African bracelets available to be made through Workspace

Ashley Martinez-Torres

Students can make Ankara bracelets at the Union Workspace for Black History Month.

Maria O’Brien, senior in interior design, has worked at the Workspace since her freshman year.

“This is our first year doing [Ankara bracelets],” O’Brien said. “We’ve done other Black History Month walk-in crafts that celebrated other things in the African and African American cultures.”

Ankara fabric, also known as African Wax Printing, Holland wax and Dutch wax, is a type of fabric characterized by its colorful prints. West Africa is a popular place where the fabric is used in clothing, purses, jewelry and other things.

“I think it’s an interesting event and a good way to educate more people about different types of cultures that’s in the American culture and also cultures that connect to various American cultures because [the U.S] is like a mixing pot,” O’Brien said. “We don’t really have a culture; it’s more like we are borrowing from others.”

Even though the Workspace might be a little bit hard to find, students enjoy participating in the activities it offers.

Alex Stanger, freshman in computer engineering, attended the workshop on Tuesday.

“[Making the bracelets] is enjoyable,” Stanger said. “It’s not too hard. It’s kind of a learning curve because you have to use thread and needle and stuff like that; I’m not really artistic, but I’m having a good time.”

Students can make Ankara bracelets at the Union Workspace for Black History Month starting Friday from 2 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Making bracelets is my favorite thing,” said Mira Seok, freshman in interior design. “I think it’s a fun event; I really like doing arts and crafts in my free time. I’m part of a DIY club that meets four times a semester […], and as a design student, I do a lot of crafts.”

This event is open to the public and all ages, if accompanied by an adult, for the price of $6. Registration is not required.

“We try to give representation to the people that are part of that group; we try really hard not to appropriate the culture when we do our crafts but learn and understand from it when we are putting together the bracelets,” O’Brien said.

The Workspace is located in the east basement of the Memorial Union building. Attendees can reach out to the staff at the information desk for directions to the basement.

Workspace also offers its open studio and materials at affordable fees to anyone that needs a place to work.