Printing Patterns, influenced by Fritzi Brod

Karen Schaschwary, Art Teacher, Chicago Heights, IL
Objectives: 
  1. Students will create at least four prints of a patterned design that includes at least five shapes and five lines.
  2. Students will verbally identify and describe at least two patterns in In the Workshop, and/or Peasant Woman at Prayer by Fritzi Brod (1900-1952).
  3. Students will compare and contrast at least one pattern in one of Fritzi Brod’s artworks to one of their prints in a written worksheet.
  4. Students will verbally explain how creating patterns via printmaking is similar to creating textile designs, as seen on the clothing worn by the people in works by Fritzi Brod.
  5. Students will identify when Fritzi Brod was alive, where she created work in Illinois, and who owns In the Workshop, and/or Peasant Woman at Prayer.
  6. Students will verbally explain why it is important to learn about past women artists from their community.
State Standards: 
25.B.2, 26.B.2d, 27.A.2b
National Standards: 
(5-8) 1, 2, 3
Materials: 
Blockprinting ink, Styrofoam plates, brayers, plexiglass plates, spoons or palette knives, construction paper, pencils, smocks, newspaper
Questions and Answers: 
  1. Q: What is a pattern? What types of patterns are there? Where do you see patterns?
    A: A pattern is a decorative design that usually includes repeated shapes, colors, and lines. There are floral patterns, line patterns, stripes, argyle, dots, cross-hatching, etc. Patterns can be seen on rugs, clothing, tablecloths, and artworks.
  2. Q: What patterns can be seen in the artworks by Fritzi Brod?
    A: Floral patterns with lines, dots, cross-hatching designs, and stripes.
  3. Q: How is creating patterns via printmaking similar to creating textile designs?
    A: Textile designers start with designs or patterns and create large pieces of fabric that are reproduced with machines and computers. Printmaking also involves making reproductions by reusing a plate. Reproductions of artworks and textiles can than easily be shared and sold.
  4. Q: When was Fritzi Brod alive? Where did she create work in Illinois? Who owns In the Workshop, and Peasant Woman at Prayer?
    A: Fritzi Brod lived from 1900-1952. She created work and lived in Chicago. In the Workshop is owned by Oakton Community College, and Peasant Woman at Prayer is owned by the Vanderpoel Art Museum.
  5. Q: Why is it important to learn about past women artists from the community?
  6. A: (Answers may vary.) Past women artists show us a unique perspective of our community, including what women knew, what they were interested in, and the value of their work.
Activities: 
The lesson begins with the students viewing examples of textiles with patterns. Students answer what pattern is, what types of patterns there are, and where pattern can be seen. The teacher will introduce the history and work of Fritzi Brod and students will identify pattern in her works. Students will sketch out patterns with five shapes and five lines. The teacher will demonstrate how to create prints using a Styrofoam plate, ink, brayer, plexiglass, and palette knife. Students may pick out pre-cut construction paper to print on. When students are finished with four prints they may work on the “compare contrast” worksheet. The teacher will ask the class how creating prints of patterns is similar to creating and selling textile designs (see question 3). Students will review the history of Fritzi Brod. They will also determine why it is important to learn about past women artists from the community.