to the sides, but decided that didn’t create enough movement.  I ended up creating a skunk that curved, which not only created movement, but could also interlock somewhat.  I made three sizes of this design.

I experimented with the tire/road element throughout the process.  I kept asking myself “How many different ways can I convey the idea of a road?”

Mixing the colors was fun, figuring out the different levels of transparency.

Anyway, enough talk, here are the results!

I masked off the stripes with tape and used a tin can to create tire tread/skunky stink.


For the tire tread, I applied tape directly to the screen and pinwheeled it so it would connect.


I think this one is my favorite because it’s so simple, and I’m just in love with that maroon!


For this one, I crinkled up the fabric and didn’t stretch it to achieve a craggy asphalt effect.