We are delighted to introduce the first of an ongoing series of articles by the fabulously creative Chris Gray of Mabon Arts. For updates when new articles and projects are available register free for the Empress E-Newsletter.
Onward to Chris’ article –
Using Brusho Sprays On Fabric
Most people tend to think of Brusho Paints & Sprays as being for paper projects, and while they are absolutely brilliant for sketchbook work (see the next 5 images), they can also be put to very good use on fabrics too.
Obviously, this method isn’t for those items that are going into the laundry…the Brusho will not be fast, but for “art” items – things that are (let’s be honest here) of little practical use but glorious to behold – Brusho paints and sprays are simply marvellous!
I tend to use Brusho on almost everything I do these days… sketchbooks…art books….tags…small art panels…and anything else I happen to be doing.
I love the way that I can use them to get the colour that I want and exactly where I want, when I want it. (It dries in less than 30 minutes on fabric but can also be helped-along with a hair dryer or heat embossing tool.)
This is the process that I go through…
I use Empress Mills Medium Weight Calico for all of my panels and books. It is sturdy (without being too stiff) and is delightful to stitch into.
Before spraying, I prep the surface of the (ironed) calico with either Fabric Medium or a good quality spray starch. This “seals” the fabric and stiffens it slightly, but doesn’t make it go like a piece of MDF!
(Although the Fabric Medium may look a bit like glue when you paint it on, it is almost undetectable after it has dried and been ironed.)
I have found that by treating the fabric in this way I get the “speckled” effect that I want from the Brusho Sprays.
Without this treatment the Brusho can soak into the fabric and become “blurred” and also the colour will not be so apparent . (That’s fine if it’s what you want, but I like to see where the spray has landed and settled giving me a mottled stone-like effect.)
I begin by selecting the colours that I need for the project in mind – I’m working on designs from sandstone carvings at the moment, so would use Brusho Acrylic Sprays in Yellow, Sand, Dark Brown, Shimmering Copper and Shimmering Charcoal.
Always work from light to dark, build up the colour gently and let each colour dry before spraying the next otherwise the fabric will become too wet and you can’t see where you want colours to go.
When the plain colours are done it’s time to go in with the metallics – don’t overdo it as the mica particles sit on top of the other colours and you can end up with something akin to a mirror! Small bursts of Copper first…then a VERY SMALL amount of Shimmering Charcoal finishes the effect. (It’s good to remember that the Shimmering colours are not just “shimmer”, they have background colour as well so will also colour the fabric.)
Be aware – your fingers WILL get stained during stitching unless you wear gloves. Don’t worry about it though, the Brusho colours are completely safe…
…and stained fingers just prove that you’ve achieved something today!!
Here are some of my stitched pieces that have been created with Brusho Sprays.
Always put down a large piece of paper when using Brusho Sprays – it does what it says on the bottle – IT SPRAYS!!
Keep the same piece of paper in place for as long as you can…it becomes covered in all the colours that you have used and therefore is a home-made piece of wonderful collage/art paper that you can put into sketchbooks or anything else that takes your fancy! Use the front …. and don’t forget the back – it can be even more interesting! (see images below)
Whatever you decide to do with your Brusho…
Look out for more “Empressive Art” features here at Empress Mills as Chris will be writing articles and coming up with lovely projects for us on a regular basis!!
Chris Gray is a Textile Artist, Author and Tutor living in South Wales. She writes for several magazines including STITCH and Sewing World. Recently she has written for Workshop on the Web and that article will be out in the Autumn.
Chris travels all over the UK doing workshops …
…and all over the world teaching onboard a cruise ship.
If you want to book her for a workshop, please go to the Workshop Page Of Chris’ Website…
…or if you want to see what she’s currently up to, visit her blog “Textile Butterfly”.
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