• May 5 through 26, 2022
  • Thursday nights from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • 4 week intensive – Must register for entire session.
  • Teaching Artist: Dana Wisbar
  • Ages: 14 and Up
  • Fee: $125 – Buy tickets on Eventbrite

Lesson Description

Participants in the class will create their own bandanas using analog and digital processes; dying fabric, learning to pin fabric to print tables, make color separations, register their prints, and screen print with dyes and pigments. Emphasis will be designing within a chosen cultural, social, political, intimate, linguistic, or decorative framework; how will this bandana be used, what will it signify, and who will wear it?

Looking at past and current examples of bandanas and bandana use, students will identify several sources of inspiration to draw from. This can take the form of cultural, social, political, or design movements. Can be in the form of color matching, or draw inspiration from past or current bandana designs. Participants will be encouraged to explore a variety of printmaking techniques such as: rubylith, Koh-I-Noor ink, paint pen on duralar, or even utilizing photoshop.


Tickets can be purchased at MCCLA box office during the following hours of operation:

  • Monday through Friday: 5pm to 8pm
  • Saturdays: 10:30am to 2:30pm
  • Sundays: 10:30am to 2:30pm (Beginning May 15th)

History of the Bandana

While the origin of the bandana starts in India, slowly working its way to Europe in the early 17 th century where it functioned as a women’s shawl — eventually its signature pattern becoming associated with Paisley, Scotland; The small, unisex, kerchief style bandana that we know today is heavily associated with Americana and the United States. From its first inception as a gift from Martha Washington to her husband George when England banned printing in the colonies, to its use in the Civil War as an all-in-one napkin, tourniquet, sling, and most notably as the tie for a bundle of goods at the end of a stick. The bandana has since been used throughout United States history to promote campaigns, cereal and sports stars. As a symbol for cowboys, railroad workers, and hobos. As a symbol for worker’s rights, and as a symbol for women’s strength during WWII with Rosie the Riveter and her iconic pulled back hair.

During the later 20th century, the already popular workwear item came to be associated with individualism, freedom, and adventure as it was seen in popular Hollywood westerns and in the 1960’s became associated with countercultural ideas and movements, as paisley became the pattern of choice for young hippies and famous musicians at the time such as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s the item became associated with various subcultures such as biker gangs who used them as protective face coverings, queer communities who used the bandanas to denote certain sexual preferences, and inner-city street gangs with different colors representing different gang associations.

Learning Outcomes

Participants can use dyes, print with pigments, register their prints, pin fabric to print tables, consider basic design principles such as color way, who they are designing for, and use fabric repeat design and screen-print on paper or t-shirts, as well as digital design.

Materials & Setup

  • T-Pins
  • Gloves (green heavy duty ones. These can be shared.)
  • Blue Painters Tape
  • X-acto knife
  • Mylar
  • Koh-I-Noor ink (if student desires to work in this medium)
  • Paint Pens (optional)
  • Thumb Drive (If student desires to work in photoshop)
  • Plastic Yogurt Containers for Pigment (water based pigments can be purchased at Anthem Screen-printing)
  • Baking Soda
  • Soda Ash

Learning Activities

Opening circle, brief lectures on history and techniques, sharing photos of inspiration for the week, as well as sharing what direction you think you’ll be going in your print, critique/sharing final designs, challenges and successes and if your intent changed within the process.


Instructor will personally give demonstrations, but also walk around and check student progress and if they are in need of assistance. Weekly check-ins with the group can hopefully catch any struggles students may be having individually or collectively.


Weekly inspiration sharing will keep students thinking about how they are creating and what they are creating. Instructor will also share her own sources of inspiration. This can be in the form of color ways you like, designs you like, people you admire, news that pertains to your chosen themes.


Hand-outs in class will include a how-to of quick dye baths, color mixing with procion dyes, and in class lectures will include the do’s and don’t of washing out screens, coating screens, and what not to do to an exposure unit.

About the Instructor

Instructor Dana Wisbar

Dana Wisbar is a textile artist and printmaker from Oakland, CA. Born and raised up and down the East Bay, her graphic and original work reflects her earlier love of graffiti, typography, hand-lettering, tattoos, graphic novels, punk flyer art, and tramp art. She began her artistic career as a graffiti artist, painting in San Francisco, Oakland, Miami, New York, Portland, Los Angeles, and London.She attended California College of the Arts in Oakland, where she majored in Print Media and spent very little time in the print studio. Instead, she hid out in the textiles department learning to print, sew, cut, and weave fabric.

Recipient of Hamaguchi Award and scholarship for her work in screen printing and textiles, being one of the only screen printers and textiles artists to ever be given the prestigious award.

She has a background in mental health work and harm reduction work; including winning the Achievement in Recovery Award, by the Mental Health Services Act, and The Department of Public Health of San Francisco, CA for her work as a Peer Counselor with Mental Health Association of San Francisco.

She has used these skills to hold workshops for women who are homeless or in transitional housing, teach mural art to teenagers, and teach after school programs to youth.

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